According to the Unveiling Data Challenges Afflicting Businesses Around The World report most businesses in Singapore are struggling with the proliferation of data with 89% experiencing barriers to capturing, analysing and acting on data.
The result is that 49% of surveyed businesses in Singapore report not coming close to realising their digital transformation goals.
The Forrester Consulting study, commissioned by Dell Technologies, also revealed that data overload and an inability to extract insights was the third-highest ranked barrier to transformation according to decision-makers from Singapore.
Instead of offering a competitive advantage, data has become a burden to businesses due to an array of barriers in Singapore – such as: constantly needing more data than their current capabilities provide (74%), outdated IT infrastructure (55%), insufficient in-house data science skills (71%), resistance to change from internal teams (71%) and cyber-attacks and data loss (46%).
Andy Sim, vice president and managing director, Singapore, Dell Technologies said the pandemic has already created a sense of urgency and the Singapore findings indicate that there is an acute awareness of the need for better data leadership. Singapore businesses believe their organisations have improved by turning data into actionable insights.
“For example, Singapore reports higher gains over both global and APJ in a deeper understanding of existing customers and target audiences (53%) and how to improve employee experience (56%),” he continued.
The “want more than they can handle” paradox
According to the research, 72% of businesses in Singapore say they are gathering data faster than they can analyse and use, yet 74% say they constantly need more data than their current capabilities provide.
In fact, 89% of Singapore businesses are experiencing barriers to capturing, analysing and acting on data – 8% higher than that of businesses in APJ. While IT spending continues to grow rapidly by 116% over the last three years, 49% of Singapore businesses still have not come close to realising their digital transformation goals.
Data readiness in Singapore
Yet within the APJ region, Singapore is already leading the way in terms of data stewardship and readiness. The study reveals that 55% of Singapore respondents have appointed a chief data officer to the Board – 23% higher than the APJ average.
In addition, 38% of respondents in Singapore are establishing cross-functional teams and stronger quality assurance processes to ensure data transparency. In terms of data management, 62% of Singapore businesses are also using multiple public clouds (and no private clouds), exceeding the global and APJ averages of 46% and 44% respectively.
The research outlines an objective measurement of data readiness among Singapore businesses. In Singapore, 17% of businesses were defined as Data Champions: companies that are actively engaged in both areas (technology/process and culture/skills).
This is 5% higher than the global and APJ averages. Meanwhile, 30% of local businesses are defined as Data Enthusiasts – 11% higher than APJ.
Hope on the horizon
Although Singapore businesses are struggling today, many have plans to create a better tomorrow: 77% intend to deploy machine learning to automate how they detect anomaly data and 60% are planning to improve the data lakes that they have.
Sim noted that these plans point to top organisational goals for deploying a data-as-a-service management strategy.
“53% of Singapore businesses believe that with an aaS model, businesses would no longer be held back by outdated IT infrastructure,” he continued.
With aaS, 69% of local businesses plan to monetise their data to find success. As a result, 74% believe it would enable companies to be more agile. In addition, 44% are also doing data modelling to predict changing customer demands during the pandemic.
Three ways businesses can turn their data burden into a data advantage:
- Modernising their IT infrastructure, so it meets data where it lives, at the edge. This incorporates bringing businesses’ infrastructure and applications closer to where data needs to be captured, analysed and acted on–while avoiding data sprawl, by maintaining a consistent multi-cloud operating model.
- Optimising data pipelines, so data can flow freely and securely while being augmented by AI/ML.
- Developing software to deliver the personalised, integrated experiences customers crave.