Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Digital Transformation: A CXO's Guide

Singapore firms credit COVID-19 for clarifying digital transformation plans

Global pandemic also secured increased budget for 84% of the organisations' digital transformation efforts and resolved at least one barrier hindering 96% of these companies' digital transformation.

The ongoing global pandemic has brought a silver lining for some organisations in Singapore and around the world, where it boosted budgets and cleared the path for their digital transformation plans. It also pushed businesses to find new ways to engage customers and transform their digital communications. 

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In fact, 96% of organisations in Singapore said COVID-19 helped resolved at least one barrier in their digital transformation efforts, with 46% pointing to a previous lack of engineering support. Another 45% said the pandemic removed a reluctance to replace legacy software, while 42% said it helped established a clear strategy for digital transformation, according to a study commissioned by Twilio. 

Conducted by Lawless Research in June, the online survey polled 2,569 business decision-makers in nine markets including Australia, Japan, Germany, and the UK. Amongst the Asia-Pacific markets, there were 272 respondents each from Singapore and Australia, while 300 were from Japan. 

The COVID-19 outbreak pushed up digital transformation budgets for 84% across the three Asia-Pacific, including 25% who described their budget as "dramatically" increased. Some 84% in Singapore saw increases in their digital transformation budgets, including 28% who saw a significant spike. 

Across the globe, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation plans for 97% of the respondents' organisation. This figure clocked at 96% in Singapore and 98% in Asia-Pacific. 

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In this region, an accelerated digital transformation was most evident amongst retail and e-commerce companies, with 82% in this sector noting the concerted effort. In comparison, 66% of their counterparts in finance and 59% in manufacturing and automotive said their company's digital transformation efforts had accelerated in response to COVID-19. 

In addition, 60% across Asia-Pacific said the pandemic sped up their digital communications strategy by at least five years, which was higher than the global average of 50%. 

Some 97% in Asia-Pacific also noted an accelerated digital communication transformation, with 93% describing such efforts as "extremely" and "very" critical to address business challenges brought about by COVID-19.

Another 95% in the region said their companies were, or were likely to, seeking new ways of engaging customers due to the pandemic. Some 92% said it was likely their organisations would expand their digital communications platforms as nations gradually reopened. 

In fact, the pandemic pushed 40% and 31% in Singapore to implement interactive voice response and live chat, respectively, for the first time. Another 24% turned to in-app chat, while 17% activated social media for the first time.

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(Source: Twilio)

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