Dell Technologies Forum 2022 in Singapore was held recently on 13th September 2022. This would be a technology conference/forum that I would like to attend however I wasn’t able to attend due to a clash of appointment/business commitments for that day. One of the key updates was on Dell research findings on digital transformation and change for Singapore (SG) and Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ).
On the subject of digital transformation / digital change, this has been one of my areas of interest over the past few years. When I read the Dell Technologies Forum Singapore 2022 – New SG and APJ findings on Digital Transformation, it was interesting, an eye opener and concern on the digital transformation journey in Singapore, and how the future of work is evolving right here in SG.
None of us can forget what the global pandemic that started in 2020 inflicted on the entire world, from personal living and how we work, the massive changes and impacts on our work, living, personal and mental well-being. Digital transformation over the past two years could be said to be accelerated beyond any precedent in the business and technology worlds.
Dell research on digital transformation in SG
What does Dell research on new SG and APJ findings on digital transformation speaks about our current state of digital transformation progress in SG?
Before we dive more into this, here are the key findings for Singapore:
- In Singapore, 96% (APJ: 90%) of business leaders regard their people as their greatest asset
- However, 75% (APJ: 67%) believe their organisations underestimate the people requirements when planning transformation programmes
- Nearly 80% (APJ: 77%) of all Singapore employees also say their business needs to provide the necessary tools and infrastructure to work flexibly, in a way that suits everyone
After 2 years of accelerated digital transformation, 65% of IT leaders in Singapore (APJ: 45%) say their organisations do not know what it takes to digitally transform a workforce, with many employees now facing challenges in keeping up the pace according to a new Dell Technologies survey. 75% (APJ: 67%) of those surveyed in Singapore believe their organisations underestimate how to engage with their people properly when planning transformation programmes.
What do those Dell research results highlight?
The results from Dell research highlight how the recent period of accelerated digital transformation is leaving businesses and their workforce in need of time to recharge, reflect, and refine before embarking on new or iterating projects.
Even though there have been accelerated progress and efforts from the past few years, this research highlights how there is a potential for transformation to stall as 75% of respondents in Singapore believe it is their people’s resistance to change that can lead to failure.
Nearly 80% of Singapore respondents (APJ: 62%) fear they will be shut out of the evolving digital world due to a lack of people with the right authority or vision to capitalise on the opportunity – this is when an as-a-Service model becomes a favourable option for many businesses.
“To build a better future that works for all, we need to recognise that business success and employees’ wellbeing are inextricably linked. Our latest research highlights that sustainable digital transformation happens at the intersection of people and technology. To achieve an effective breakthrough, organisations should consider a three-pronged approach. First, provide employees with consistent and secure work experiences, not defined by where they work. Second, help drive productivity by augmenting human capabilities with technology tools to allow employees to focus on what they do best. Lastly, inspire employees through an empathetic culture and authentic leadership,” said Amit Midha, President, Asia Pacific & Japan, and Global Digital Cities, Dell Technologies.
“The future of work has shifted and will continue to evolve as teams and individuals find a process that works for them. The foundation of successful hybrid work models will involve personalised, consistent, disruption-free experiences, and will rely on a human-centric IT strategy. In Singapore, hybrid work options are now a top requirement for employees. People need easy access to the right tools to get the job done, whenever and wherever they are working. Companies should ensure the necessary tools and infrastructure are in place to empower their employees in achieving success,” said Andy Sim, Vice President and Managing Director, Singapore, Dell Technologies.
The time is now for organisations to take stock before embarking upon new digital transformation projects, ensuring their workforce is supported and has clarity on the next stage of implementation.
Readiness for Digital Change Benchmarks
Dell and independent behavioural experts studied survey respondents’ appetite for digital change and found that only 5% of the workforce in Singapore – from senior business leaders to IT decision makers and staff – are pursuing modernisation projects. Further more, around 50% of those surveyed are slow or reluctant to embrace change.
Here is the table of how the Singapore workforce is comprised today:
1) Sprint: Will chase innovation and trailblazer technological change
5% (APJ: 7%)
2) Steady: Poised to adopt technological change, selected by others
35.5% (APJ: 41%)
3) Slow: Inclined to hold back and observe / deliberate
53% (APJ: 46%)
4) Still: Tend to anticipate problems and resist proposed technology innovations based on perceived risk
6.5% (APJ: 6%)
Future of Digital Transformation and Digital Change
What is the future of digital transformation and digital change like? This study charts a path forward with signposts opportunities for businesses to focus and keep pace with transformation, with breakthrough happening at the intersection of people and technology along three frontiers:
During the pandemic, businesses performed tremendous feats to connect, collaborate, and conduct business online during this period. However, this is not the end, they are not finished.
Nearly 80% of respondents say they need organisations to provide the necessary tools and infrastructure to work anywhere (along with autonomy to choose their preferred working pattern). In fact, the respondents worry that their people might be left behind because they do not have the right technology to shift to a highly distributed model (where work and compute are not tied to a central place but occur everywhere).
Technology alone is not sufficient. Businesses also need to make work equitable for people with different needs, interests, and responsibilities, including the 79% of Singapore employees that would like their organisation to do any of the following:
- 39% (APJ: 46%) want organisations to clearly define their ongoing commitment to flexible work arrangements and the practicalities of making it work
- 36% (APJ: 45%) would like to see organisations better equip leaders to effectively and equitably manage remote teams
- 36% (APJ: 47%) want organisations to empower employees to choose their preferred working pattern and provide the necessary tools / infrastructure
Time is limited for everyone, and there are now too few qualified candidates for open roles. In order to address all these strains, businesses can delegate repetitive tasks to automated processes and free-up people to focus on enriching, higher-value work.
At the present moment, only 38% say their work is stimulating and not repetitive. With the opportunity to automate more repetitive tasks, close to 7 in 10 respondents would look forward to learning new, sought-after skills and technologies, like leadership skills, courses in machine learning, or focusing on more strategic opportunities to elevate their role.
However, for businesses with limited budgets, they are concerned that they will not be able to advance their workforce and compete.
Beyond hardware and technology, it is at the heart where businesses must build a culture, modelled by empathetic leaders, that treats people as their greatest source of creativity and value.
This Dell research shows that there is still work to do and empathy has to inform decision making – from simplifying technology for approximately half of Singapore employees who often feel overwhelmed by complex technologies, to tailoring change programmes to individuals’ skills.
The fieldwork was conducted by market research company, Vanson Bourne, from August to October 2021, across 40+ locations from all regions around the world.
Base: Dell Technologies conducted a survey with 10,500 senior business decision-makers, IT decision-makers and knowledge workers (employees involved in digital transformation) across 40+ countries.
In Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ), there were 2,900 respondents across 11 locations that were surveyed. The locations in APJ include Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In Singapore, there were 200 respondents that were surveyed.
For more information
If you would like to read more about the Dell research findings, please visit here to read the full results.
You can also read the Perspectives articles series here: https://www.dell.com/en-us/perspectives/series/breakthrough/
* Information courtesy of Dell Technologies and BCW *