Singapore Ranks 1st On Asian Digital Transformation Index

Singapore Ranks 1st On Asian Digital Transformation Index

by November 22, 2016

connecting-capabilitiesThe Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released a global research project commissioned by Telstra, showing which countries in Asia have the necessary building blocks in place to ensure business success in a connected world.

Paul Tyler, Telstra’s Group Managing Director, International, said the research was in recognition of the fact high quality digital infrastructure, an educated and technically literate workforce and a well-functioning technology ecosystem were the building blocks of success for companies and countries alike in the connected world.

“As part of their research, the EIU has surveyed more than 850 businesses and 94 per cent said a country’s infrastructure is important to their organisation’s digital transformation, reinforcing the fact that access to high quality telecommunications and technology services is vital for business success,” said Mr. Tyler.

Paul Tyler“Indeed, as e-commerce and digital processes only grow in importance, countries that fall behind when it comes to their digital infrastructure, human capital or ecosystem risk putting their economy at a disadvantage when it comes to competing on a global scale and attracting investment.”

The EIU’s ‘Connecting Capabilities’ report includes the first ever Asian Digital Transformation Index, which goes beyond a narrow definition of digital transformation at organisations. The Index is a quantitative ranking of 11 Asian markets and three global comparators using 20 indicators across three key categories relevant to business performance: digital infrastructure, human capital and industry connectedness.

While the need for businesses to digitally transform has been acknowledged across the board, the Asian Digital Transformation Index addresses a more pertinent question: On a macroeconomic level, is the overall environment conducive enough for local and regional companies looking to digitally transform?


Key findings include:

connecting-capabilities-0· In Asia, Singapore leads the way. The city-state’s strong performance is primarily due to its well-developed digital infrastructure, as well as a highly supportive and coordinated set of government policies in support of infrastructure development, business use of technology and entrepreneurship.

· Singapore ranks behind Japan in industry connectivity, which is broadly, the ability to draw on resources external to the organisation such as digital partnerships with other companies, networks or communities.

connecting-capabilities-0· Recruiting the right talent is a challenge in Singapore, which ranked fourth on human capital. Building talent pools with advanced digital skills and expanding data sharing to enrich its firms’ digital partnerships are key areas for improvement.

· Asia behind US, Australia and UK
. The region still has some catching up to do. While several Asian countries are performing well, a comparison with the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom shows the region as a whole is behind when it comes to digital infrastructure and human capital.



“In the EIU survey, 87% of companies globally agreed digital transformation will be important to their organisation over the next three years, but if your business lacks access to the necessary infrastructure, skills and ideas, then it would be difficult to take full advantage of the opportunities created by digital technology,” said Mr. Tyler.

“In this regard, 55 per cent of companies in Singapore say the country has been only “somewhat successful” in providing an environment for digital transformation.”

connecting-capabilitiesThe EIU survey also revealed significant differences between industries when it comes to their approach to digital transformation. Across all countries, the financial services industry led the way in their commitment to digital transformation, while logistics and transportation has the lowest results for taking responsibility for digital disruption.

“The research shows companies across all major sectors are looking to digital transformation to deliver benefits like lower costs, as well as capture new customers, products and markets. This research makes an important contribution to digging deeper into what is required to realise these goals.”

The full report and the data used to compile the Index can be found at