With Singapore ranked first in terms of technology readiness, it might not be surprising to see that multi-national companies (MNCs) in the country have adopted cloud based solutions and services at nearly three times the global average. This was according to a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ServiceNow and Workday.

The results - launched at a media roundtable today at the ServiceNow premises at Suntec City, hosted by Jimmy Fitzgerald of ServiceNow, and featuring Michael Barnes, vice president and research director at Forrester - revealed that 66% of respondents in Singapore have adopted cloud technologies.

The key drivers of doing so -  improving productivity, increasing revenues, providing better customer experience and business expansion.

Almost three quarters (72%) of CIOs  surveyed stated that their main business objectives for the year were improving employee productivity and operational efficiency, with 69% saying it was to increase revenues and improving customer experience, and 25% stated that entering new markets or segments was a key priority.

Jimmy Fitzgerald, vice president, ServiceNow Asia-Pacific and Japan said, “These results highlight the confidence that MNCs in Singapore have regarding the benefits of cloud solutions and services. It is clear that they are also utilising this technology to help make their organisations more agile and free their employees to focus on more productive work.”

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Despite the benefits of cloud based solutions, respondents in Singapore expressed concerns with regards to cyber security as their top priority.

When considering any new IT investments, 94% of respondents reported that improved security is critical. When looking specifically at cloud related technology, 78% echoed that view, reporting their concerns regarding data sovereignty, residency or security.

However, due to the cyber security measures taken by the Singapore government to protect businesses from cyber terrorism, only 59% of local respondents were concerned about hacking by foreign agencies.

On the topic of security, earlier studies pointed out that 63% of data breaches are caused by weak passwords, and that finance and HR staff pose the biggest security risk to firms. Regarding these situations, Fitzgerald and Barnes told Human Resources during the media roundtable that educating employees is the best solution.

Additionally, the study pointed out that MNCs in the lion city are acutely aware of the need to abide by Singaporean regulations, with 81% concerned about maintaining regulatory compliance.

“Cloud solutions and services enable employees to work anytime, anywhere from a multitude of different devices. Streamlined interfaces and always-available data has resulted in a new way of working that is driving a more innovative work culture and more agile business models among many companies in Singapore and the region.”, said Chano Fernandez, president of Workday APAC and EMEA.

Looking forward, 59% of respondents cited overcoming inflexible IT processes and managing complex technology environments as key obstacles facing them, with 56% also saying they are concerned about the rate of technology change.

Furthermore, when responding to these needs, 94% reported that improved security and speed of deployment were critical attributes.

According to the study, “successful CIOs are augmenting … traditional IT systems and approaches with cloud-based solutions to deliver the speed, flexibility and employee productivity that business needs to thrive in the age of the customer.”

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