Singapore leads in delivering superior digital government services

Photo by John Schnobrich

According to the VMware Digital Frontiers 3.0 Study, Singapore leads Southeast Asia and other developed economies in delivering superior digital experiences and trust when it comes to government-enabled digital services.

Nearly half of Singaporeans surveyed (49%) agreed that the Government now delivers better digital experiences and 56% of respondents shared that the Government has given them the assurance that their personal information is secure.

60% of Singaporeans also stated that they would be happy to continue interacting with the public sector digitally, positioning Singapore ahead of many of its counterparts and nations surveyed in this study, including US, UK, France, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

With 67% of Singaporeans defining themselves as being “digitally curious” or “digital explorers”, a significant proportion of Singapore’s residents are embracing digital services and expect the Government to deliver cutting-edge digital experiences, seamlessly and securely.

Government agencies in Singapore have responded accordingly with 48% of those surveyed sharing that Government organizations have delivered an overall improved digital experience to them over the last year. On the important topic of trust, Singapore also leads other surveyed nations with 56% of respondents stating that the Government has given them the assurance that their data and information is secure.

“Singapore has made digitalization a core agenda in its pursuit of a Smart Nation. From transforming Singapore’s innovation ecosystem, to building up a digitally-enabled citizenry, it is encouraging to see that our efforts are now paying off and is gaining traction with Singaporeans,” said Adrian Hia, Country Manager, VMware Singapore.

“To unlock greater growth and accelerating our Smart Nation push, we need to bridge the digital divide through continuous innovations and delivery of superior digital citizen experiences that delight Singaporeans.

“By harnessing next-generation technologies to deliver services seamlessly across platforms, devices and locations to its digital citizens, the public sector can strengthen its connections with Singaporeans and together we can emerge stronger as a nation.”

Despite being more digital savvy and open to embracing digital services as compared to their global counterparts, 48% of Singaporeans trust the Government in raising the personal levels of their digital literacy.

Half of respondents (50%) believe that it is the Singapore Government’s responsibility to increase their personal digital literacy levels, putting the country ahead of the six other nations and on par with Indonesia and Thailand.

This highlights the need for greater public efforts to continue educating and strengthening digital literacy of Singaporeans, and the local government agencies have responded with new initiatives that will support the Digital for Life movement to help build a digital inclusive society in Singapore. Some of these include the Digital #SmartNationTogether online channel and a collaborative portal to enhance digital access for needy beneficiaries.

Technology for connected and innovative ecosystems in Southeast Asia

In a fast-changing business environment, governments in the region have showcased the value technology brings to enable a connected and innovative ecosystem. While organizations were focused on responding and adapting to the pandemic to ensure business continuity in 2020, 2021 marks a turning point with innovation becoming a priority for future-ready organizations looking to accelerate their growth.

The study found that 78% of Southeast Asian consumers define themselves as “digitally curious” or “digital explorers” who look forward to organizations delivering more digital experiences and services. This puts consumers in the region ahead of their global counterparts from the US (59%), France (55%), Germany (57%) and the UK (64%).

Southeast Asian businesses and governments appear to have reaped the benefits of technology investments made in 2020 to manage the shift of life and business into the digital space, as their customers give them high marks.

According to the study, approximately 69% of consumers in Southeast Asia report that while 2020 had forced them to engage with organizations digitally, they found the experience to be enjoyable. This contrasts with the rest of the world: US (40%), France (40%), Germany (33%) and UK (33%).

In Southeast Asia, key industries such as Financial Services, Government and Retail lead the region’s digital transformation, with respondents saying that they are now happy to keep engaging with Financial Services (63%), Retail (60%) and Government (42%) organizations through digital means.

“Southeast Asian’s openness to richer digital experiences is a clarion call for organizations to step up their technology pivot to innovate swiftly and more securely, so they can meet the growing expectations from consumers,” said Sanjay K. Deshmukh, Vice President and Managing Director, Southeast Asia and Korea, VMware.

“Beyond responding to the initial shift in digital expectations, the key to unlocking greater growth is the delivery of superior digital experiences that delight Southeast Asian consumers. This means as businesses adapt and accelerate to the digital future, they must be able to develop, deliver and better secure applications and services seamlessly across platforms, devices and locations to digitally-hungry end users.”

Reflecting the new digital reality that businesses in the region now compete in, up to 77% of Southeast Asian consumers stated that they have started engaging with brands that delivered superior digital experiences, while 59% stated that they will switch to a competitor if the ongoing digital experience they have does not live up to expectations.

In a bid to capture this market opportunity, organizations must enable the security, user experience and speed of the digital services they offer. This is reflected in the top three critical digital experiences that Southeast Asian consumers value most: high level of protection for personal data (58%), ease of access all platforms and devices (45%) and faster speed of service (40%).

The digital expectation from Southeast Asian consumers is set to continue growing, with those surveyed saying they find Financial Services (55%), Retail (57%) and Government (34%) more exciting to engage with because of the digital services they offer.

Wholistic approaches critical to success

A wholistic approach that enables organizations to deliver superior digital experiences across any cloud, any application and any device, in a seamless and secure manner, will become a critical success factor in Asia’s rapidly digitalizing business environment. Progressing into 2021, VMware outlines key priorities that will further strengthen Asia’s transformation into a resilient, inclusive and innovation-led economy:

  • Empowering governments to build a multi-cloud and app future: Unlocking multi-cloud future with app-driven innovations for greater agility in a consistent and more secure environment that enables continuous innovation
  • Enabling innovation and productivity for a distributed workforce: Future ready workforce solutions will enable a seamless and more secure digital employee experience, driving greater outcomes in the new world of work
  • Intrinsic security for uninterrupted innovation: An intrinsic approach to enterprise security will provide an additional layer of robust protection for mission-critical operations and infrastructures to fast-track business innovation and resilience

“As Singapore gears up for recovery and growth in the coming year, the Government plays a critical role in moving the needle in digital literacy for Singaporeans as well as laying the digital foundation for businesses,” added Hia. “VMware is committed to enabling public and private organizations with digital innovations so they can better respond, adapt and accelerate their businesses as they navigate through uncertainties in today’s digital-first environment. We will continue to collaborate closely with Singapore’s innovation ecosystem to bolster digital capabilities and help move the economy faster to the future.”