9 in 10 Singapore firms see AI transforming industries

Generative AI and AI will significantly transform industries in the future, according to 90% of respondents from Singapore to the Dell Technologies Innovation Catalyst Research.   

Based on responses from 6,600 IT and business decision makers across 40 countries, 200 of which are from Singapore, the research suggests that while there is broad optimism for artificial intelligence and generative AI, the extent to which organisations are prepared for the rapid pace of change varies greatly. 

Among respondents, 87% say they are well positioned competitively and have a solid strategy. At the same time, over a third (36%) of the respondents are uncertain what their industry will look like in the next three to five years and nearly half (43%) report struggling to keep pace. 

Respondents cite data privacy and cybersecurity concerns (44%), lack of right talent (38%), and outdated technology environments (28%) as challenges they face in driving innovation. 

They cite generative AI’s transformative or significant potential to improve IT security posture (49%), streamline processes through improving customer experience (48%) and provide productivity gains or ability to do more (47%). 

Respondents are also aware of challenges to overcome — 66% fear generative AI will introduce new security and privacy issues and 77% agreed that their data and IP is too valuable to be placed in a generative AI tool where a third party may have access. 

More broadly, responses suggest that organisations are working through generative AI practicalities as they transition from ideation to implementation, with 47% saying they have begun implementing GenAI. 

As organisations increase adoption, concern centres around understanding where risks reside and who is responsible for them, with 81% agreeing that the organisation, rather than the machine, the user or the public, is responsible for any AI malfunction or undesired behaviour.   

“Singapore stands out as a prime location for AI adoption and development. Its leading role in the global AI landscape, coupled with the government’s strong commitment and investment, creates a fertile ground for innovation. Many businesses are taking action to harness the transformative potential of technologies like GenAI and bringing AI to their data to unlock value and drive growth,” said Andy Sim, VP and managing director in Singapore at Dell Technologies.

Cybersecurity more broadly continues to be a pain point for organisations. These concerns are well-founded, as 75% of respondents say they have been impacted by a security attack in the past 12 months. 

The majority (88%) are pursuing a Zero Trust deployment strategy and 80% say they have an Incident Response Plan in place to recover from a cyberattack or data leakage.  

The top three cited issues included phishing, data breaches and malware. Issues with phishing are indicative of a wider problem highlighted in the report, which is the role employees play in the threat landscape. 

For example, 75% of respondents believe some employees go around IT security guidelines and practices because they delay efficiency and productivity, and 68% say that insider threats are a big concern. This indicates a need to focus on training as employees are the first line of defence.  

The research also reveals modern data infrastructure’s critical role as technologies like GenAI gather pace and data volumes increase. Adopting a data-driven approach to capture and realise innovation projects across the organisation was cited as the number one area of improvement for businesses to accelerate innovation. 

Most IT decision makers (81%) say they prefer an on-premise or hybrid model, to address the challenges they foresee with implementing generative AI. 

The ability to share data across the business is also a key part of the innovation puzzle, with close to one-third (32%) saying they can turn data into real-time insights today to support innovation efforts. 

However, responses suggest organisations are acting on this challenge, with 91% saying that data is the differentiator and their 

Generative AI strategy must involve using and protecting that data. Almost half (51%) also claim they anticipate that the bulk of their data will come from the edge in the next five years.