Only half of SG CEOs confident in understanding ROI from tech investments

With digital transformation on the agenda for many Singapore brands, it is not surprising to find many CEOs driving the charge. A recent study by KPMG has found Singapore CEOs being confident about their personal ability to lead business transformation (58%), although less confident than CEOs (72%) globally.

However, proportionately more Singaporean (62%) than global CEOs (30%) struggled with concurrently transforming both the digital and non-digital aspects of their business. Meanwhile, only 50% of Singaporean CEOs were confident of understanding expected returns from technology investments. This is in contrast to global CEOs (79%).

Only 38% of Singapore CEOs were confident that their existing leadership team was adequately equipped to drive digital transformation. This is compared to global leaders (44%).

Half of Singapore CEOs surveyed also believed that their company boards had very demanding expectations of investment returns on digital transformation.

Confidence in data analytics “lacking”

Even with advances in data analytics, confidence in data analytics is lacking, cited by 46 % of Singapore CEOs. However, as artificial intelligence advances, many (54 %) believe that it could improve the capabilities of their data analytics. 54% of Singapore CEOs also do not expect to increase the use of predictive models over the next three years, similar to the views of 49 % of CEOs globally.

58% of CEOs surveyed also admitted that over the last three years, they have sometimes ignored the insights of their data analysis models, preferring to rely on their own experience or intuition.

This trend is pervasive, KPMG added, with 67 % of CEOs globally admitting the same, the report added.

Data sources that CEOs trust for strategic decisions have also shifted, with 85% of Singapore CEOs saying that they trust information from their own social networks (social media) over other sources. As a data source, social media also ranked highest among ASEAN and global CEOs.

Independent information providers (77%) came in as second most trusted in Singapore, with traditional media trailing at 69%, followed by open-data from government agencies (65%), and government-commissioned research (50%).

KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook surveyed 1,300 CEOs this year. This is to garner insights into the expectations of CEOs to business growth, challenges and strategies for the next three years. The CEOs operate in 11 key industries: asset management, automotive, banking, consumer and retail, energy, infrastructure, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, technology and telecom.