Why digitally-capable Southeast Asian firms are faring better

Southeast Asian companies that are able to make data-driven decisions are reporting stronger profit growth, higher employee engagement as well as more diverse work cultures.

A majority of Southeast Asian organisations are not prepared for digital transformation, which a new study by SAP SE and Oxford Economics found is holding them back from achieving stronger financial performance and happier employees. 

That's because less than one-quarter of Southeast Asian businesses are “digital leaders”, or organisations that employ executives who communicate company-wide digital strategies, keep management and worker skills up to date, and streamline organisational structures, revealed the Leaders 2020 study.

While this is higher than the global average of 16%, the study found that there was nevertheless more room to grow.

Another key quality of digital leaders is the ability to make data-driven decisions, of which 61% of Southeast Asian firms were found to possess.

Three in five local organisations also feel that employees are equipped with the necessary skills to keep up with digital technology, which is slightly above the global average of 59%

Companies which are staffed by digital leaders are also reporting stronger profit growth, higher employee engagement as well as cultures that are more inclusive.

  • Stronger financial performance: 76% of companies characterised as digital leaders report strong revenue and profit growth, compared to 60% of all other Southeast Asian entities who are not.
  • Satisfied and engaged employees: Effective digital leadership drives more than financial performance—it also creates healthier cultures. Nearly 90% of digital leaders have employees who are more satisfied, compared with just 51% for those who do not.  
  • Higher retention: 75% of digital leaders also have employees who are more likely to stay in their jobs if given the chance to leave, as compared to 45% in the region.
  • More mature talent strategies: Digital leaders are more likely to invest in talent and have much more advanced strategies for talent recruitment, development and retention. For example, 56% of digital leaders mainly fill roles from within the company, as compared to just 33% for the rest of the region.

While most Southeast Asian companies also agree on the positive impact workplace diversity has on culture, only those leading digital transformation are more likely to recognise the financial benefits of diversity.

“A diverse workforce encourages bold, innovative ideas to flourish and in turn, presents insights which are only made possible through that diversity. It is of little coincidence that these two capabilities – leveraging data for decisions and maintaining a diverse workforce – both occur for high-performing organisations,” said Scott Russell, president and managing director, SAP Southeast Asia. 

Click here for more SMEs News Click here for more HR Technology News Click here for more Talent Management News Click here for more Learning and Development News Click here for more Recruitment News Click here for more Employee engagement and experience News Click here for more Compensation and Benefits News Click here for more Mobility News Click here for more Employee Health and Wellness News Click here for more Leadership News
Senior Ministry of Manpower officer killed in car accident
- 27 Apr 2017
She was hit by her husband, who witnesses said had reversed his car by mistake.
Visa to develop Singapore polytechnic students for growing FinTech sector
- 27 Apr 2017
This joint initiative aims to narrow the FinTech skills gap and strengthen the local skilled talent pool.
Malaysia's economic transformation project created over 140,000 jobs
- 26 Apr 2017
The east coast socio-economic transformation programme has also attracted S$32.6 billion worth of private investments.
New skills guide introduced for Singapore maritime workers
- 26 Apr 2017
This announcement comes on the same day Singapore was named the world's top maritime capital for the third consecutive time.
How can Singapore SMEs transform their operations?
- 22 Mar 2017
Without big budgets to hire the right skills, how can Singapore small and medium enterprises (SMEs) even tap on the Singapore Government's SME working capital loan to innovate their operations?
Malaysian employers must pay foreign worker levy themselves
- 04 Jan 2017
With effect from January 1 this year, Malaysian employers who wish to hire foreign workers will have to pay for the levies out of their own pockets. test