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Singapore businesses are positive about digital partnerships: Telstra report

Zafirah Salim | Dec. 8, 2015
The report highlighted that only 41 percent of Singapore businesses believe their digital partnerships have proven their value “beyond doubt”, less than the global average.

As opposed to traditional in-house R&D and acquisition strategies, businesses in Singapore are increasingly relying on digital partnerships to innovate and drive revenue.

This is according to Telstra's second report in their global research series, titled 'Connecting Companies: Strategic Partnerships in the Digital Age'. Conducted in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the survey polled over 1,000 senior business leaders across 20 industries from Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, North America and Australia.

The survey revealed that the primary motivation of digital partnerships is to develop new capabilities that serve the 'always on' customer, including the mobile-first customers of the rising middle classes in Asia.

In Singapore, 66 percent have entered a digital partnership over the past 12 months. However, the survey highlighted that there is more work to be done, with only 41 percent of Singapore businesses believing their digital partnerships have proven their value "beyond doubt", less than the global average.

In fact, 37 percent of them said that they expect these digital partnerships to generate between 10 to 25 percent of business revenue in the next 12 months.  

The research also stated that we are now in an era of the "co-corporation", with half of the local respondents believing that companies will have to be part of a network to maximise technology trends in the future.

Additionally, nearly half (49 percent) of Singapore businesses view themselves as embracing digital disruption. However, only 16 percent feel as though they are responsible for it, one of the lowest scores across all countries surveyed.

Most of our Singapore businesses are looking to support their start up community with nearly a third (28 percent) of businesses surveyed viewing technology driven startups as a potential business partner. This is however lower than some of their Asia neighbours compared to the likes of China, where over half of their respondents feeling that way.

Singapore organisations are balanced about their positioning in their markets with over half (54 percent) claiming they view themselves as "Opportunistic: we must compete but we also have something to learn from them" when asked how they would react if a large technology company was preparing to enter their market. There is still some caution however, with over a third (31 percent) of respondents either unlikely or highly unlikely to form a digital partnership with a competitor.

Although Singapore organisations prefer to collaborate closer to home with 37 percent opting to be most likely to enter into digital partnerships with companies from South East Asia, the greater China region is also attractive with over a third (33 percent) eyeing it up for partnership opportunities.

Martijn Blanken, Group Managing Director, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services said that partnerships are a key part of business strategies.


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