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Cloud and mobile to drive greatest market disruption: KPMG Survey 

Singapore, 30 August 2013

Singapore tech leaders among most confident about their country’s technology innovation
Cloud and mobile innovations have been identified as the most disruptive technologies in consumer and business markets over the next three years. This is a key finding from the soon to be released KPMG 2013 Global Technology Innovation Survey.

In its second edition this year, the survey asked 811 global tech leaders to identify disruptive technologies, innovation trends and the scope of change.

Some key findings:

  • About a third of the global respondents ranked mobile as the next indispensable consumer technology.
  • Cloud was ranked second at 29 percent, followed by biometrics (gesture/facial/voice) at a distant 4 percent.
  • As for technology drivers of business transformation, 32 percent of respondents said cloud has the greatest impact.
  • Mobile was ranked second with 26 percent, and big data/analytics was in third place with eight percent.

"Ongoing innovation in key technology areas such as cloud, mobile services, and big data is enabling development of solutions to problems in a number of sectors. KPMG's survey findings indicate that technology leaders are bullish on the power of these technologies to continue fuelling more innovation in coming years," said Mr Juvanus Tjandra, Partner, Management Consulting, KPMG in Singapore.

"At the same time, over the next three to four years, other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and biometrics enabled by cloud and mobile will lead to additional innovation opportunities that we cannot imagine today."

Cloud and mobile also ranked tops by Singapore respondents

Tech leaders in Singapore also rated cloud and mobile as the two technologies with the greatest market disruption. Specifically, about a third of Singapore respondents identified cloud software as a service and platform as a service as being the technologies most important in enabling the next indispensable consumer technology.

According to these respondents, more valuable social networking and collaboration experience is a clear consumer benefit of these innovations. However, the key challenge to consumer adoption is pricing.

With regard to driving business transformation, Singapore respondents expect cloud platform as a service and mobile communications to take the lead. Social networking platforms were also viewed positively, with nine percent of respondents choosing the technology as being key to driving business transformation.

Singapore respondents believe businesses will benefit from improved business efficiencies, higher productivity and cost reductions. However, measuring return on investment is the biggest challenge to adoption.

US and China to lead in disruptive breakthrough technologies

About 37 percent of technology executives surveyed worldwide said the United States of America (US) shows the most potential for developing disruptive breakthroughs with a global impact in the next four years.

China was ranked second with 24 percent of respondents selecting the country as displaying the most promise for disruptive breakthroughs. India, selected by 10 percent of respondents, was in third place. Last year, the US and China tied for top spot on the same question.

Reflecting on this shift in perceptions, Mr Tjandra said: "The results reflected uncertainty in the US’ long-standing position as a technology innovation leader. Over the last year however, the continued growth in the US technology sector and economy has removed most doubts."

He added, "Moving forward, we believe China will continue to innovate at an impressive speed, with domestic consumption driving most innovation."

Perceptions of Singapore as a country for disruptive technology-breakthroughs remain unchanged with 3 percent of global respondents selecting the country.

Said Mr Tjandra: "While Singapore does not immediately come to mind when it comes to disruptive technology breakthroughs, the nation has been strongly supportive of innovations. In the last decade, Singapore has transitioned from just being an attractive business hub to one that is also focused on high-value industries such as biotechnology. It is also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to research and development, with big names such as HP Labs and Gemalto setting up research sites here."

Singapore tech leaders among most confident about their country's technology innovation

The survey this year saw the debut of an index of confidence in a country’s technology innovation prospects. Respondents were asked to rate the success of their country in enabling technology innovation based on 10 criteria which included availability of talent, access to capital and government incentives.

The global average index for the 12 countries surveyed stood at 60 and taking the lead was India with an index of 72. The high confidence India’s technology leaders have in their country’s prospects spans nearly all factors except for government incentives.

Israel came in second at 71 with government incentives and supporting ecosystem receiving the lowest ratings. The US with its numerous technology clusters ranked third with an index of 65.

Singapore came in fourth with an index of 64. Said Mr Tjandra: "Singapore performed well in several criteria, such as having access to talent, incentives, education programmes and relevant partnerships. However, respondents indicate far less confidence in having access to an innovation and mentoring network. These are possible areas Singapore can seek to improve upon."

The full survey report will be available in September 2013.