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Singapore CIOs lag in machine learning adoption, according to “The Global CIO Point of View” Survey

Singapore CIOs lag in machine learning adoption

ServiceNow recently released the results of its “The Global CIO Point of View”, and found that the adoption of machine learning is on the rise in the enterprise. However, it was revealed that Singaporean respondents are lagging behind their peers in Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe in adopting machine learning.

The report surveyed 500 CIOs from around the world with almost 10% from Singapore, to uncover the competitive benefits of adopting machine learning and hear how these leaders are accommodating digital labour, including creating new jobs that focus on work with intelligent machines.

A third (32%) of CIOs in Singapore surveyed said their organisation are using machine learning in some or all parts of their business, compared to counterparts in Australia (59%) and New Zealand (49%). 3 key areas were identified as barriers to adoption and maturation of automated decision making in their organisation:

·     70% of CIOs in Singapore cite outdated processes and insufficient data quality (65%) as a substantial barrier to adoption.

·     35% cite the lack of skills to manage and maintain smart machines, and a lack of budget for new skills (61%).

·     Almost 40% of respondents in Singapore feel that there is a lack of budget allocated for new technology in their organisation.

More than half (52%) of CIOs in Singapore surveyed agree on the ability of machine learning to make complex decisions that are imperative to the success of their organisation, with 54% respondents citing that machine learning as a strategic focus for their organisation. The enthusiasm for this technology is driven by widely-held confidence by CIOs that greater automation through machine learning will increase the accuracy (80%) and speed of decisions (87%).

Machine learning software promise to analyse and improve its own performance without direct human intervention, giving it the ability to make increasingly complex decisions as it learns:

·    87% of Singapore CIOs cite profitability growth and top-line growth as the area that would benefit the most from decision automation over the next 3 years.

·      59% said that product development and research are automated to an extent but still requires substantial human intervention.

·    41% of CIOs expect decision automation brought about by machine learning to allow more room for developing new products and services for the organisation.

·     76% said that routine decision making takes up a meaningful amount of employee and executive time especially in departments like Finance and Human Resources (57%). CIOs in Singapore expect decision automation to contribute to their organisation’s employee productivity by 41%, and talent recruitment and retention by 35%.

The survey also found that 28% of CIOs in Singapore are making some investments in machine learning currently, and this number is expected to grow within the next few years as Singapore gears towards a Smart Nation. Half of CIOs in Singapore say that they are making organised changes to processes or leadership to prepare their organisation for machine learning adoption.

Machine learning is not just about the right technology – organisations must train employees to work with machines and redefine their job scope to accommodate the necessary skillsets, which are diverse across multiple disciplines from engineering to data science, critical thinking to problem solving.

Organisations in Singapore have shown that they are willing to make such changes to make rapid progress with machine learning:

·   17% of CIOs in Singapore have already set plans for workforce size and role changes within their organisation.

·      More than half of CIOs in Singapore (52%) have begun to redefine job descriptions to include a focus on work involving intelligent machines – well ahead of Asia-Pacific peers in Australia (43%) and New Zealand (27%).

·     Almost 40% of respondents said that they have developed a roadmap for future process change.


Achieving Value from Machine Learning

ServiceNow recommends five steps on how CIOs can jumpstart their journey to digital transformation with machine learning:

1) Build the foundation and improve data quality. One of the top barriers to machine learning adoption is the quality of data. If machines make decisions based on poor data, the results will not provide value and could increase risk. CIOs must utilise technologies that will simplify data maintenance and the transition to machine learning.

2) Prioritise based on value realisation. When building a roadmap, focus on those services that are most commonly used, as automating these services will deliver the greatest business benefits. At a high level, where the most unstructured work patterns that could benefit from automation? Commit to re-engineering services and processes as part of this transformation, and not simply lifting and shifting current processes into a new model.

3) Build an exceptional customer experience. A core benefit of increasing the speed and accuracy of decision-making lies in creating an exceptional internal and external customer service. When creating a roadmap to implement machine learning capabilities, imagine the ideal customer experience and prioritise investment against those goals.

4) Attract new skills and double down on culture. CIOs must identify the roles of the future and anticipate how employees will engage with machines – and start hiring and training in advance. CIOs must build a culture that embraces a new working model and skills. That means establishing guidelines for executives, engineers, and front-line workers about their work with machines and the future of human-machine collaboration.

5) Measure and report. The benefits of machine learning may be clear to CIOs, but other C-level executives and corporate boards often need to be educated on its value. CIOs must set expectations, develop success metrics prior to implementation, and build a sound business case in order to acquire and maintain the requisite funding. CIOs should also consider building automated benchmarks against peers in their industry and other companies that are of similar size.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit