At least half of all Singaporeans surveyed by financial management solutions provider Intuit Inc. said they have heard of cloud computing, but only a few of them realise its full potential and capabilities.
The study also found that there is higher cloud awareness among the older working age group (40-59 year olds), indicating that Gen X is keeping ahead of the technology curve.
“Cloud computing is all the rage now, as it is answering people’s perpetual need for IT in a significant way, with its enormous scalability and mobility,” said Arjun Chopra, Senior Marketing Leader at Intuit Singapore. “We expect general consumers and companies to embrace its full capabilities, as they become more exposed to different services and applications.”
The wide-ranging online survey of 1,000 respondents was carried out to uncover the level of empowerment Singaporeans feel in different areas of their lives – from IT attitudes and practices to entrepreneurial intentions and work environment.
A majority of participants see technology as a great empowering tool in their lives, with Facebook emerging as the most useful social media conduit in helping to expand business networks, on top of YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In the area of business communications, most people say they are constantly connected to their emails, with 55% checking their work correspondence at least once every 1-2 hours outside the office, indicating a constant need for effective mobile solutions.
However, with greater connectivity, respondents express significant fears over online security and privacy even though only a minority have experienced online identity theft.
“This empowerment survey has revealed how Singaporeans feel about different levels of freedom and control in their lives. There is growing interest in this phenomenon, particularly with the explosion of modern technology such as smart phones and social media, which have literally put the power to communicate into the hands of the people,” said Chopra.
Singaporeans also convey a strong desire to be entrepreneurs in the survey. Some 73% of men and women here, most of whom in their 30s, said they have considered starting up their own business at some point in their lives.
However, most cite business development as well as sales and marketing as their top obstacle to realising their dream, followed by effective procurement or supplier relationships. Book-keeping or accounting is listed as their third challenge.
“It is great to see that a large majority of people here possess an entrepreneurial spirit. It bodes well for the future of Singapore, where SMEs employ nearly six in ten workers and contribute more than 50% of the GDP,” said Chopra. “Small businesses have a significant effect on our economy and entrepreneurs maintain that creative spark in industries, and ensuring economic resilience. It is important to support this growing appetite for entrepreneurism by providing the right resources, e.g. financial management know-how, to set budding business owners on the path to success.”
Desire for more work autonomy
In terms of management at work, most felt that flexible and mobile work practices should be encouraged in today’s society. However, only 4 in 10 Singaporean companies see strategic value in equipping employees with remote working arrangements, allowing staff to work remotely to increase personal work productivity or meet specific deadlines. The majority offer this arrangement only as a convenient option, e.g. to allow employees to attend to personal/family illness.
Some 47% of respondents who do not have flexible working provisions in their organisations recognise this as an important option – especially those in their 30s – mainly for the flexibility to care for and spend time with their families.
“Studies have shown that some companies have reported an increase in productivity with home-based or off-site work arrangements, as long as they set clear ground rules and performance expectations,” said Chopra. “We should look towards developing a more progressive work culture in Singapore, especially if we want to retain talented employees who need more flexibility to attend to their needs at home."