Singapore, South Korea and Japan lead Asian Digital Transformation Index

Singapore has topped the Asian Digital Transformation Index due to strong scores in digital infrastructure and industry connectivity. The two other countries in the Top 3 are South Korea and Japan.

Released by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Telstra, the Index shows which countries in Asia have the necessary building blocks in place to ensure business success in a connected world.

The study assesses the overall environment for digital transformation in organisations across three pillars: enabling ICT infrastructure, pool of relevant talent and willingness to partner with others.

The ranking and scores are as follows:

  1. Singapore – 75.6
  2. South Korea – 72.5
  3. Japan – 70.7
  4. Hong Kong – 65.7
  5. Taiwan – 65.1
  6. Malaysia – 42.0
  7. China – 33.9
  8. Thailand – 23.9
  9. India – 19.3
  10. Philippines – 18.8
  11. Indonesia – 16.0

“Overall, Singapore is number one due to strong scores in digital infrastructure and industry connectivity, in particular as it relates to ICT expenditure, percentage of population covered by 4G networks, ICT access and usage, smartphone penetration rate and ICT laws,” said Charles Ross, an analyst at EIU.

“Singapore’s score in the Index has benefited greatly from the government taking the lead when it comes to infrastructure development, but also in new policy initiatives as it relates to digital transformation. In 2014, the country created the Smart Nation initiative, which seeks to improve the lives of Singaporeans, create new jobs and increase business productivity through the use of technology.”

Singapore, South Korea and Japan lead the way

Developed economies generally fare better in the Index (Hong Kong is fourth and Taiwan is fifth) and lead their emerging market counterparts in the region on some key measures. The primary reason is that their digital infrastructure is at a more advanced stage, which organisations within those economies can leverage to their advantage in the global marketplace. Without digital infrastructure there cannot be advanced digital transformation, a point clearly acknowledged by survey participants.