Singapore. Credit: GraphicStock.
Singapore is a more digitally advanced nation relative to other leading developed countries, according to 52 percent of the 1,000 respondents in Singapore polled for EY's 'Savvy Singapore: Decoding a digital nation' report.
More than half of them (59 percent) also agree that the government is effectively leveraging technology to improve public services.
Privacy is a main concern for Singaporeans. Eighty-one percent of the respondents worry about how organisations collect, store and use data about them, and 75 percent want the government to impress greater controls and transparency.
Nearly half (43 percent) of the respondents call for the government to take a more active role in monitoring online activity too, but 20 percent disagree.
"The Singapore government has been proactively engaging digital technology to better serve the public. While the population holds a positive view of how they are being 'governed' in a digital age, there are still challenges to address and high expectations to be met around affordability, privacy, information usage, transaction security and digital content," said Jonathan Rees, EY Asean Advisory Digital leader
"With high levels of connectivity and concentration of data centres, Singapore must also be extra vigilant of the cyber risk environment. The outlook for Singapore as a Smart Nation is positive, but there is no room for complacency given how digitally well-informed and demanding the population is," he added.
Singapore has a highly device-centric population
The survey also shows that Singapore has a highly device-centric population. More than three quarters (78 percent) of the respondents check their device upon waking up, to the point where 26 percent of respondents' mobile phone usage exceeds five hours daily.
Sixty-eight percent use their phones or tablets everywhere and for everything - from social networking (98 percent) to online research (81 percent) on a daily basis.
They also express an appetite for and acceptance of new digital experience. Twenty-nine percent want to use modern payment methods such as mobile phone tap payments, and 55 percent expressed an interest in purchasing from more online retailers.
With 83 percent of the respondents saying they discover new products and services through online research and almost half (49 percent) conducting digital research while in store, retailers need to be discoverable through search engine optimisation.
Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents (88 percent) also expect websites to be mobile-optimised for viewing and many expect to enjoy the same experience both online and offline.
"Digital experiences are not just about online shopping and e-commerce. For many, the physical shopping journey is becoming a more digitally integrated one. For Singapore retailers, there is a significant opportunity in merging the brick-and-mortar store with digital experiences for a seamless, omni-channel service delivery," Rees commented.