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Key announcements from IBM across AI, sustainability, clients and ecosystem signals a ‘rapid reordering of business’ across Asia

IBM kicked off its annual flagship conference ‘Think’ in Singapore with Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Republic of Singapore. The event brings together clients, government and IBM Ecosystem partners from across Asia to discuss the need for a new era of innovation and the radical re-ordering of business and technology priorities in the face of disruption.

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Delivering the keynote, IBM General Manager, APAC, Paul Burton said, “As business leaders recognize the transformative ability and importance in almost every part of a business, technology is no longer viewed as just a cost of doing business. Technology is a source of fundamental competitive advantage. Statistics indicate more than half of all GDP created going forward will be because of digital transformation. This is due to the role technology can, and must, play if we are to solve some of the most enduring challenges that face businesses, governments and society today.”

IBM today announced two studies with findings relevant to Singapore and the APAC region. The first one is the IBM AI adoption Index study which has found that AI is fast becoming a great differentiator in business.

Singapore Insights from IBM Shows Steady Growth in AI and Sustainability Prioritization

The Global AI Adoption Index 2022, which surveyed 7,502 senior business decision-makers and showed business adoption of AI grew steadily in the last 12 months. New findings from Singapore found:

  • Almost 2 in every 5 IT professionals in Singapore report that their organisation is using AI in their business (39%).
  • According to the report, AI adoption in Singapore is being driven by a need to reduce costs and automate key processes (47%).
  • More than half of IT professionals in Singapore report their company is currently using or considering automation software or tools to drive greater efficiencies in business processes (53%) and IT operations (52%)
  • AI governance and management tools that do not work across all data environments (69%) and lack of skills/training (68%) are the largest barriers companies face in developing explainable and trustworthy AI.
  • Encouragingly, almost half of IT professionals in Singapore say their company is currently applying AI to accelerate ESG initiatives (46%), and nearly a quarter more say their company is planning to apply AI to their ESG initiatives (24%).

These findings support the second study, IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) CEO study which surveyed more than 3,000 CEOs worldwide. In Singapore, the study found:

  • 43% of surveyed CEOs in Singapore say increasing sustainability is a top priority – up 13% since 2021.
  • The biggest barrier for achieving their sustainability objectives for 65% of surveyed CEOs in Singapore is an unclear ROI economic benefit, more than half (57%) name a lack of insights from data, and 50% cite regulatory barriers.
  • Only 22% of Singapore respondents are implementing sustainability strategies across their entire organization

Mr Burton added, “The greatest challenge to successful implementation of new technologies is a shortage of skills and talent, and this is acting as a barrier to the pace of innovation and transformation for many organisations. IBM recognised this growing challenge and realised that strategic partnerships would become necessary to overcome skills and talent shortages.”

“IBM’s new ecosystem led approach represents the biggest transformation to our go-to-market model in 30 years, simplifying the way our partners work with us, access clients, and deliver consistent client experiences,” he said.

Today, IBM is announcing four transformative examples that demonstrate its commitment to clients and ecosystem partners.

After a successful pilot, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Thailand’s largest power producer under the supervision of the Ministry of Energy, announced today that it has expanded the use of AI-powered asset management solutions to all of its power plants. This includes its baseload and renewable power plants covering more than one million high-value assets in total. This transformation will help drive more accurate and faster power production, prediction, and planning, which can help lower the cost of power production and enable EGAT to maintain the electricity price for Thailand.

The single view of insights underpinned by real-time analysis of an asset’s configuration and the life of each component, are key for EGAT to move towards sustainable operations and reduce its carbon footprint in order to comply with Thailand’s energy sector ‘Carbon Neutrality’ goal by 2050, with a balance between power production cost, impact on environment and the reliability of Thailand’s power system.

Similarly, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has established a digital platform for asset performance evaluation with IBM to make strategic, data-based decisions and achieve business innovation and transformation. KEPCO can now digitize information on major assets across its entire process from power production, transportation to supply, and manage it on a single platform. KEPCO also reduces investment costs and improves work efficiency by making decisions based on risk, and data on replacement, management, and investment of obsolete facilities.

IBM is also jointly innovating with ISVs in the region. In today’s challenging environment, the financial services sector needs transformation to embrace operational resilience, data integrity, and recovery speeds. Today, IBM is announcing its latest collaboration with ecosystem partner, Silverlake Axis, combining Silverlake’s breadth of fintech solutions expertise with IBM’s superior infrastructure and support.

Silverlake Axis’ solutions are delivering operational excellence and enabling business transformations at more than 370 enterprise customers in over 80 countries.

Today IBM is also announcing that Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Thailand is adopting IBM zSystems, bringing the highly secure, resiliency platform to its core-banking applications. The move will support the agile microservice development of new services and products in response to today’s fast-paced digital consumer era.

The zSystem runs banking and finance applications that support massive customer data and online transactions to ensure SCB customers have reliable service 24×7 across 365 days. SCB also adopted IBM z/OS Connect to enable RESTFul APIs in its core banking applications on IBM zSystems. This modernization helps SCB to protect millions of dollars of investment on its existing platform, while also decreasing the time needed to develop and provide innovative customer-centric and personalized products and services to its customers across Thailand.

Key content from THINK on Tour Singapore can be viewed at www.ibm.com/Think.

Think on Tour will travel to more than a dozen cities around the world. For updates on confirmed cities, please visit: https://www.ibm.com/events/think/on-tour/.

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