Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud transformation are emerging as the dominant areas of IT investment for Singapore organisations in 2024, according to a new survey conducted by Rackspace Technology in association with Dell and VMware.
The research, that is part of the 2024 IT Outlook Report, revealed that 99% of Singapore organisations are preparing to leverage Generative AI, as businesses continue to wrestle with issues related to IT recruitment and training.
The survey encompassed 1,420 global IT professionals and found that 64% of Singapore businesses are planning to enhance their IT investments over the coming 12 months due to prevailing economic conditions.
Furthermore, 64% viewed pervasive AI as the technology which would deliver the most significant positive impact on their organisations in the coming year, followed by increases in regulation at 56%.
Commenting on the findings, Sandeep Bhargava, SVP, Global Services and Solutions, Public Cloud Business Unit at Rackspace Technology, stated, "Despite economic uncertainties, the 2024 IT landscape unveils a resolute commitment from Singaporean businesses to utilise the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud technologies."
He added, however, that the road towards these goals was not without obstacles, citing "technological infrastructure support, scarcity of skilled IT talent and data privacy" as key challenges.
Of key interest was the revelation that 33% are either in the production stage of projects or have already begun and plan to broaden their work in the field of generative AI.
This number is accompanied by a further 66% who are either contemplating the use of this technology or plan to do so. It seems that the approach to AI is primed to become more widespread, with 67% anticipating the integration of generative AI into some or all processes within the next 12 months.
However, difficulties persist. A notable 40% of those surveyed faced inadequate technological infrastructure support for AI, 35% struggled to demonstrate its value, while 28% identified a lack of skilled IT staff as a substantial hurdle.
Concerns over data privacy also continue, with just 42% of organisations having strategies or policies in place to address such matters.
Changing technology priorities were also highlighted, with edge computing gaining increasing attention, expected to be part of the IT infrastructure for 30% of organisations within 12 months, up from the current 26%. Respondents also indicated developing challenges in relation to workload migration to the cloud, with resource shortages identified as the primary obstacle cited by 39%.
In the midst of increasing emphasis on AI and cloud, the scarcity of skilled workers presents a persistent problem. According to the survey, 76% of respondents identified a shortage of trained IT talent as a significant issue. Roles proving particularly difficult to fill include 5G specialists, data scientists, data engineers and cybersecurity experts. The rapid pace of technology advancement was recognised as a core driver behind rising IT labour costs.