This, and other SMB technology insights revealed in IDC Survey Commissioned by ASUS
SINGAPORE, 12th March — At the IDC & ASUS Webcast 2021 Singapore – Digital Transformation for the Next Normal in Asia/Pacific, ASUS revealed that 45% of Singapore SMBs are Likely to Convert to a 100% Laptop Setup Post COVID-19, underscoring the importance of mobility in a hybrid workplace model. This finding, among other interesting strategic insights to SMB technology use and how COVID-19 has affected related decisions, were revealed in an ASUS-commissioned, independent survey conducted by leading technology research firm, IDC.
The “IDC Asia/Pacific Laptops and Workspace Trends Survey 2020” was conducted in mid-2020 in 10 countries across Asia Pacific, including Singapore. The survey sought to discover the challenges of remote working and the impact on SMBs’ provisioning of laptops and other work devices and involved 2,018 respondents across Asia Pacific, split equally between employers (IT decision makers) and employees who use laptops for work.
Asia Pacific SMBs Not Ready for Long-Term Remote Working Arrangements
At the Asia Pacific level, the survey reveals that businesses are not attuned to the “work-anywhere” trend brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, only 28% of business owners in Asia Pacific expect employees to continue working remotely post COVID-19, with almost 40% anticipating a return to office. This short-term focus highlights the challenges that remote working entails – particularly around security, operational, collaboration / /communication, and productivity issues. But this also means that businesses are not supporting their employees fully with the right devices for a prolonged work from home (WFH). IDC stated that this short-term orientation will have a significant impact on the devices that are being purchased now and in future, with a profound, negative effect on employee productivity
Key Singapore Findings
For Singapore in particular, the survey found that only about half of SMBs (48%) were ready for WFH arrangements brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, over a third (35%) of those SMBs said that they were not completely prepared with the office equipment and software to enable remote working and that 50% of employers expect their workforce to return to the office once the situation is resolved as opposed to the Asia Pacific average of 46%. This revealed a general lack of long-term planning for remote working by Singapore SMBs.
However, 45% of Singapore SMBs (the highest in Asia/Pacific) are likely to move to a 100% laptop setup post COVID-19 and 61% plan to increase their laptop investments by 2022; indicating that this attitude is changing rapidly to cope with the situation better.
Other key Singapore SMB findings from the survey include:
- 62% of employees stated that businesses that offer advanced equipment and flexible working arrangements have a competitive edge over other companies
- 54% of businesses only refresh laptops when the staff complain that they are slow, and another 46% only do so when they are broken, whenever budget allows
- Singapore has the longest replacement cycles for laptops in Asia Pacific, with companies refreshing their employees’ laptops every 4 years on average before COVID-19 pandemic, and 3.7 years on average after. ASUS speculates that this is because Singapore SMBs tend to buy more expensive and powerful systems than the rest of APAC which extends service life.
- 61% of employees in Singapore want to have a say in the allotment of their devices
- 63% of Singapore businesses are considering procuring laptops/desktops under a lease model
- 80% of Singapore organizations use a laptop for web conferencing with a built-in camera and microphone, as compared to 74% in Asia/Pacific
 Asia Pacific markets involved in survey: Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam