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Elastic’s research shows conversational search is linked to productivity gains in Singapore

Around half (49%) of Singapore IT decision-makers believe search-powered generative AI could save employees at least two days per week.

New research by Elastic (NYSE: ESTC), the company behind Elasticsearch, found nearly all (99%) global IT decision makers, regardless of region or industry, recognise generative AI's (GenAI) transformative potential to influence change within their organisations. However, early adoption in continues to be slowed by chaotic data estates, search challenges, and fears around privacy and security, regulation, and internal skills gaps.

Despite these headwinds, the report – The Elastic Generative AI Report: One Year On, Identifying the Impact and Challenges of Early Generative AI Implementation Worldwide – found that most IT decision-makers in Singapore (86%) are eyeing increased investments in GenAI in 2024 and beyond. This points to optimism that these technologies are poised to drive operational efficiencies and productivity, accelerate decision-making, improve customer engagement, and bolster security postures.

“More than any other market in the region, the organisations in Singapore struggle to access and leverage data stored across multiple systems and formats. Users face the challenge of identifying the relationship between different data points, and they are searching for ways to break down data silos and better leverage that data,” said Ravi Rajendran, Area Vice President of ASEAN at Elastic.

“Although AI is where investment is concentrated, this is fundamentally an issue of search. Using GenAI to process data by searching and summarising and using it to better manage records is a key area of interest for organisations here.

“While data may fuel this technology, search is the engine that powers its effectiveness. Businesses that adopt search-powered GenAI quickest, anchored by security and grounded by business context, quickly and securely will become the market leaders for uncovering insights needed to build resilient modern businesses, accelerate innovation, and pioneer new bespoke user experience,” he said.

“GenAI is now a game changer for businesses. When integrated effectively with powerful search and observability tools, GenAI can address long-term global challenges faced by companies and the unique challenges that the markets in APJ are tackling,” said Chris Walker, VP Solutions Architecture APJ at Elastic.

“Organisations in Singapore are front runners in how they see GenAI technology working as a search tool, overhauling how engines can summarise search results and improve accuracy, but what stands out is how ahead they are in understanding the use case for observability and security,” he said.

Key findings

Singapore shows strong interest in GenAI, with many seeing it as a means to enhance efficiency, customer experience, and global scalability. Over half of the respondents believe GenAI will boost resource and operational efficiency (53%), customer experiences (52%), and translation and research capabilities (46%).

However, adoption faces hurdles. Despite 81% of organisations expecting increased budgets for GenAI, regulatory concerns (42%), skill gaps (40%), and the risk of generating false information (39%) slow progress. A significant 36% see GenAI as an opportunity to upskill staff.

Data issues complicate GenAI adoption further. Nearly half of Singaporean businesses struggle with fragmented data systems and obtaining timely insights, significantly more than the global average. Additionally, 44% find it challenging to correlate data points, impacting decision-making efficiency.

Despite these challenges, there's optimism about GenAI improving search functions, with 98% of respondents believing a conversational search experience would boost productivity significantly.

Singaporean organisations also face IT security and observability challenges, with nearly all encountering difficulties. Yet, there is confidence that GenAI will help overcome these obstacles by enhancing security responses, vulnerability detection, and data quality assessments.

The report was produced in conjunction with independent market research specialist Vanson Bourne and solicited 3,200 IT decision-makers and influencers from more than a dozen sectors, including telecommunications, public service, retail, and financial services, across the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

To uncover more insights, download the report and take the quiz to see where you are in your generative AI adoption journey.

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Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia is a news editor at Tech Edition. Her interest is in technology and startups, occasionally crunching news for gaming. Sofia enjoys playing video games, going on bike rides, and gardening when she isn't behind a keyboard.

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