Hong Kong companies like technology in principle but not in practice, HSBC survey finds

High knowledge of buzzwords though little true understanding

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 September, 2016, 8:10pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 September, 2016, 9:52pm

Hong Kong companies are failing to take advantage of new digital technologies, even though they say that they are well aware of the potential benefits that these could provide, a study has found.

Common barriers to success among businesses in Hong Kong include lack of knowledge and expertise and little sense of urgency in adopting business-related technology, according to research from HSBC Commercial Banking.

The Digital for Business Market Study found that 74 per cent of respondents did not have plans to apply digital technology to their businesses, despite the fact that 69 per cent said they thought such technology could bring significant advantages. These advantages included improving efficiency and driving business development.

“Business owners should take a step forward in translating their personal usage of technology into making use of it in their businesses. Companies that have embraced digital technology will be in a better position to grasp growth opportunities in the future,” said Albert Chan, HSBC’s head of commercial banking in Hong Kong.

The study also found that while Hong Kong companies showed a high awareness of technology buzzwords, they often did not understand what these meant in reality. For example, 89 per cent of respondents said they were aware of cloud technology, but only 35 per cent claimed to really know what it was. Similar awareness applied to “big data”, “artificial intelligence” and “virtual reality”.

When it comes to cloud computing adoption, Hong Kong has been falling behind Singapore.

A survey published last week by Workday, Forrester Research and ServiceNow, found that 16 per cent of respondents in Singapore had fully adopted cloud computing and made it part of their core IT philosophy versus just 6 per cent in Hong Kong. Forty two per cent of Hong Kong respondents said that they had no plans to adopt it.