February 29, 2024

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How services are transforming in a digital economy

The services industry is undergoing an evolutionary journey with the developments in technology. Starting from simple tools, then gaining speed with the internet, to the prevalence of mobile technologies, a new dawn appears for services. Emerging technology underpins the way services will be conducted, and more will be expected.

A New World of Services

Embracing the future, Singapore has rolled out Services 4.0. Presently, the services industry accounts for 72% of Singapore’s GDP and 74% of national employment. It is undeniable that disruption will hit this sector hard.

Services 4.0 envisions Singapore’s service economy where services are offered and delivered using advanced technology to deliver end-to-end, anticipatory, frictionless and empathic services in a cloud native architecture.

Understanding what the future holds lies in what these jargons mean.

Anticipatory services refer to AI enabled services which can predict a user’s wants even before an indication is made by the user. AI is also able to create services which know how a user is feeling or thinking, thanks to its empathic quality. User-centricity allows for frictionless services – continuous service provided to the right consumer at the right time and place.

When operating in a cloud native architecture, a collection of technologies or services can be found within a stack or infrastructure on cloud. These include multi-cloud, emerging technologies offered as component services, and APIs. The triage are plug-and-play and use the best tool for each job. Ultimately, Cloud Native Architecture is at the heart of the infocomm media ecosystem, making technologies more accessible to service providers and augmented workers.

Augmented workers no do repetitive and mundane tasks, since machines can take over. Instead, their talents and edge in creativity, analytical thinking, emotional intelligence and human insights can be used in tandem with technology to improve decision making and final products.

With all these changes, there’s no reason to think technology’s got its head in the cloud. Adopting a Cloud Native Architecture is imperative to meet the changing needs of customers and gain competitiveness. Emerging technologies can help improve the quality and type of services, as well as grow employment opportunities. However, inertia looms.

According to one study, only 9% of global firms have succeeded in transitioning to Cloud Native. This is out of a possible 71% which have indicated their interest in transition.

Not to be sullied by the lack of enthusiasm, the Singapore Government has already made the move to migrate to Cloud Native Architecture by establishing the Singapore Government Technology Stack.

Tech Trends for Services Industry

Through the Services and Digital Economy Technology Roadmap (SDE TRM), Services 4.0 was identified as a potential engine for future growth. In consultation with local and international business leaders and technology experts, the TRM offers a projection of what the digital technology landscape will look like in the next 3 to 5 years. Key shifts and technology trends have been identified.

Nine key technological trends are listed:

  1. Pervasive adoption of AI
  2. Increasing sophistication of AI, with more context and common-sense awareness. AI will also be more empathic and display affective behaviour
  3. Man-machine interactions and collaborations will rapidly expand in multiple ways
  4. Technology interfaces are to become more natural
  5. Codeless development tools will be deployed
  6. Digital platforms and Everything-as-a-service architecture will enable seamless services
  7. Cloud deployment matures with hybrid and multi-cloud
  8. Blockchain will help decentralise trust
  9. The API economy will take off

Business are encouraged to focus on these through adoption, innovation and investment. In doing so, it will guide and speed up the development of strategic priorities and the enablers as described in the Digital Economy Framework for Action.

Whatever solution chosen, they should be cost effective, scalable, accessible, and supports the changing needs of service providers in an agile manner.

Singapore’s Ambitions for Services 4.0

What do these trends mean for Singapore? Three ambitions flesh them.

 The first is to make Singapore a launchpad for Services 4.0. Making itself as a service hub, the aim is to make every business a digital one. More possibilities will be created for businesses in Singapore through emerging technologies.

Secondly, the Republic aims to build a competitive workforce in Singapore, augmented by technology.

Finally, a vibrant infocomm media ecosystem in Singapore that delivers Cloud Native solutions will bring emerging technologies closer to service providers and workers. This is the most critical of the three ambitions as it forms the foundation of the first two.

All in all, this will enable faster time to market from concepts to seamless services, and spur innovation. The Digital Economy Framework for Action, launched in May 2018, outlines recommendations to help realise these.

Every business has an opportunity to transform. IMDA’s Chief Executive, Mr Tan Kiat How said, “Leading business-to-consumer enterprises have already started their Services 4.0 journeys. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the new technology shifts, and IMDA’s programmes will provide the support to help every business become a digital business.”

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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