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Mr. Heng Swee Kiat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Singapore has mentioned early this year that Singapore has the potential to position itself as a global Asian node for technology, innovation and enterprise. This is because Singapore has an exceptional enabling environment for digital transformation as well as innovation. Companies who do not adopt any form of cloud or digital transformation will tend to be at a higher risk of being disrupted, or worse, losing out altogether.

And thus, these are the top 4 trends not to be missed for 2019:

1. Increased Adoption of Emerging Technologies

Everybody needs to think digital or else will be left behind. Emerging technologies are evolving rapidly, and they are changing the way on how humans live and work these days – from augmented reality to cloud computing.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Many may perceive that AR only reside in the gaming and entertainment industry (e.g. Pokémon Go). However, there is more to this – helping business owners to boost their retail businesses. The reality technology that overlays virtual objects on the view of the real world allows users to experience AR using their tablets or smartphones. According to RubyGarage, about 50% of the customers are more likely to shop with a retailer that offers AR experience. This implies that brick and mortar stores can sustain their businesses with the integration of this technology even when e-commerce continues to grow every now and then.

Cloud Computing

Cloud gaming has been a hot topic these days and companies are doubling down to make it mainstream. As such, many companies start to set an increased budget for cloud computing services.

Cloud technology enables companies to scale their computing solutions as they grow and provide computing power. The flexibility that the clouds offer allow data management to be simpler. Furthermore, everything is being streamlined with the price reductions in cloud computing.

2. Redefined Future of Work

Can humans still stay strong and survive with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace? Will AI replace humans entirely and create an inevitable worldwide unemployment crisis?

Many are concerned that the rise of AI today will disrupt many careers and businesses. But many startups prove otherwise by creating more jobs and reinvent themselves with the aid of this new technology. With AI, there is no need to do most of the repetitive and basic problem-solving tasks manually. However, AI in the current state is still not capable enough to perform specialised tasks such as solving major healthcare issues and performing highly creative jobs.

The future of workplace can be further enhanced with 2 powerful forces – the adoption of AI in the workplace and the expansion of talents in the workforce. As AI takes over repeatable tasks, the work that the employees do will be less routine. This can free time for employees to sprout new concepts, ideas and views. They will then integrate their skillset (e.g. problem-solving skills, design thinking, interpretation and communication skills) with AI to ensure the work done can yield better results.

3. Adoption of Blockchain

In the advent of 2019, blockchain has been a hot topic that has created a significant buzz in many businesses across different industries. It is also adopted by many businesses to avoid getting middleman or third-party intermediary involved while conducting digital transactions.

In blockchain, trust is established through consensus and complex computer code instead of central intermediaries. Many businesses are comfortable adopting blockchain as it can work for almost all types of transaction mainly involving money and services.

4. Big Data Metrics for Smarter Business Decisions

All organisations need to have the ability to make wise decisions. Having the right data analysis can help companies to improve marketing, raise production, and develop greater efficiency. Data can be seen as a productivity driver when it comes to individual and team performance. It also helps employees to be more aware of their work habits as well as activities.

In addition, employers can also use data to enable smarter hiring choices. Tapping onto the available data helps the businesses to recruit and retain their desired talents. Companies can then have the best of both worlds – recruiting great talents to improve customer services and reduce costs.

All in all, if the business is not influenced by any aforementioned trend, it will be good to step back and rethink the approach on the creation of greater value. The power of integrating new technologies into business practices and processes is not to be understated. If the businesses in Singapore are not to strive for improvements and keep updated with the latest trends, then Singapore’s leading role in Asia will be at risk as other countries will then adopt the new technologies and catch up.

About BlackStorm Consulting

BlackStorm Consulting is a boutique growth consultancy firm that specialises in corporate strategy, profit management and investment management. We mainly serve clients in four sectors: FinTech, Gaming, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), and Manufacturing.

Our clients and connections are internationally present and range from small and medium sized businesses, MNCs, to government agencies.

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