Insights on industry transformation

18 April 2018

The world is rapidly changing, shaped by digitalisation and digital disruptions that is rewriting the rules of traditional industries and incumbent players. It is in recognition of this that the Singapore Government announced the $4.5 billion Industry Transformation Programme, designed to address a variety of challenges across 23 industries to spur innovation and internationalisation.

A series of roadmaps known as Industry Transformation Maps1 (ITMs) have been formulated to address specific issues and will cover 80 percent of the economy2. The various industry niches are grouped into six clusters spearheaded by their own sub-committees, and broadly categorised into manufacturing, built environment, trade & connectivity, essential domestic services, modern services and lifestyle.


Transforming retail and finance

The two primary sectors, financial services and retail, are grouped under the modern services and lifestyle clusters respectively. The financial services sector forms about 12% of the GDP and provide jobs for an estimated 154,000 people, while the retail sector consists of 21,000 retail establishments that employ 3% of the total workforce with operating receipts totalling $35 billion.

Yet these are the industries that face significant change and potential challenges. The retail sector, for instance, are faced with the growing penetration of e-commerce that offers both opportunities and challenges. Savvy customers are increasingly turning to e-commerce sites, both locally and overseas, in search of a wider variety of goods. Moreover, many labour intensive industries are also looking to restructure their operations by adopting more manpower-lean strategies to optimise the use of limited manpower and sustain growth.

In the financial services sector, a digital revolution is changing the way work is done, and how financial services are delivered and consumed. As the rise of technology such as smartphones usage and ubiquitous connectivity continues to drive a wave of change, organisations in this sector that want to stay ahead will need to innovate and collaborate to offer new capabilities and find new ways of delivering financial services.


The role of innovation

While the corresponding ITMs for the financial services and retail sector are quite different, there is no doubt that the common trend is innovation through digital transformation. For a retailer, this could entail embracing e-commerce and ensuring that its online and offline retail platforms are seamlessly integrated to offer top-notch customer experience regardless of how a customer shops. Elsewhere, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) could herald the rise of new services that cater to customers in the financial or insurance realm.

Of course, while technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) typically get the limelight, genuine digital transformation innovations are fuelled by capabilities that bolster productivity and connectivity. For a start, a remote workforce in a digitised workplace, or a retailer with multiple branch offices will find seamless connectivity an essential aspect of business operations.

For financial services organisations, the need for unified communications offerings and enterprise-grade voice and messaging cannot be understated. On this front, access to the right platform-based collaborations and reliable enterprise mobility solutions can free the IT team to focus on their digital transformation initiatives and genuine innovation.

Finally, the ability to gain better insights about customers or the competition is crucial to business success. The right analytics solution can deliver insights to better understand shoppers and their online behaviours. The result is a deep understanding of the customer to craft a superior customer experience.


Partnership with StarHub

At StarHub, we believe in being an enabler of digital transformation, and will work as an agent of change as a partner. Rather than spending your valuable resources on capabilities that do not directly impact the bottom line, you can leverage our ICT expertise to reduce complexity and uncertainty on your digital transformation journey.


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