- IDC forecasts overall IT spending to increase by around 4% for Singapore
- Smart Nation and e-government initiatives will drive public sector tech spending
WE ARE still in the first quarter of 2017. How does the year look like for tech spending in Singapore? What will be the focus on enterprise spending for 2017? Digital News Asia asked for the opinion of some of tech leaders in the country. Here is how they read the tea leaves for this year.
“DESPITE the uncertain economic conditions in 2017, the enterprise technology landscape bodes well with the push for productivity and training on skills future,” said Saw Ken Wye (pic, right), Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) chairman and CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd chief executive officer.
“Smart Nation and e-government initiatives will continue to drive public sector tech spending. Enterprises are moving from the awareness to the adoption stage when it comes to digital transformation.”
According to Saw, the changing landscape means companies need to become more agile in identifying new opportunities, and many can do this more quickly with big data analysis. Many are engaging in productivity efforts and focussing on improving their business models and services as well as streamlining work processes.
“We will also see more companies becoming smarter and embracing industry 4.0 technologies to achieve greater levels of automation,” he said. “Smart systems will also come into play where artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning work together, enabling solutions to ‘learn’ and adapt to changing scenarios.”
Digitisation & security are big themes for the year
Digitisation is going to be big theme this year. Saw believes that it will drive a new pace of innovation. Also, the cloud will continue to have a disruptive impact and enterprises can take advantage of the speed, agility and economies of scale that cloud computing provides.
“We believe security will play a major role in many decisions regarding IT investments,” he said. “The success of both the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data will rely on secure networks to collect and process data into actionable business insights and operations.”
Finally, in Saw’s view, the cyber security threat cannot be ignored and companies need to invest more. “The threat is real and cyber-attacks are increasingly frequent, sophisticated and harmful,” he said.
“With the impending cyber security bill to be passed later this year, government agencies and enterprises will bolster their IT security infrastructure and work more closely with managed service providers to overcome their security concerns.”
There would be more IT spending in 2017: IDC
There would be more IT spending in 2017 in Singapore, said IDC analyst Ashutosh Bisht, Research Manager, IDC CCR India. Total IT Spend in 2016 was US$13.43 billion whereas total IT spend for 2017 is forecast to be US$13.97 billion.
According to Bisht, overall IT spending is forecast to increase by around 4% for Singapore, with software seeing the major increase of around 7% and hardware the minimum of around 2%. Services saw a growth rate of around 4% as compared to 2016.
When asked which areas/verticals are going to see more investments, Bisht mentioned consumer, Federal/State government and banking as sectors with major IT spend, with a percentage share of 22.8%, 13% and 12% respectively.
He sees government tech spend increasing too. The investment in 2016 was US$2.36 billion and in 2017 its forecast to be US$2.49 billion, experiencing a 5% hike.
Acceleration of digital transformation in Singapore
“We are seeing an acceleration of digital transformation in Singapore, with technology disrupting the way that traditional businesses operate,” said Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Singapore and Growth Market Cluster managing director Loh Khai Peng (pic, right).
In order to react quickly to new market opportunities, businesses are looking to technologies in the areas of hybrid cloud and the IoT to drive value, improve cost efficiencies and make faster business decisions to adapt and thrive.
“Combined with the government’s efforts to help firms use digital technology, embrace innovation and scale up, we expect an increase in expenditure in the areas of hybrid IT and the intelligent edge,” he said.
Despite slower economic growth, HPE anticipates that large enterprises, SMBs and the public sector will take well to a range of recently announced government initiatives, including Industry Transformation Maps by the Committee on the Future Economy, the Go Digital Programme and the Tech Access Initiative.
“We aim to support these initiatives in line with our customers’ goals to lower operating costs while driving innovation through continued technology adoption,” he said.
“By focusing on solutions that deliver the benefits of hybrid IT and power the intelligent edge, supported by world class services and consulting, we are confident in supporting our customers on their journey to an adaptable and resilient future.
“We expect continued investment from the government, finance and telecommunications industries in Singapore, which are building of a resilient infrastructure for our future,” he said.
“As the government pushes for local sectors to focus on the long term and build on the momentum to seize new opportunities, we also expect investments from the manufacturing and retail sectors, which are adopting advanced technologies to build a sustainable competitive advantage.”
In its recent Budget 2017 announcement, the government reiterated the need for businesses to adapt and innovate with technology to ensure their long term success. This was supported with a range of initiatives that Loh believes will correspond to an increase in government spending around technology.
This is in addition to existing investments that the Singapore government has in place around not just technology solutions, but also technology talent and resources to maintain its digital leadership and achieve its goal to become a leading Smart Nation in the region, Loh concluded.
(Zafar Anjum is DNA's Contributing Editor in Singapore)
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