Tech Businesses See Talent Crunch, Disruption and Government Support as Key Concerns for 2018

Tech Businesses See Talent Crunch, Disruption and Government Support as Key Concerns for 2018

Singapore, 7 March 2018 – SGTech, the organisation advocating the technology industry previously known as Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF), today announced key findings of its 2017/2018 Annual Business Survey of technology businesses both from multinational companies (MNCs) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore. 

Despite an overall optimistic business outlook in 2018, with MNCs and SMEs projected to grow by 96% and 94%, respectively, the report reveals the industry’s top business concerns, which, if not addressed effectively, could inhibit business growth. The 2018 report shows that a third or 32% of respondents say manpower issues, specifically finding the right technology talent in areas such as in analytics, cybersecurity, and software development, as the industry’s top concern.

Ranking second, 16% of those surveyed list disruption, both in technology and new business models. Close behind, 14% of respondents are worried about the sustenance of government policies that may impact funding or slow spending. Over the last few years, the industry has benefitted from training and re-skilling initiatives such as TechSkills Accelerator (TeSa) programme; tax, wage credit, skills and productivity grants and rebates; capability upgrading schemes and financial support to help SMEs go digital. Other causes of unease include economic growth and protectionism (12%), as well as competition (11%).

Commenting about the ICM industry’s primary concern of finding the right technology talent, Saw Ken Wye, chairman, SGTech, said: “It is reassuring to note the government’s continued efforts in helping alleviate the talent crunch and help businesses and employees be digitally-equipped and technology-savvy. However, the impact of these initiatives will be gradual and take time. With the emergence of new technologies, many jobs in our industry are no longer relevant today. We hope to see sustained and more targeted programmes that can help businesses develop new skills and ease the talent crunch as they embark on digitalization.”

Another key finding from the survey was that technology adoption is high in tech businesses’ priority. In the last one year, 90% of tech businesses invested in some form of technology; of the 10% that did not invest then, half or 50% plan to do so in 2018, with cloud adoption, cyber security, and mobile application being their top investment priorities.   

“As recently announced in the 2018 budget and our industry transformation roadmaps (ITMs), the ability to foster innovation and build deep capabilities are key enablers to bringing the vision to reality. The survey results are encouraging and show that ICM businesses can play a leading role in helping Singapore transform. The industry’s capacity to innovate and deal with the fast-changing and increasingly disruptive technology landscape is critical if we want to seize the opportunities that lie ahead,” added Saw.

The survey revealed that top technology areas adopted by MNCs include analytics (23%), cybersecurity (19%), and cloud adoption (14%). The 2018 report suggests that the trend will not only continue this year, but also in the same priority order, at 19%, 18%, and 11%, respectively.

As for SMEs, cloud adoption (23%), data analytics (17%), and mobile application (16%) topped their technology spending in 2017. In 2018, findings reveal they plan to prioritise spending their technology dollars on data analytics (19%), artificial intelligence (14%), mobile application (13%), machine learning (12%), cloud adoption (12%), cybersecurity (10%), Internet-of-Things (7%), blockchain (7%), Robotics (3%), and AR/VR (3%).     
About SG Tech
SGTech is an active and responsible advocate of the technology industry in Singapore. With the evolving technology landscape, SGTech strives to create an ecosystem to anticipate changing technology trends and develop sustainable initiatives that can further strengthen the community and help the industry grow. SGTech’s 700 members range from innovative start-ups, vibrant small and medium-sized enterprises to top multinational corporations that leverage technology as a core driver of their business.

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