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    7 Tech trends you need to know about in APAC 2019

    Patricia Teo

    1. Virtual banking is coming to Singapore

    Innovation of the future – Virtual banking lands in Singapore

    Following the announcement of Hong Kong’s virtual banking license last year, Singapore has also followed suit in a bid to further encourage innovation and liberalisation within the banking sector. We expect to see the first of the virtual banking licenses being issued by mid next year. Top contenders include companies with strong consumer base and/or platforms. Traditional banks will likely have to relook at their business models in anticipation of competition from these challenger banks.

    2. South East Asia (SEA) is going digital

    Digital meets South East Asia

    We have seen more investment on the digital front within the SEA region particularly in the developing countries. In these countries, infrastructure is still in its formative years, hereby presenting a unique window for companies to go direct to customers via pure digital channels, tapping into the unbanked market. Following the successes in China and India, investors have turned their focus on large markets including Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.

    3. The Government plays a huge role in attracting candidates to Singapore

    Fast-growth tech businesses backed by government for niche talent

    The Government will introduce the Tech@SG scheme for fast-growth technology companies, which will encourage the entry of foreign talent with core technology skills to Singapore, with more straightforward visa application processes. Easing the entry for the professionals with these core technology skills, will help attract these fast-growth technology companies to set up shop or grow their technology presence in Singapore. We expect this initiative to help locals as well as these talents will bring new perspectives and skillsets for cross-pollination.

    4. A focus on holistic customer experience

    Customer takes all: why you need holistic journeys for consumers

    Digital disruption has permeated most industries. With increased competition coming from all fronts, customer centricity has become a key focus for all business leaders. Much emphasis is placed on creating go-to platforms with strong ecosystems of like-minded partners so that customers can use the one platform for a variety of services. This stickiness enhances customer loyalty, accessibility to more customer usage data which in turn drives better product/services development, and ultimately improves customer satisfaction.

    Some companies have realigned their organisational structures around customer journeys. Consequently, digital product owners with strong domain knowledge, end-to-end solution and delivery experience are in great demand.

    5. Digital & innovation receive heavy investments

    Want investment? Start innovating.

    Companies have invested heavily into digital and innovation over the last few years, and CEOs and shareholders alike, are analysing the returns of these capital outlay, raising questions around number of POCs, rate of commercialisation and adoption rates.

    6. Digital leadership continues to be in high demand

    Change agents with charisma triumph Digital Leadership

    CEOs and key business leaders continue to seek strong digital leaders who can provide alternative insights to how their businesses have traditionally been run and who are charismatic change agents. We have observed that companies have invested in talent who are solid all-rounders from strategy setting (understanding the business deeply) to delivery (building sustainable team structures and embedding new technologies). Such talent usually come with a blend of consulting and in-house experience.

    7. Welcoming new roles

    The future of work looks agile…

    As technology advances, every industry will embrace the likes of IoT technology, AI, big data and data analytics. You will find that the future of the Singaporean workforce will be employed in jobs that don’t exist today. Alongside the digital transformation, new divisions have been introduced including innovation labs, RPA/AI/IoT/ML teams, ecosystems and partnerships teams. For such roles, hiring organisations have a preference from candidates who are digital natives who are usually working in more AGILE and creative environments. These divisions are sometimes set apart from the mothership (so there is less bureaucracy) and are often charged with the responsibility of being change agents for the rest of the organisation.

    Patricia is a Director in our Technology practice. She joined Kerry Consulting in 2013 and focuses on senior technology hires across both financial services and commerce. Together with the Technology team, she partners C-suite and management level clients on mandates encompassing Digital, Data, Cloud and Security.  Patricia previously led Kerry’s financial services audit practice. Patricia started her career with Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, spending nine years in audit and advisory for financial institutions, including a two year period in Beijing. Patricia graduated from Nanyang Technology University with a Bachelor of Accountancy (Honours).