In line with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, a new Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) was launched in Singapore yesterday by Capgemini yesterday. The exchange will deliver a robust service catalogue, within an ecosystem of other AIEs, including a focus in areas such as data analytics, visualisation, AI and cognitive computing. It will help strengthen Singapore’s reputation as an innovation hub by expanding the region’s innovation capacity and bolstering the development of local talent, to co-create a technology-enabled future.
This is Capgemini’s first AIE in Southeast Asia and 10th globally, in addition to its complement of Applied Innovation Discovery Centres. Mr. Yeoh Keat Chuan, Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) (above photo), who was the Guest-of-Honour for the launch, shared in his speech about how AIE is key to building the industry and why EDB places importance on these collaborations:
“Capgemini’s AIE is a unique venture- it is a lab which allows Singapore-based start-ups and research institutes to rapidly protoype and co-develop IT solutions with clients. This accelerates the rate of digital transformation across a wide range of industries. Over the next two years, the AIE aims to establish collaborations with some 10 Singapore based startups, institutes of higher learning, and research institutes to co-develop IT solutions fuelled by innovation. Talent development has always been at the heart of EDB’s industry development strategy in the infocomm and media sector. We are happy that new hires made by Capgemini will undergo a structured onboarding process that aims to help them develop skills that span the technical, such as software development, to creative, such as client solutioning.”
Sharing about his experience and thoughts on innovation at Singapore Power, Mr. Samuel Tan, Chief Digital Officer, Singapore Power (above photo), spoke about the key challenges to innovation: “Firstly, one of the biggest key challenges to innovation at an organisation is mindsets. Last week I was at a conference in Israel and there was a 3-year crowd-sourcing company who was able to, in just 3 years, invite 75 countries to attend the conference. We know that Israel is a startup nation and we asked some Israelis, “how come Israel can be a startup nation?” It comes down to mindsets of the people: the Israelis dare to win and envision with a great sense of urgency and gets it done.
How do we apply this mindset to our country? Do we dare to win or are we afraid to lose? The Israeli said, to win, we first have to get started, to win, we have to try to finish. Innovation is the organisation thinking about how to disrupt themselves.
The second challenge to innovation is internal processes that we face in any organisation. If you know procurement processes, it doesn’t really help innovation. And sometimes within an organisation, because of siloed processes, such as financial and procurement processes, it inhibits the ability to innovate and innovate fast.
The third challenge to innovation is the metrics we use. If we start with a revenue target, I’m sure the AIE will most certainly not be here. I think a lot of companies started innovation with a good revenue or sales target: it’s important but not that important in the beginning – we want to look what are the measurements that will drive innovation, adoption rates, penetration rates and number of ideas that have failed. It’s also an important metric, not just the financial metrics.
Lastly, the challenge to innovation is the environment. In a typical big organisation environment, some people try to do it all by themselves. I think we can do it by collaborating with others – we need an environment that collaborates, such as collaboration with customers and each other. A typical big organisation has too much silos which inhibit innovation. Tools and technology can help companies to collaborate.”