In today’s dynamic business landscape, companies need to adapt to changing market conditions, evolving consumer expectations, and technological advancements to remain competitive and successful.
Cloud computing and modern applications provide organisations with on-demand access to computing resources, data, and applications, empowering them to utilise these resources whenever required.
An organisation’s IT infrastructure acts as the backbone, providing the necessary computational power and storage to execute programmes and store data effectively.
The availability of adaptable, secure and scalable design options for modern IT infrastructure empowers businesses to respond to shifting demands and requirements effectively. Currently, organisations have the flexibility to host their infrastructure on-site, in the cloud, or adopt a hybrid approach combining both options to meet their specific needs and preferences.
Citizen participation is a vital element of digital transformation, enabling governments and organisations to engage with constituents and better understand their needs to deliver improved services and outcomes.
Digital tools such as social media, smartphone apps and chatbots provide effective means to engage citizens, offering relevant information and services while facilitating convenient and interactive communication channels.
In today’s rapidly evolving business world, agility is essential. Businesses must be able to react swiftly to shifting consumer demands, shifting market conditions and new technological developments. This calls for a culture of creativity, cooperation, and ongoing improvement in addition to the ability to quickly adopt new technology.
In the era of digital transformation, ensuring security is paramount to protect sensitive data from unauthorised access, theft, or loss. With the exponential growth in data generation and processing, robust security measures are essential to mitigate risks and safeguard valuable information.
To ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and applications, businesses need robust security policies and technologies that provide strong protection against threats and vulnerabilities. Implementing effective security measures is crucial in safeguarding valuable assets and maintaining the trust of customers and stakeholders.
These are all essential components of a successful digital transformation because they help organisations become more adaptable, creative and responsive to the needs of their stakeholders and customers.
On the first day of the 8th Annual Singapore OpenGov Leadership Forum 2023 held on 10-11 May 2023 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore, technology leaders tackled the Cloud, IT Infrastructure, Modern Applications, Citizen Engagement, Agility, Security, Productivity and Operational Transformation that will help boost the efficiency of the different sectors.
Mohit Sagar, the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia, acknowledges the importance of leveraging technology to enhance the lives of citizens but emphasises the need for efficient, reliable, and secure IT systems.
He further observes a change in the priorities of organisations seeking CIOs in recent times. “Companies are currently seeking IT leaders who can effectively deliver fundamental aspects like uptime, security, and cost optimisation, rather than focusing solely on innovators who can push the envelope and are capable of driving significant change.”
There has been a significant disparity in investment allocation between customer-facing services and products, which receive substantial funding for innovation, and middle and back-office core system updates, which receive comparatively fewer financial resources.
This lopsided approach can often lead to a situation where organisations prioritise new customer experiences and neglect the necessary updates and improvements to their internal systems. There is a growing need to address this gap and allocate adequate funding and attention to ensure the reliability, efficiency and modernisation of core systems that support the overall business operations.
This new paradigm can be attributed to tighter budgets, reduced risk appetite, and the realisation that organisations may have neglected to keep an eye on their foundational IT investments. As a result, there is a greater emphasis on effective continuity rather than pursuing extravagant innovations.
Organisations must find a balance between keeping the lights on and investing in new solutions to address evolving business needs. No doubt they should allocate resources towards innovation and development to stay competitive and meet future challenges effectively but first must ensure operational stability and efficiency and maintain the smooth functioning of current infrastructure.
Mohit cited the case of an airline that experienced a major breakdown in their crew-scheduling technology, resulting in the stranding of thousands of passengers during a peak travel period. This incident served as a clear example of the consequences that can arise from a lack of investment in fundamental infrastructure.
It underscores the importance of allocating resources to maintain and enhance the core technological foundations that support efficient operations and customer satisfaction.
“Recent market developments have raised awareness of the importance of fundamentals that may have been disregarded in the past,” says Mohit. “This is because there is less opportunity for failure in a tighter economy. It may be necessary to readjust the focus towards prioritising the reliability and currency of core operations and underlying digital investments.”
Nations are facing similar challenges as they make substantial investments in areas such as education, healthcare, sustainability, and transportation.
While these areas are critical for improving citizens’ lives, governments should not overlook the importance of solid IT strategy and maintaining the underlying foundational systems. Without these core mechanisms, the idea of a truly smart nation may not be realised.
“The country must balance its priorities between continuity and innovation to ensure the success of its smart nation vision,” Mohit concludes.
Technology Case Study: Analytics Everywhere, For Everyone: Democratising and Simplifying AI and Machine Learning Into Actionable Insights Through a Reimagined Cloud-native Architecture
According to Jason Loh, Head of Technology Futures at SAS, the growing utilisation of online services by citizens and customers, coupled with the accelerated adoption of digital transformation by enterprises, has given rise to new goals and expectations. This shift necessitates organisations to adapt and meet the evolving needs of their digital-savvy stakeholders.
By leveraging an analytics platform that supports a low-code/no-code approach, organisations can involve a broader range of individuals, foster ongoing innovation and accelerate digital transformation. As analytics and machine learning gain prominence, such a platform facilitates the adoption and implementation of these technologies across the entire company.
SAS, a leading provider of analytics and business intelligence software, attributes its success to key factors such as a comprehensive product portfolio, expertise in advanced analytics, and a robust network of strategic partners. These attributes contribute to SAS’s position as a trusted and influential player in the industry.
“One of SAS’s significant advantages is its long-standing market presence and trusted brand, which has earned the company much customer respect,” reveals Jason. “SAS is chosen by businesses due to its enterprise-grade platform capabilities and comprehensive analytics life cycle support.”
SAS sets itself apart with its Viya platform, empowering clients to scale and operationalise AI pipelines while integrating analytics directly into decision-making processes. This capability enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of organisations in leveraging data-driven insights.
The platform enables efficient analysis and identification of fraudulent activities, resulting in significant cost savings for these budget-intensive portfolios. In areas of government oversight, it can be difficult to quantify the return on investment for improved audits, inceptions and investigations.
Government agencies leveraging SAS Viya for investigations across various mandates, such as health, tax, and social benefit programmes, can easily quantify the financial gains achieved through fraud detection and prevention, minimising waste and misuse of funds.
A concrete example is SAS and the US FDA establishing a partnership that goes beyond the foundational or submission environment. They are utilising the advanced capabilities of SAS Viya for three innovative use cases: Adverse Event (AE) Reporting, Manufacturing Site Surveillance and Drug Repurposing. These initiatives are driving the digital transformation at the FDA, enhancing their processes and enabling more efficient and effective operations in these critical areas.
This significant investment from US FDA demonstrates the continued trust in SAS not only today but also for the future to come.
Technology Case Study: Journey to Intelligent Data Management for the Multi-Cloud World
Raymond Goh, Vice President of Sales Engineering, APJ, Veeam recognises that data availability and resiliency have reached new levels of expectation in the current data-driven world. As organisations heavily rely on data, ensuring its accessibility and resilience has become increasingly crucial for meeting the demands of today’s business landscape.
“Data must move to a new state of intelligence, able to automatically anticipate threats, needs and meet demand. Data must securely move across multi-cloud infrastructures,” he is convinced.
Moreover, data must meet the expectations of the mobile and always-on world. Intelligent Data Management brings new insights from data and rapid productivity increases to speed the pace of innovation and delivery of new digital services and experiences that improve how people live and work.
Raymond shared the 5 Stages of Intelligent Data Management:
Protection: Protect all workloads using backups, complemented by snapshots and replication where appropriate, to ensure they are always recoverable and available in the event of outages, cyber threats, accidental loss or theft.
Mobility: Provides easy portability and fast recovery of ANY on-premises or cloud-based workloads to maintain Business Continuity and Availability across hybrid cloud environments.
Observability: View the full breadth of your data, accompanied by the infrastructure that it passes through and resides on so that you can pivot from reactive to proactive management for better business decisions including proactive measures to defend against cyber threats.
- Orchestration: Optimise data utilisation across multi-cloud environments with workflows that ensure consistent execution of otherwise manual and complex backup, recovery, and data management tasks.
- Automation: Data becomes self-managing by learning to protect itself with appropriate SLAs, methods, locations and cyberthreat-aware to meet business objectives or comply with broader IT initiatives.
The Data Domain Group, encompassing data governance, architecture, protection, sharing and storage, aims to ensure that agencies put in place effective data management practices to utilise and safeguard data in all stages of its lifecycle.
This sets out the requirements for the access and distribution, and exploitation of data, which is necessary for sharing of data, organised into the following domains: Data Classification, Data Protection (Data Security), Data Acquisition, Data Processing and Fusion, and Data Access and Distribution.
Recovering from ransomware can be a messy process and most solutions aren’t designed to provide recovery at the scale created by ransomware.
“At Veeam, we know every environment is different and you need a solution that allows you to recover your data. That’s why we’re talking after all. And that’s really what makes us different – choice,” Raymond concludes.
Technology Case Study: Why Zero Trust CDR is the Only Way Forward?
Daniel Turner, VP and General Manager, Deep Secure Business Unit, Forcepoint, emphasises that in today’s digital age, organisations rely heavily on digital content to communicate, work together and share information.
Digital information encompasses a wide range of electronic data, including files, documents, images, videos, music, and more. It refers to any data that is utilised, transmitted or stored in digital form. Regrettably, cybercriminals can exploit digital information to gain unauthorised access to systems and data, causing harm and potential damage, Daniel explains.
One of the most advanced and targeted kinds of cyberattacks is called a “zero-day” cyberattack. These intrusions represent highly sophisticated and targeted methods that exploit undiscovered vulnerabilities in software, apps, or systems, exploiting them before any patch or fix can be developed and deployed.
These insidious attacks pose significant challenges as they often conceal themselves within everyday digital files, documents, and images that are commonly found within an organisation’s systems, making them difficult to detect and defend against.
Normal measures do not contain or thwart such attacks. Firewalls, antivirus software and intrusion detection systems, for example, are not always effective against zero-day cyberattacks. They rely on known threats and signatures, which zero-day assaults lack. This means that organisations must take a more proactive and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity.
“Adopting a zero-trust security model, which implies that all content is potentially hazardous and cannot be trusted, is one answer,” Daniel believes. “This method entails validating every person, device and application that connects to the organisation’s systems and data.”
Advanced threat detection and response systems that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and respond to zero-day assaults can also be deployed by organisations.
Forcepoint ONE, an all-in-one cloud platform, is designed to safeguard a hybrid workforce’s access to information on the web, in the cloud and in private applications.
“Unlike other cloud-based security solutions that combine disparate product portfolios, we designed Forcepoint ONE to integrate Zero Trust and Security Service Edge (SSE) technologies into a single cloud platform,” Daniel explains. “This integration allows organisations to manage a single set of policies in a single console connected to a single endpoint agent.”
The fact is that digital content is critical to any organisation’s success, but it can also be the chosen carrier for today’s sophisticated zero-day cyberattacks, Daniel reiterates. Traditional detection-based defences are no longer sufficient to protect organisations against these threats.
To proactively protect against these threats, organisations should implement a zero-trust security strategy as well as advanced threat detection and response solutions, like Forcepoint ONE.
In Conversation With: The Evolving Role of Data Sovereignty: Transforming Compliance to a Key Market Driver
Data sovereignty implies that data is subject to the laws and regulations of the country where it resides, ensuring compliance with local governance and data protection policies. With the continuous growth of data generation and retention, data sovereignty has emerged as a critically important concern for multinational organizations.
The growing importance of data sovereignty is transforming compliance from being solely a regulatory burden to becoming a significant driving force for businesses. Organisations that can negotiate the complicated terrain of data sovereignty legislation and demonstrate a commitment to data privacy and compliance will do well in today’s global marketplace.
Kenny Seah, Head of IAM & Security Consulting at Adnovum Singapore, emphasises the importance for organisations to have a clear understanding of their technology requirements. This ensures that technology investments align with business goals, enhance efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, foster innovation and competitiveness, manage risks effectively, enable scalable growth and meet stakeholder expectations.
“By figuring out what they need, organisations can make smart choices, choose the right technologies, and use technology as a strategic tool to help them succeed,” Kenny explains.
While security controls may vary between on-premises and cloud environments, it is essential to recognise that the core objectives and principles remain unchanged. Regardless of the setting, the primary goals are to safeguard data, systems and infrastructure against security risks.
He is of the view that organisations should assess their unique security requirements, consider the shared responsibility model in the cloud (where the cloud provider and the organisation have distinct security responsibilities) and implement appropriate security controls. This approach helps mitigate risks and ensures a secure computing environment, irrespective of the chosen deployment model.
“Cybersecurity is an important part of how an organisation runs, and it can’t be given to just anyone,” says Kenny.”It’s important to think carefully about and choose trusted partners or service providers who have the knowledge and skills to deal with cybersecurity issues.”
Even though outsourcing cybersecurity can bring benefits like access to specialised knowledge and lower costs, organisations should still keep a close eye on what’s going on and make sure they maintain a strong company cybersecurity posture.
Setting up clear contracts, checking the provider’s performance regularly and retaining a strong internal security programme will help make sure that cybersecurity is a top priority for organisations.
Data protection and privacy have become significant concerns for organisations across industries in today’s digital landscape. As customers and stakeholders become increasingly aware of the value of their personal data, they are seeking reassurance that organisations are taking the necessary precautions to protect and safeguard it.
Consequently, businesses recognise the importance of differentiating themselves by demonstrating a strong commitment to data security and privacy.
Organisations can demonstrate their commitment to data protection and privacy through various means, including the implementation of robust security measures, adherence to privacy-by-design principles, regular audits and risk assessments, transparent data handling practices, and effective communication of privacy policies to stakeholders.
These actions collectively demonstrate a strong commitment to safeguarding data and respecting privacy concerns. They not only assist organisations in meeting legal requirements but build a culture of trust and accountability in data handling, distinguishing them from competitors.
Deploying a multi-layered security strategy is critical for organisations to safeguard their data from unauthorised access, and breaches, and to maintain regulatory compliance. Strong Identity and Access Management (IAM), Encryption, Access Controls, Compliance and Governance, Security Monitoring and Incident Response, and Employee Awareness and Training are some essential security techniques and procedures that organisations can implement.
Security is a continuous process, and organisations must constantly assess and improve their security procedures to handle evolving threats and weaknesses. Collaboration with security professionals and maintaining current industry best practices can assist organisations in staying ahead of potential security problems and protecting their important data assets.
Organisations can use tools and techniques such as Data Classification and Policy Enforcement, Monitoring and Auditing Tools, Access Control and Privilege Management to create a balance between data protection and accessibility.
Melvin Koh, Head of Sales Engineering, ASEAN Thales reiterates that classifying data is important for data organisation, security, compliance, control, analysis, allocating resources, and collaboration.
“Classification offers a structured approach to managing data, enabling organisations to leverage its value while ensuring proper protection and appropriate usage,” he notes.
To keep data safe in on-premise and multi-cloud settings, organisations need to take both technical and organisational steps. Data Classification, Encryption, Access Controls, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Data Governance and Policies, Backup and Disaster Recovery and other measures are all important to consider.
“Remember that protecting data is a process that never ends,” Melvin warns. “Review and change your security methods often so you can keep up with new threats and technologies. Stay up to date on the latest best practices and security frameworks to protect your data in both on-premise and multi-cloud settings.”
From his perspective, centralised solutions for data security involve the management and protection of an organisation’s data through a single platform or system. This approach ensures a consolidated and secure environment for data management.
These systems offer a unified way to protect data, making it possible to control, monitor and enforce security measures from one place.
When adopting centralised solutions, it’s important to make sure they meet the security needs, compliance standards and data protection policies of the organisation. They must take into consideration issues like scalability, integration and vendor support.
“Regular monitoring, updates, and audits are needed to make sure these methods work and to deal with new security issues as they come up,” Melvin points out. “It’s important to remember that having encryption keys in a safe place comes with responsibilities.”
Maintaining a secure data environment requires regular monitoring, auditing and ongoing enhancement of security procedures. It is critical to tailor the approach to each organisation’s unique demands and regulatory constraints.
In addition, organisations must strike a balance between data security and accessibility by utilising appropriate technologies and strategies.
By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, agencies and organisations have the opportunity to establish robust data sovereignty rules that prioritise the security and privacy of their data. This proactive approach helps build trust and confidence among individuals and consumers, demonstrating a commitment to protecting their sensitive information.
Some effective strategies for ensuring data security include implementing strong encryption techniques, adopting privacy-enhancing technologies, conducting regular audits and compliance assessments, seeking independent audits and certifications, implementing proactive data security measures, and embracing a zero-trust architecture. These measures collectively contribute to safeguarding data and maintaining a robust security posture.
Agencies and organisations can demonstrate their commitment to data sovereignty, security, and privacy by deploying these cutting-edge technologies and tactics. This, in turn, contributes to the development of trust among people and customers, establishing better relationships and encouraging the proper use of data.
Power Talk: Are You a Future-Ready Organisation?: Modernising Digital Infrastructure for Agility, Security, Scalability and Sustainability
Modernising digital infrastructure can ultimately assist organisations in remaining competitive, enhancing efficiency, minimising risk and promoting sustainability and responsible resource management.
To upgrade digital infrastructure, organisations must take a comprehensive approach that includes evaluating their current infrastructure, identifying areas for development and implementing a modernisation road map. This could entail investing in new technologies, migrating to the cloud and/or implementing new development methodologies and security procedures.
For Arjun Chib, Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank, it’s critical to understand the organisation’s objectives, evaluate its needs, and, most difficult of all, come up with viable options. Solutions must be quick to implement, secure, scalable and cost-effective.
Integrating data can pose challenges for organisations due to its inherent complexity. It requires consolidating data from multiple sources, ensuring consistent formatting, and conducting thorough checks for quality and reliability.
To effectively manage and minimise the impact of security incidents, organisations must promptly address issues such as breaches, Arjun explained. Additionally, data backups play a crucial role in enabling efficient incident response and facilitating recovery processes.
Achieving harmony and synergy between social progress, environmental preservation, sustainability and economic growth is essential. This equilibrium is a crucial component of making ethical decisions and helps to create a future that is sustainable for both people and the environment.
“Organisations must prioritise minimising their environmental impact, conserving resources and actively contributing to a more sustainable future by modernising digital infrastructure,” Arjun furthers. “Adopting sustainable practices can also result in financial savings, increased operational effectiveness, and improved reputation.”
Banks have the opportunity to capitalise on the growing market demand for sustainable goods and services by integrating sustainability into their business plans and product offerings. They can enhance their long-term financial viability through the creation of new revenue streams while simultaneously fostering positive environmental and social impacts.
By aligning their operations with sustainable practices, banks can attract environmentally conscious customers, meet regulatory requirements and contribute to the development of a greener economy. This strategic approach not only benefits the environment but also enhances the bank’s reputation and strengthens its position in a market that increasingly values sustainability.
On the other hand, public-private partnerships (PPPs) provide a collaborative framework that leverages the skills and resources of both the public and private sectors to drive infrastructure modernisation efforts forward. By joining forces, these partnerships maximise the potential for success and effectively utilise the collective expertise and assets of each sector.
“PPPs can provide durable and significant infrastructure projects that benefit societies and contribute to economic development by combining public sector oversight, policy frameworks, and accountability with private sector efficiency, innovation, and investment,” Arjun believes.
Hwai Siang Khor, Senior Director Solutions Engineering at NCS, recognises the long-standing reliability and functionality of certain well-established systems that have served organisations effectively over many years of operation.
“Some legacy systems have been running for many years and may well need upgrading. However, I believe the most important thing is to determine what kind of goals you want to achieve while trying to modernise your applications.”
It is essential for organisations to clearly define their key objectives for cloud adoption and align them with their overall business strategy. This will guide the cloud adoption process, including selecting the appropriate cloud service model and the right cloud provider that best meets their specific needs and objectives.
“Most of the time, when we engage with a client, the first question we ask is whether or not they have a holistic data security and governance framework, as this underpins how they execute the plan in terms of securing their cloud or on-premises industry infrastructure and how they will mitigate in the event of an incident,” Hwai Siang elaborates.
Hwai Siang consistently advises clients to prioritise evaluating their data security framework, including data encryption methods and handling protocols for different data classifications, before delving into solution implementation.
Organisations need to consider the sustainability implications of AI adoption and ensure that AI solutions align with their sustainability goals. This includes assessing the environmental impact of AI infrastructure, considering the social consequences of AI-driven decisions and promoting ethical AI practices.
By intentionally integrating sustainability into AI initiatives, organisations can leverage the power of AI while minimising negative environmental and social effects, ultimately driving positive change and contributing to a more sustainable future.
Hwai Siang acknowledges that cloud providers have made commendable progress in effectively managing the carbon footprint within their data centres. Through proactive management, cloud providers make a meaningful contribution to global sustainability endeavours while offering businesses and organisations environmentally responsible solutions.
He believes it is important for organisations to assess their specific needs, consider the benefits and potential challenges of cloud adoption and evaluate the suitability of cloud services for their particular use cases.
The adoption of cloud computing brings notable benefits in terms of scalability, cost efficiency, agility, reliability and security. However, to ensure successful implementation, careful planning and consideration of factors such as data privacy, vendor lock-in, and integration requirements are of utmost importance.
Joseph Yang, Managing Director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Singapore feels that it is important for organisations to assess their current IT landscape, identify areas that need modernisation, and develop a strategic implementation plan.
Modernisation should be driven by specific business objectives and aligned with overall organisational goals. It requires careful planning, resource allocation and collaboration between IT teams and business stakeholders to ensure successful adoption and achieve the desired outcomes.
“We need to know the value of any change we make, whether it’s increased speed, better security or greater adaptability,” Joseph says emphatically.
While there are differences between academic and enterprise computing, there are also areas of overlap, such as the use of cloud computing, data analytics and security practices. Both domains can learn from each other and adopt best practices to improve their computing environments and achieve their respective objectives.
“Maintaining control over the security of academic materials to prevent unauthorised leaks, while simultaneously providing researchers and students with necessary access, is of utmost importance.” Joseph elaborates. “Balancing these requirements within the dynamic framework of cloud technology introduces intriguing challenges.”
He agrees sustainability is a fundamental component of accountable corporate and personal behaviour, encompassing environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic viability. It plays a crucial role in addressing the pressing challenges facing the planet and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.
“By embracing technological sustainability, organisations can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future while reaping the benefits of efficient and responsible technology usage,” Joseph concludes.
Technology Case Study: Staying Competitive in the Digital Age: Leveraging Observability and AIOps for Better IT Resilience
Taylor Chan, as the Head of Sales Engineering at SolarWinds in South East Asia, understands the importance of resilient IT infrastructure in the modern digital era.
Cutting-edge technology comes with a plethora of advantages but is accompanied by a host of inherent dangers.
Generative AI has grown in prominence in recent years due to its capacity to produce realistic and high-quality content that is difficult to tell apart from human-generated content. It can create novel and distinctive data, such as photographs, videos, and text, that closely resemble existing data.
“As businesses adopt advanced, complex technologies to remain competitive and relevant in the current digital era, it can be difficult to obtain insights and effectively manage the resulting complexity,” Taylor believes.
Organisations must possess the ability to swiftly adjust their IT systems to meet evolving business requirements and customer expectations to retain their competitive edge.
Observability and AIOps are two key technologies that can help organisations attain greater IT resilience.
According to Taylor, these technologies can help organisations improve their IT operations and strength. IT AIOps refers to the use of software to automate and improve IT operations using analytics and machine learning (ML).
AIOps are commonly employed to optimise operations and gain valuable insights into performance. End-user experience management, proactive, predictive performance, trend analysis and root cause analysis are all common use cases for AIOps and observability.
Observability brings several key additional benefits including the detection of the root cause of problems and providing a clear understanding of their impact on the system or service. It helps in efficiently resolving identified issues and implementing appropriate remedies.
Observability promotes transparency by providing visibility into the inner workings of the service or system. It also extends its reach beyond the boundaries of the service or system, offering visibility into interconnected components and dependencies and facilitating a holistic understanding of the ecosystem.
Taylor defines business transformation as the process of driving significant change in an organisation’s operations, culture and customer experience via the use of technology, innovation and new ways of working.
Change has advantages but can challenge operational resiliency, the ability to endure and recover from unexpected disruptions in operations. Careful planning and mitigation strategies are crucial to maintaining resilience during transitions.
Taylor highlighted several instances where business transformation acceleration poses challenges to operational resiliency:
- Complexity, security and productivity challenges
- Issues with remote work – which is likely to remain in some shape
- IT budgets and resource constraints
- Modernisation of operations, apps and databases
- Multi-cloud deployments
- Flexible consumption models
To sustain good operational resiliency, organisations must develop from monitoring to observability to autonomous operations.
The SolarWinds Platform is a great solution. It is meant to interface with important business services and provide flexibility, visibility, and control – anywhere the environment is and wherever it is going. It offers simplicity, with deployment strategies that support clients today and tomorrow, on-premises and cloud-native SaaS solutions, Taylor concludes.
Technology Case Study: Building and Securing Modern Applications Consistently Across Hybrid Cloud
According to Kelvin Loh, Senior Manager, Solution Architecture, ASEAN, Red Hat, numerous organisations are delving into hybrid and multi-cloud architectures as they embark on their application modernisation endeavours.
Nonetheless, organisations have expressed concerns regarding several key aspects, including security and compliance, data sovereignty, as well as the scarcity of cloud-based skills and platforms across multiple environments.
Against this backdrop, aligning processes and resources through the adoption of Automation and GitOps best practices can enable companies to achieve a secure zero-trust Software Supply Chain. By embracing infrastructure and policies as code, they can effectively meet regulatory requirements while ensuring a robust and secure environment.
Sovereign Cloud offers the ability to exercise control over the location, access and processing of data within a cloud environment, addressing emerging industry standards and compliance requirements specific to certain nations or industries. This approach empowers organisations to maintain sovereignty over their data while adhering to relevant regulations and industry guidelines.
Red Hat® Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes offers centralised management for clusters and applications through a single console, while also integrating security policies. This solution from Red Hat ensures compliance, monitors resource utilisation and maintains uniformity across the environment.
With Advanced Cluster Management, organisations can effectively manage their Kubernetes infrastructure, enhance security measures, achieve regulatory compliance and ensure consistent operational efficiency.
“Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes is bundled with Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus, a comprehensive suite of optimised, potent tools for securing, protecting, and managing the applications,” Kelvin explains.
GitOps is a practice that leverages Git repositories as the authoritative source of truth for delivering infrastructure as code. It provides a standardised methodology for application development, offering several benefits to organisations.
It enhances security by enabling the definition of application requirements in advance, ensuring that security measures are integrated into the development process from the start. GitOps improves reliability by providing visibility and version control through Git repositories.
Additionally, it ensures consistency across various environments, whether it’s any cluster, any cloud, or any on-premises setup.
On the other hand, the Policy-as-Code enables teams to automate the policy decision-making process by codifying them using declarative language. When deployed, the tool will continuously monitor and simulates the policy-checking decisions that previously would have required manual checks.
According to Kelvin, managing and securing the cloud can be simplified through the following:
- Manageable at scale across multiple clouds. It enables the organisation to define the locality of their applications and data based on the security classification or even consumption cost;
- Codification ensures consistency and repeatability. It enables security at runtime and reduces manual checks and avoids human errors
- Establishing a delivery pipeline with inherent security capabilities and guardrails while automating the delivery of applications.
“These will result in reducing cost, increasing security, increasing efficiency and increasing predictability,” says Kelvin. He added that building and securing modern applications consistently across hybrid cloud environments is important as it allows organisations to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing while minimising risk and maximising value.
Fireside Chat: Empowering Citizen-led Innovation: Maximising Citizen Experience with Low-Code Development Tools
Raymond Wong, the Singapore Country Manager, ServiceNow, describes low-code development tools as software platforms that empower users to build applications with minimal coding or development expertise.
These platforms can be used to rapidly develop and deploy custom applications, helping organisations to improve their digital capabilities and deliver better services to citizens.
“Low-code development tools can help organisations to maximise citizen experience by enabling rapid application development, customisation, integration, agility and cost-effectiveness,” Raymond emphasises. “By leveraging these tools, organisations can improve their digital capabilities and deliver better services to citizens, while also reducing the cost and complexity of development.”
Low-code development tools have indeed emerged as a powerful solution to address challenges and empower non-technical users, often referred to as citizen developers, to create applications quickly and easily. These tools allow citizen developers to contribute to the application development process. This democratisation of app development enables faster innovation, reduces the IT backlog, fosters collaboration, and empowers business users to create applications aligned with their specific needs.
However, it is important to establish appropriate governance and oversight to ensure the quality, scalability, and security of applications developed using low-code platforms.
Raymond also highlights the significance of citizen development, which involves the creation of software applications or solutions by non-professional developers. This process allows individuals without extensive programming experience to contribute to software development initiatives.
Low-code development tools empower non-technical users to create or modify applications according to their specific needs, enhancing business processes without the need for extensive coding knowledge or expertise. This enables individuals to customise applications and streamline workflows in a user-friendly and efficient manner.
Software development has traditionally been the purview of professional programmers and IT divisions. Citizen development, on the other hand, leverages low-code or no-code platforms and tools to enable users with limited computing skills to build applications via visual interfaces, drag-and-drop components, and pre-built templates.
Citizen development requires platforms to execute their jobs – systems that allow them to standardise everything from management to reporting.
Citizen development offers several benefits:
- Empowerment: It allows non-technical users to take control of their software needs and create solutions independently, reducing reliance on IT departments and enabling faster response to changing requirements.
- Agility: Citizen developers can quickly prototype and iterate on applications, accelerating the development process and facilitating rapid innovation.
- Cost savings: By eliminating the need for dedicated development resources, citizen development can reduce costs associated with outsourcing or hiring professional developers.
- Increased productivity: Non-technical users can build applications tailored to their specific needs, improving efficiency and productivity within their teams or organisations.
- Collaboration: Citizen development often encourages collaboration between business users and IT professionals, fostering better communication and understanding of requirements.
However, citizen development requires certain considerations:
- Governance and control: It’s important to establish governance frameworks and guidelines to ensure the security, quality, and compliance of citizen-developed applications.
- Training and support: Providing adequate training and support is essential to help citizen developers understand the tools, best practices, and potential limitations.
- Integration and scalability: Citizen-developed applications may need to integrate with existing systems or scale to accommodate growing demands, requiring technical expertise or collaboration with IT teams.
- Maintenance and updates: Ongoing maintenance and updates of citizen-developed applications need to be considered to ensure their longevity and compatibility with evolving technologies.
Citizen development democratises the software development process by permitting a broader range of individuals to contribute to application creation and customisation, resulting in increased organisational agility, productivity and innovation.
Raymond suggests the establishment of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) as an initiative to promote a shared understanding of objectives and desired outcomes within an organization. With a focus on agility and adaptability, a CoE cultivates a culture that is responsive and flexible in the face of changing market or environmental conditions. This enables the organisation to proactively adapt and stay competitive in dynamic landscapes.
“CoE provides techniques to ensure that everyone understands what citizen development entails and what they expect to accomplish, also known as agility or the capacity to adapt,” Ramond elaborates. “Before defining the policies, specify the expected boundary and explain the innovation explicitly.”
A shortage of technical resources and talent, he continued, is one of the most significant obstacles to accelerating digital transformation. In many organisations, the demand for competent IT professionals exceeds the available supply, resulting in a talent gap.
By automating processes and streamlining interactions with citizens, businesses can improve the overall citizen experience, reduce manual effort, increase efficiency, and provide citizens with quicker and more accurate services.
“Fostering a culture of innovation that embraces both technological and non-technical aspects can drive positive change within an organization,” Raymond concludes.
Technology Case Study: Preventing Your Organisation From Becoming a Breach Statistic
Adam Biviano, Director, Sales Engineering APAC, ForgeRock believes that implementing Open Finance services is a good solution for financial organisations looking to expand their business.
Open Finance is the next step in the growth of open banking. If Open Banking allows customers access to bank transaction data on various products and services, Open Finance offers customers access to broader data that may be used to personalise financial solutions.
“To guarantee this, it is imperative to have a well-prepared Digital Identity solution in place as a crucial supporting element within the Open Finance ecosystem,” Adam elaborates. “In the face of severe personal data protection rules in numerous nations and growing cyber assaults, data protection through Digital Identity is urgently needed.”
Approximately 82% of organisations encountered at least one data breach due to digital transformation, with an expected 90% of B2C organisations competing based on customer UX by 2024. Additionally, between 2019 and 2021, there was a threefold increase (307%) in account takeover fraud. In the United States alone, the recorded number of data breaches in 2021 reached 4.7 billion, showing a notable 37% rise compared to the previous year.
Such cybersecurity breaches and hacks do not come cheap. The average cost of a security breach in the U.S. increased from US$ 8.2 million to US$ 9.5 million. Moreover, the risk of loss increases from US$ 8.6 million to US$ 10.6 million if the company offers a remote working policy.
“The cost of this violation arises due to the need for detection and escalation, notification to related parties and potential lost business. Not to mention the cost of recovering reputation damage which is difficult to calculate,” Adam explains.
Unauthorised access abuse stands out as one of the most prevalent entry points for this series of hacks and breaches.
Unauthorised access is accomplished through brute-force attacks, phishing, password spraying or other attack methods. This breach allows attackers to find and steal valuable data, such as customer records, intellectual property or financial information.
The top three violations that led to hacks, according to Adam are:
- Unauthorised access. It has been the leading cause of hacking in the U.S. for the fourth year in a row with a 45% increase in 2020
- This is another powerful method that has grown by 24%
- Supply Chain Attacks. Breaches in the distribution chain (supply chain) and third parties are up 22%. Violations of this model seem to be increasingly popular because they have grown 297%, from previously only 126 cases to 500 cases in 2020.
These various intrusions have caused a significant decline in consumer confidence, with more than 82% expressing concerns about how companies collect and utilise their data. This heightened awareness of data privacy has resonated with 74% of U.S. adults, who highly value the security of their personal information.
ForgeRock offers software to secure and personalise user data with various AI-enabled authentication options. ForgeRock Identity Platform helps financial services organisations implement Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) by leveraging contextual signals, such as location, IP address, device type, operating system and browser to trigger SCA at the right time.
“This service eliminates friction when a customer needs to authenticate multiple services at once,” confirms Adam. “ForgeRock Trust Network enables access to a variety of pre-integrated third-party authentication, to address risk/fraud management, behavioural biometrics and identity check solutions (eKYC).”
Power Talk: Reimagining the Future of Smart Nation Citizen Services Through Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation refers to the convergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA). This powerful combination enables the streamlining and automation of repetitive tasks and processes, enhancing operational efficiency and productivity.
Reimagining the future of Smart Nation citizen services through intelligent automation has the potential to significantly improve service delivery and citizen experience. AI and automation technologies, help personalise services, improve efficiency, provide 24/7 availability, reduce costs and make data-driven decisions to improve service delivery.
Peter Forbes, Group Chief Digital Officer of the National University Health System (NUHS), spoke about their work in this field. “Our organisation is working with dedicated resources from trusted partners who develop and implement these RPA processes.”
During the development phase, a strong focus is placed on comprehensive documentation of the processes. Working closely with their trusted partner, the organisation ensures that the implemented processes are comprehensively compliant. This collaborative approach instils confidence in the organisation, knowing that the automation processes align with the necessary regulatory guidelines, policies and standards.
NUHS initiated the implementation of robotic process automation (RPA) by identifying appropriate use cases within the organisation. The initial emphasis was on the finance department, where RPA was deployed to tackle laborious and time-consuming tasks.
This approach proved particularly valuable in overcoming manpower constraints during the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. By leveraging RPA technology, NUHS achieved notable improvements in operational efficiency and effectively addressed resource limitations in a rapidly changing environment.
Automation facilitated tasks such as data input into systems and enabled the timely completion of essential operations that would have otherwise been challenging to accomplish within the given timeframe.
Peter further highlighted that the automation initiatives at NUHS extended beyond the finance department and encompassed various operational areas. An example is the automation of home delivery processes in the pharmacy department. The manual effort and overtime work required for home deliveries were alleviated through automation, resulting in positive feedback from pharmacy staff who no longer had to work extended hours.
The organisation faced challenges related to budgeting, as the annual budgeting process required planning automation projects a year in advance, Peter shared. To address this, a central budget pool was established in collaboration with the IT office. This allowed users to draw from the central pool and allocate the funds to their department budgets, providing more agility in funding automation initiatives.
The organisation is interested in learning about similar experiences and strategies employed by other customers.
Implementing automation within an organisation helps alleviate high workloads and maintain service quality for patients or customers. By automating repetitive tasks, employees can focus on more meaningful interactions, such as patient care.
Automation fills gaps in the workforce and improves efficiency. For instance, in materials management, automation handles tasks like tracking inventory, reordering, and invoicing, reducing human involvement and streamlining the process.
Spreading automation successes helps promote its benefits and recognises staff involvement. It is important to continuously promote and reward automation efforts, overcoming the challenge of busy schedules and ensuring commitment to automation initiatives.
“Our organisation values showcasing good automation practices to provide recognition and incentivise further investment,” Peter concludes.
Dan Ternes, Chief Technology Officer, SS&C Blue Prism acknowledges that legacy systems pose a significant challenge in organisations, as the expectation of replacing them with new digital systems often proves unrealistic.
“Despite the initial belief that legacy systems would be phased out within a few years, the reality is that many organisations still have a backlog of these outdated applications,” Dan says. “Replacing systems such as patient records, immigration systems, or core banking systems is not feasible within a short timeframe.”
However, the need for process improvements and digital advancements remains. Automation serves as a solution to bridge the gap between legacy systems and digital transformation. It enables organisations to make improvements and automate processes within the existing infrastructure, even if the underlying systems are outdated. Automation provides a practical approach to achieving efficiency and digitalisation despite the presence of legacy systems.
Change for the sake of change or changes that personally affect individuals is often met with resistance. However, people are generally open to change, provided that the change is beneficial to them. It is important to demonstrate how the change will positively impact individuals and their jobs. While people appreciate meaningful and engaging work, they also value job security and stability.
While the pandemic forced transformation, or at least accelerated pre-existing plans, most organisations had strategies in place. It is pertinent to note that there were advocates for automation and digital transformation even before COVID-19.
“Many people were initially sceptical and hesitant to take risks, but the pandemic forced organisations to adopt automation as a necessity,” says Dan.
The crisis opened their eyes to the effectiveness and scalability of automation, leading to the emergence of champions who recognise its value. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of automation and created opportunities for growth and improvement.
Intelligent automation offers two significant value propositions: operational excellence and innovation. Operational excellence focuses on improving existing processes, while innovation involves exploring new possibilities and creating new products or services.
Organisations often prioritise cost reduction, but they also appreciate business cases that demonstrate new revenue streams, citizen engagement and enhanced customer experiences. Examples of automation success include call centre optimisation and streamlining onboarding processes through OCR and system updates.
Organisations typically progress from automating finance processes to more mission-critical ones and then explore AI integration for transformative purposes. While automation can prove successful in small-scale labs, scaling up to serve millions of customers poses challenges.
The volume of data and the organisation’s capacity to handle it effectively becomes a crucial factor. Digital workers play a significant role in addressing these challenges and facilitating the management of increased workloads.
Dan emphasised that the primary focus of automation initiatives is to automate processes that have a direct impact on consumers and enhance their overall experience. This underscores the organisation’s commitment to prioritising consumer-centricity in automation efforts.
By placing citizens and clients at the forefront, organisations ensure that automation initiatives are aimed at delivering tangible benefits and improving services for the individuals they serve. This approach reflects a strong dedication to enhancing the overall satisfaction and experience of citizens and clients through the strategic implementation of automation technologies.
“Automation offers an opportunity to bridge the gap between legacy systems and digital applications, serving as a temporary solution until system upgrades can be implemented. Hence, organisations recognise the need to solve present-day problems while preparing for future digital transformation,” Dan concludes.
The technology landscape constantly seeks high-power, energy-efficient devices. 3D-stacked electronics offer exciting potential, but overheating is a challenge due to their compact design. Excess heat can cause performance issues and damage. Thankfully, a new solution involving magnetic fields and innovative materials has emerged to address this challenge, ensuring these devices remain cool and efficient.
At the forefront of this breakthrough is a team of scientists led by Assistant Professor Hortense Le Ferrand of the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore – School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. They have embarked on a journey to tame the heat generated by 3D-stacked electronics and ensure they operate at peak performance.
The key to their innovation lies in a material called hexagonal boron nitride (BN), known for its exceptional heat-dissipating properties. To make BN responsive to their needs, the researchers coated microscopic BN particles with iron oxide. This strategic move rendered the particles magnetic, paving the way for precise control.
Next, they suspended these coated particles in a solvent and brought magnetic fields into play. The magic happened as the magnetic fields aligned the BN particles in various orientations. This alignment turned out to be the key to effective heat management.
The team conducted rigorous tests to gauge the heat-dissipating capabilities of these precisely oriented BN particles. What they discovered was nothing short of revolutionary: when the particles were aligned vertically, they proved incredibly efficient at channelling heat away from their source. This breakthrough alone promised a significant leap forward in the cooling technology of high-power devices.
But the innovation didn’t stop there. The orientation of the particles could also be tailored to direct heat in different directions, a flexibility that opens a world of possibilities. For instance, when these particles find themselves sandwiched between two heat-emitting electronic components, they can be configured to direct heat sideways, ensuring optimal thermal management.
Assist Prof Hortense believes this novel approach to aligning and orienting BN particles offers exciting new prospects for managing heat in high-power electronic devices. It’s a promising development that could pave the way for the widespread adoption of 3D-stacked electronics, ushering in an era of high-performance, energy-efficient devices without the nagging concern of overheating.
Preventing high-power devices ensures sustained performance. Overheating can cause these devices to throttle their performance or even shut down altogether. This can have a significant impact on productivity and functionality, especially in critical applications.
Further, managing heat is crucial for the longevity of these devices. Excessive heat can damage internal components over time, leading to a shorter lifespan. This, in turn, can result in frequent replacements, which can be costly for both consumers and manufacturers.
Besides, there are safety concerns associated with overheating. In extreme cases, it can pose a fire hazard or create electrical safety risks. Proper heat management is vital to mitigate these dangers and ensure the safe operation of high-power devices.
Efficient cooling also contributes to energy efficiency. When devices operate within their optimal temperature range, they consume less power. This not only reduces energy costs but also lessens the environmental impact.
Also, reliable operation is paramount for high-power devices, particularly in critical applications like medical equipment and aerospace technology. Overheating can lead to system failures, which may have severe consequences; hence, effective heat management is crucial to maintain the reliability of these devices.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-Madras) has revealed that its scientists creating a portable, point-of-use device for identifying heavy metals in both soil and water. Research from the Ministry of Jal Shakti shows that over 36,000 rural habitations in India are grappling with issues related to contamination from fluoride, arsenic, and heavy metals in their drinking water sources.
According to a statement from IIT-Madras, the primary aim of the research is to package the technology into an engineered device, which will be programmed to deliver a user-friendly, non-technical read-out value of the soil quality index on a mobile phone-like application.
Currently, there are no field-usable or point-of-use solutions available for laypeople to use for detecting heavy metals in soil. The presence of heavy metals in soil also impacts soil quality by contributing to soil salinity. This can have a detrimental impact on global food security due to decreased agricultural yields and potential adverse effects on human health.
Sophisticated methods, such as the Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) technique, are not accessible or user-friendly for laypeople and farmers because they involve complex and time-consuming procedures and heavily depend on advanced laboratory facilities. A portable, user-friendly device that can be operated by non-experts holds significant advantages from both social and economic standpoints.
Emphasising the potential impact of this technology, IIT-Madras Professor Sreeram K Kalpathy stated that given the heavy reliance of the Indian population on agriculture, there is an urgent need for technological solutions to detect and measure heavy metal concentrations. This would empower farmers with the information necessary to make informed decisions about which crops to cultivate and when to make interventions.
Current research efforts are focused on achieving higher resolution detection capabilities for copper, lead, and cadmium (in parts per million levels), as well as attaining the selective detection of specific metals.
The team is presently in the process of conducting tests on real soil and water samples to validate the concept. In this regard, with the assistance of the Rural Technology Action Group at IIT-Madras (RUTAG-IITM), they have also analysed water quality and the presence of heavy metals in water samples gathered from various temple tanks in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. The aim is to have the technology validated and demonstrated in a field environment over the next 3-5 years.
The government has committed to rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country. Last month, the Meghalaya state government announced plans to deploy an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered robotic boat to clean Umiam Lake, which is polluted with plastic waste.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the Umkharh and Umshyrpi rivers course through Shillong, the state capital, carrying substantial quantities of plastic waste daily and depositing it into the southern portion of the lake. This area is only accessible by boat.
As part of the Smart Village Movement, a non-profit collaborating with the state government on various initiatives, a Hong Kong company was selected to showcase its cleaning technology. The small boat brought by the company can swiftly remove 200-400 kg of waste each day, allowing for a speedy cleanup of all the waste within the next few months if the larger boat is put into operation. Currently, the company has boats that clean waste in Varanasi and Bengaluru.
The Government of Western Australia is taking steps to promote the growth of small to medium-sized local businesses by offering grants totalling over AU$3 million. These grants are intended to enhance their capabilities and competitiveness, enabling them to pursue contracts from both the government and private sector.
Known as the Local Capability Fund (LCF), this initiative serves as a crucial resource for recipients looking to expand their capacity and improve their competitiveness in supplying goods, services, and works to the government, major projects, and other significant markets.
For the upcoming fiscal year of 2023-2024, the government has announced four new LCF rounds, collectively amounting to AU$2.2 million in funding, with individual grants of up to AU$50,000. These four rounds are designed to cater to specific needs and priorities:
- Supplying Key Projects Round: This round aims to support businesses across the state in supplying essential goods and services to key government and private sector projects within priority sector markets.
- Aboriginal Business Round: This round is dedicated to businesses with a majority Aboriginal ownership. It seeks to assist these enterprises in supplying goods, services, and works to both the government and the private sector.
- National and International Standards Compliance Round: To ensure businesses adhere to the highest industry standards, this round provides financial assistance for engaging external experts to implement and obtain third-party certification for seven specific national and international standards.
- Digital Transformation Round (Upcoming): Soon, the LCF will introduce a Digital Transformation Round to provide initial support to eligible businesses in adopting and leveraging digital technologies and data. This round aims to advance the government’s understanding of digital needs in the business landscape.
Additionally, nine regional LCF rounds will be launched progressively throughout 2023-24, totalling AU$900,000 in funding with grants of up to AU$20,000. These rounds will specifically cater to businesses in regional areas, aiming to help them enhance their services and competitiveness.
Since its inception, the LCF has been instrumental in providing funding to over 600 businesses, totalling AU$22.7 million. This financial support has played a pivotal role in these businesses securing contract awards exceeding AU$1.05 billion. Beyond financial benefits, the LCF has contributed to creating more than 2,000 employment opportunities and nearly 250 apprenticeships.
The Minister Assisting the Minister for State and Industry Development, Jobs, and Trade stated that the Local Capability Fund has served as a catalyst for numerous businesses, infusing tens of millions in funding to propel their expansion. This program has not only facilitated access to over 2,000 employment opportunities but has also supported the development of 250 apprenticeships.
The Government, through its representative, wholeheartedly encourages businesses to grasp this opportunity by submitting grant applications. This initiative will empower them in their pursuits to secure contracts from both government and private sector organisations.
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, technology plays an indispensable role in enhancing efficiency, competitiveness, and growth prospects for businesses of all sizes. The Cook Government recognises this and aims to empower local businesses through the Local Capability Fund, providing them with the financial means to embrace and leverage technology. This support is especially timely as the world becomes increasingly digital and data-driven.
The new Digital Transformation Round, set to be launched in the coming weeks, underscores the government’s commitment to assisting businesses in harnessing the power of digital technologies and data. In an era where businesses must adapt to technological advancements to remain relevant and competitive, this initiative is poised to make a significant impact.
With the Digital Transformation Round, eligible businesses will have access to vital resources and support to embark on their digital journey. This includes financial assistance, expertise, and guidance on adopting and utilising digital technologies effectively. Whether it’s transitioning to cloud-based operations, implementing data analytics, or enhancing online presence, this initiative aims to equip businesses with the tools they need to thrive in a digital age.
Beyond financial support, the Digital Transformation Round also aligns with the government’s broader mission of understanding the specific technological needs of businesses. By collecting insights and feedback from participating enterprises, the government can shape future policies and initiatives to better serve the evolving tech landscape.
OpenGov Asia previously reported that the Vietnam-Australia Digital Forum 2023, organised by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), in collaboration with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and the NSW Trade and Investment Department, reflects the global importance of digital collaboration. This event, held during Minister Nguyen Manh Hung’s visit to Australia, signifies the commitment of both nations to enhance cooperation in information and communication technology.
It is part of the MIC’s broader 2023 initiatives to facilitate Vietnam’s digital business community expansion globally, with similar programs underway in countries like the United States, Japan, and Europe. These efforts underline the growing significance of international partnerships in fostering innovation, knowledge sharing, and economic growth through technology.
In a strategic move to bolster its semiconductor industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in Taiwan is poised to allocate approximately NT$800 million (S$25,084,582) to support local integrated circuit (IC) designers in the development of processes below 28 nanometres.
This substantial investment forms a crucial part of the budget earmarked for the upcoming semiconductor industry innovation project proposed by the National Science and Technology Council, awaiting final approval from the Cabinet, as confirmed by the Industrial Development Bureau under the MOEA.
ICs, the intricate assemblies of electronic components, encompassing transistors, resistors, and capacitors, have become the bedrock of modern technology. These miniature marvels are crafted on wafer-thin semiconductor substrates, underpinning a plethora of electronic devices and systems.
In safeguarding the interests of local enterprises against a highly competitive market landscape, the bureau’s subsidy programme will be geared toward companies actively engaged in the development of advanced techniques aligned with international industry trends. These include artificial intelligence (AI), smart cockpit solutions, and communication technologies.
Taiwan boasts around 200 small and medium-sized IC design firms, but only a fraction possesses the capability to venture into the intricate domains of 16nm or 14nm processes, which tend to be financially daunting for companies of their size.
To encourage participation and innovation, detailed eligibility criteria for the subsidies will be disclosed at the outset of the coming year. The government is prepared to provide financial support of up to half the amount applied for by these enterprises.
The expected timeline for reaping the rewards of this investment is promising, with the government anticipating tangible benefits within two to three years. As the global semiconductor landscape continues to evolve and confront new challenges, Taiwan’s strategic focus on nurturing homegrown talent and fostering innovation in IC design underscores its commitment to maintaining a competitive edge in this pivotal industry.
The investment in IC design processes below 28 nanometres not only fortifies Taiwan’s position as a technological powerhouse but also ensures its resilience in the face of dynamic global forces. By empowering its local talent and businesses, Taiwan stands ready to navigate the complex semiconductor terrain and emerge as a formidable player in the evolving semiconductor industry.
Electronic gadgets such as computers, cellphones, televisions, and medical equipment may all function more intelligently and efficiently due to semiconductors, which allow digital data to be translated into the real world. They enable lightning-fast data processing, storage, and transmission by facilitating the complex dance of electrons.
Semiconductors are essential to more than just consumer electronics. They serve as the foundation for sectors where exact control and dependability are crucial, such as the automobile, aerospace, healthcare, and renewable energy industries.
Semiconductors are still developing in this age of rapidly developing technology, which makes it possible to create devices with smaller sizes, quicker processors, and ground-breaking inventions. They are the unsung heroes who are paving the way for an infinite future while subtly influencing our digital environment.
Partnerships are also essential for supporting the semiconductor sector since they act as sparks for creativity and provide answers to difficult problems. Governments, academic institutions, and semiconductor businesses work together in this cooperative manner, with each group providing special skills and resources.
Partnerships additionally enhance the robustness of the supply chain. Businesses can better survive disruptions by strengthening the connections between various phases of semiconductor manufacture, as the COVID-19 epidemic showed.
Vietnam intends to start shutting down its 2G network by December, creating space for the advancement of more modern telecommunication technologies. According to the government, the 2G mobile network, initially introduced in Vietnam in 1993, has become obsolete and can no longer satisfy user demands or keep pace with the expansion of telecommunications services.
Therefore, the Authority of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is considering the complete shutdown of the 2G network. Director of the Authority, Nguyen Thanh Phuc, mentioned that the agency conducted meetings with telecom service providers in Vietnam, and these providers have committed to initiating the blocking of 2G-only devices starting in December.
As per its document released on 27 September 2022, MIC has taken steps to deactivate the 2G network across the entire country. Additionally, service providers have devised technical solutions to phase out devices that rely solely on 2G and 3G networks.
The complete switch-off is intended to optimise frequency reserves for the development of modern telecommunication technologies, such as 4G and 5G. MIC is assisting telecom service providers in devising roadmaps and transition plans for discontinuing 2G services and facilitating the migration of users to 4G and 5G networks. The objective is to reduce the number of 2G mobile subscriptions to approximately 6 million, which would represent less than 5% of the total, by the end of the year, with a complete shutdown of the 2G network planned for 2024.
According to data from service providers, at the beginning of 2023, there were over 26 million 2G mobile subscriptions, constituting about 20% of the total 126 million mobile subscriptions nationwide. However, this number decreased to 23 million as of August.
The discontinuation of 2G services has been implemented in several countries, including Japan (in 2011), Singapore (in 2017), and China (in 2021). As of October 2022, 142 telecom service providers in 56 countries and territories made plans to shut down 2G and 3G networks, and 51 of them turned off 2G services.
Earlier this month, MIC announced the setting up of a team to accelerate 6G equipment development. The team works in collaboration with internal agencies and three major telecommunications carriers, including the state-run group Viettel.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the group reviews the system of legal documents to encourage the 6G technology ecosystem. It also tests and evaluates 6G equipment. The Deputy Director of the Authority of Information Technology and Communications Industry, Nguyen Thien Nghia, oversees the team.
The group puts forth management, assessment, inspection, and testing regulations regarding 6G equipment. The government believes that better guidelines and a clear technology framework will lead to more secure 6G networks in the future.
The team is also responsible for gathering international case studies to build a strategy for the development, assessment, and testing of equipment in Vietnam. The group monitors the 6G equipment research and development around the world, collecting information on equipment types, supportive bands, prices, and standardisation.
It will attend 6G technology conferences and seminars both abroad and in the country. The group will work on fostering international cooperation in the research and development of 6G technology and equipment.
The commencement of the 6G standard and its commercial rollout is anticipated to begin around 2028, with widespread commercial deployment likely occurring in 2030. 6G networks will revolve around both humans and machines, offering advanced services such as augmented reality, high-precision mobile holograms, and digital replicas.
Smart homes will be widely adopted when smart devices can be remotely connected and controlled. Additionally, the deployment of intelligent traffic management systems, autonomous vehicles, and flying taxis can be facilitated using 6G network technology.
The Minister of Digital Economy and Society has outlined the ministry’s operational policy within the framework of “The Growth Engine of Thailand.” This plan emphasises three key areas:
- Enhancing the country’s digital capabilities for competitive advantage
- Ensuring stability and security in the digital economy and society
- Fostering the development of the nation’s digital human capital
This policy is a roadmap for advancing Thailand’s digital economy and society in the next phase.
Mr. Prasert Chandraruangthong, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES), shared this operational policy with the media, highlighting the three primary drivers of Thailand’s digital economy and society. These include:
- Strengthening digital capabilities to enhance the country’s competitiveness (Thailand Competitiveness).
- Ensuring stability and security in the digital economy and society (Safety & Security).
- Developing the potential of the country’s digital human capital (Human Capital).
Mr Prasert emphasised that the foremost driver for Thailand’s digital economy and society is a set of guidelines to enhance digital capabilities to create a competitive advantage for the nation. The Ministry of Digital Technology will focus on improving efficiency and leveraging the country’s digital infrastructure to generate opportunities. This effort will accelerate the development of telecommunications systems, high-speed internet networks, and 5G technology to enhance people’s quality of life, boost business and industrial sectors, and facilitate international trade and investment through global communication networks.
In the future, Thailand aims to become a regional hub for submarine cable networks, boost international trade and e-commerce, and enhance digital identity verification through National Digital ID. They are preparing for the AI-driven economic era and developing a master plan for responsible artificial intelligence (AI).
The Ministry of Digital Affairs plans to bolster Thailand’s global digital competitiveness by supporting Digital Startups through a Co-Investment system and the Digital Startup Go Global Development Fund. The focus is on increasing income opportunities for farmers, aiding SMEs in adopting digital tech, and positioning Thailand as a key player in Digital Content, E-SPORTS, and international trade. They aim to attract global investments in Over-The-Top (OTT) Platform businesses, streamline business establishment processes, and ensure fair tax collection.
To promote digital literacy, the ministry will facilitate internet access for children and youth, enable safe access to global libraries via AI, and encourage communities to embrace digital technology for income generation and adaptation to the digital economy.
These efforts aim to enhance the efficiency of digital government services by integrating big data from government agencies and promoting services across sectors with open APIs for public and private sector convenience. This includes implementing One Stop Service, developing the One Wallet system, and utilising Blockchain technology and Smart Contracts to establish transparent rules, reducing discretionary decision-making by officials. Thai Digital Startups will be given opportunities to participate in system development.
Thailand is preparing to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and engage with international digital agencies. They aim to transform the nation with a Mega Programme, expanding projects like Thailand Digital Valley and extending smart city areas.
Addressing cybercrime is crucial for digital economy stability. Initiatives include combating online fraud and improving cybersecurity through a Cyber Alert Centre.
Thailand plans to establish coding schools, offer accessible digital classrooms for upskilling, and incentivise digital skill development to enhance digital human capital. Short-term efforts involve:
- Setting up a Cyber Alert Centre.
- Fostering gaming careers.
- Addressing workforce shortages via the Global Digital Talent Visa programme.
Businesses across the globe are increasingly recognising the advantages of embracing a strategy that prioritises edge computing, cloud-based operations and data-centric management and harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) during this era of digital transformation and sustainability.
This shift in focus is not just an evolution within the business realm; instead, it holds remarkable potential to revolutionise entire industries and foster unprecedented levels of efficiency and innovation. No doubt, as businesses step into this new era, they will be presented with fresh opportunities as well as new challenges.
This transformation influences the operational aspects of companies but also has the potential to reshape the very foundations of their respective industries. Organisations must prepare themselves for a multitude of shifts.
These include changes related to data gathering, management and utilisation, along with the substantial influence of AI technology on their product and service development, customer engagement strategies, and overall business operations.
Organisations in Singapore are leading the way in embracing a sustainable digital future, setting a benchmark for others to follow. These initiatives not only bolster the country’s economic growth but also position it as a significant contender for long-term economic stability in the digital era.
Recent reports highlight an intriguing trend within the business sector. A remarkable 86% of corporate executives recognise that sustainability represents an investment that not only safeguards their companies from potential future disruptions but also fulfils a vital social responsibility.
Furthermore, it reveals that sustainability extends beyond environmental preservation, encompassing the optimisation of specific business functions, including cost control. Indeed, 80% of corporate leaders have reported cost optimisation as a direct result of their sustainability initiatives. This underscores the synergy between operational efficiency and immediate economic sustainability, showcasing how sustainability can yield tangible benefits.
In the pursuit of digital transformation and sustainability, numerous challenges must be confronted. One such hurdle involves the belief that the optimal strategy involves migrating all workloads to the cloud. While cloud computing offers substantial benefits, it may not fully account for the complexities of the contemporary information technology landscape.
The IT ecosystem comprises not only the tried-and-true but still valuable older generations of technologies but also newer innovations. Moreover, many businesses today rely on an array of diverse cloud services, resulting in what is commonly referred to as a “multi-cloud” environment. Additionally, sustainable IT strategies must take into account the rapidly expanding realm of edge computing.
To surmount these challenges, enterprises need to formulate an IT strategy that acknowledges the intricacies of the broader IT landscape beyond simply transitioning workloads to the cloud. They must strategise on how to effectively manage a diverse array of cloud services, seamlessly integrate both legacy and modern technology, and incorporate the growing significance of edge computing into their plans.
The OpenGov Events convened Singapore’s foremost technology leaders on 21 September 2023, at the Raffles City Convention Center Singapore to discuss the most recent insights regarding the key elements reshaping strategies for digital transformation. The session focussed on sustainability advancements, prioritising data-centric approaches, and adapting to the evolving landscape of hybrid design.
According to Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia, in an era marked by dynamic digital transformation and a heightened focus on sustainability, businesses across the globe are recognising the immense potential of adopting an edge-centric, data-driven approach. At the forefront of this transformative convergence stands Singapore, setting the benchmark for sustainable digitalisation while positioning itself as a global leader in this paradigm shift.
“The marriage of sustainability and data-driven strategies is poised to reshape businesses and economies alike,” says Mohit.
Singapore’s pioneering role in sustainable digitalisation offers a blueprint for nations worldwide seeking to balance technological advancement with ecological preservation. By successfully aligning economic growth with environmental responsibility, the nation showcases the way forward in harmonising these two seemingly disparate goals.
Mohit recalls Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s remarks at the recent G20 New Delhi Summit. Prime Minister Lee underlined the importance of expanded private finance to confront the “existential” threat of climate change, which will necessitate trillions of dollars in annual investments to achieve global net-zero emissions by 2050.
Singapore’s blended finance platform, according to the Prime Minister, aims to pool resources from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors to fund green initiatives and assist high-carbon enterprises in their attempts to reduce emissions.
For businesses, this paradigm shift represents a profound opportunity. The adoption of edge-centric approaches and the strategic integration of data-driven technologies empower companies to operate more efficiently and respond swiftly to evolving market demands. This synergy between sustainability and top performance underscores the importance of making environmental responsibility a fundamental element of digital transformation strategies.
As organisations align their technology with sustainability objectives, they unlock the potential of cloud computing, edge computing, and AI to optimise processes and drive efficiency. To fully harness this potential, effective data management, governance, security, and analytics form the bedrock for unlocking valuable insights that fuel revenue growth and expansion.
“The integration of sustainability and digital transformation necessitates strategic planning, precise data management, and unwavering commitment to innovation,” Mohit says. “By incorporating these elements, businesses position themselves for success in a future characterised by growth fueled by sustainability and technological advancement.”
This convergence of sustainability and digital transformation promises enhanced business performance, granting organisations a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving landscape. Furthermore, sustainability extends beyond ethical or efficiency considerations, serving as a wise investment in long-term resilience that strengthens businesses against disruptions and uncertainties.
Sustainable IT encompasses more than cloud migration, requiring an inclusive approach accommodating multi-generation systems, various cloud platforms, and the emerging realm of edge computing. This comprehensive approach paves the way for organisations to thrive in an increasingly interconnected and sustainable future.
Elevating customer experiences through a data-first approach is about understanding individual preferences, harnessing data analytics, and embracing innovation agility. Prioritising customer-centricity and strategic data utilisation enables businesses to forge deep connections with their audience, laying the foundation for sustainable growth.
Mohit recognises that data-driven insights fuel innovation, allowing organisations to introduce products and services aligned with customer preferences. Hence, adopting a “hybrid by design” approach involves seamlessly integrating efficient technologies, circular economy principles, and environmental factors into business strategies.
“This approach not only enhances competitiveness but also contributes to an eco-friendlier digital landscape,” Mohit observes.
Leveraging large-scale AI powered by renewable energy represents a significant stride toward sustainable IT practices, combining efficiency and environmental responsibility. By optimising workloads, minimising waste, and embracing circular economy principles, organisations can contribute to a more environmentally conscious technological landscape.
Mohit believes that to navigate the challenges in delivering sustainable and customer-centric experiences, businesses should integrate data security, sustainability, innovation, and adaptability into their approach. Ethical data practices, AI-driven insights, and flexibility are key elements in this endeavour.
Balancing data utilisation with stringent security measures is essential to maintain customer trust and avoid breaches. Harmonising innovation with sustainability objectives requires strategic decision-making.
“Ensuring data accuracy and reliability across various platforms is a consistent effort, and extracting meaningful insights from abundant data is crucial for informed decision-making,” Mohit concludes.
The pandemic has altered the nature of work considerably, requiring companies to find innovative strategies for ensuring continuity, boosting productivity and adaptability when handling emergency scenarios. One such adaptation has been the introduction of a hybrid work model, allowing employees to work from home for a portion of their workweek. Besides affording employees greater flexibility, this work model enables organisations to optimise their resource allocation.
Joseph Yang, Managing Director, Singapore at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, agrees that a hybrid work style can lead to cost savings in maintaining physical offices and related infrastructure. With employees able to work from anywhere with a strong internet connection, it also expands access to talent beyond the confines of a traditional office location.
Moreover, the adoption of a hybrid work model goes beyond its immediate benefits and significantly contributes to an organisation’s agility in navigating the dynamic and ever-changing business environment. This flexibility empowers companies to make swifter and more adept adjustments in response to shifting circumstances and emerging challenges.
Conversely, when organisations adopt a hybrid strategy, data bias often arises inadvertently, as Joseph shares. It is important that organisations acknowledge this issue and take a more proactive stance in addressing it. One approach involves harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) on a broader scale to transform data bias into a valuable source of intelligence.
AI proves particularly effective in identifying, managing, and rectifying bias, surpassing human capabilities in terms of accuracy and efficiency. As a result, AI is increasingly leveraged to mitigate data bias. It can swiftly and comprehensively analyse vast datasets, while also identifying potential bias-indicating patterns and providing relevant solutions.
Furthermore, AI possesses the capability to continuously evolve and enhance its bias-mitigation abilities through learning from newly acquired data. Consequently, the utilisation of AI can aid organisations not only in pinpointing existing biases within their data but also in proactively preventing the emergence of new biases in the future.
This strategic approach allows businesses to accelerate the adoption of a data-driven methodology that precedes and generates actionable insights. Consequently, organisational performance experiences a notable boost, and challenges related to information technology sustainability become more intricate, reflecting the rapid evolution of technology’s role in shaping businesses.
Joseph thinks that one of the pivotal domains for addressing this issue revolves around enhancing data centre efficiency. By implementing cooling solutions, transitioning to renewable energy sources, and designing data centres with energy-efficient layouts, organisations can significantly diminish their carbon footprint.
Furthermore, the adoption of lifecycle management techniques, data compression, and deduplication can curtail the demand for data storage and subsequently reduce energy consumption. Additional measures to mitigate the carbon footprint include decreasing travel through server virtualisation, promoting remote work arrangements and opting for environmentally conscious data storage solutions.
A commitment to sustainability, along with ongoing monitoring and transparent reporting, forms the cornerstone of an environmentally responsible data management strategy. This mindset can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to information technology.
According to Joseph, the term “sustainable information technology” encompasses the adoption of information technology practices and tools that align with long-term sustainability objectives and demonstrate environmental consciousness. These strategies will significantly aid a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to data management and technology infrastructure.
Joseph underscored the importance of thoughtfully selecting data centre locations that enable the implementation of efficient cooling systems and the utilisation of renewable energy sources. Just intentionally and strategically selecting locations can make substantial strides in reducing their carbon footprint and minimising their ecological impact.
Sustainable information technology not only benefits the environment, but also offers cost efficiencies, resource optimisation, and better operational results. This enables organisations to reduce energy consumption, reduce operational costs, improve resource allocation, and ensure business continuity through reduced downtime.
“Embracing sustainable information technology in line with increasingly stringent environmental regulations and customer expectations makes the organisation a responsible and forward-thinking entity in the modern business landscape,” Joseph concludes.
Architecting an intrinsically sustainable, data-first, and hybrid-by-design future represents a forward-looking approach that integrates three critical elements: sustainability, data-centricity, and hybrid infrastructure. This approach is poised to shape the future of businesses and technologies in an increasingly interconnected and eco-conscious world.
Ashutosh Sharan, Vice President of Customer Solutions for Southeast Asia at Mastercard, highlights Mastercard’s proactive involvement in various endeavours that fuse sustainability with digital transformation.
One noteworthy initiative is the introduction of the Priceless Planet Coalition, where Mastercard collaborates with organisations such as Conservation International to embark on an ambitious mission of restoring 100 million trees over five years. This undertaking ingeniously utilises technology to actively engage consumers in meaningful environmental conservation efforts.
Additionally, Mastercard remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing digital financial inclusion, particularly in underserved regions. Through the deployment of digital payment solutions, Mastercard aims to empower individuals economically, concurrently diminishing the dependence on cash transactions.
“Mastercard dedicates substantial data resources to propel sustainability initiatives.,” Ashutosh explains. “We analyse payment data and consumer behaviour to encourage environmentally conscious choices.”
The company also places a strong emphasis on supply chain sustainability, harnessing digital solutions to empower businesses in monitoring and enhancing the environmental footprint of their operations.
Furthermore, their initiatives to offer digital identity solutions for marginalised populations are aimed at bolstering financial access and sustainability within the digital economy.
Mastercard has established an ambitious objective of attaining carbon neutrality in its worldwide operations by the year 2050. To achieve this, they are actively integrating sustainable practices and cutting-edge technology to significantly diminish their carbon footprint.
Moreover, they are engaged in projects focused on smart cities and urban sustainability. These initiatives entail partnerships with cities to deploy digital solutions that enhance transportation systems and promote urban sustainability. In addition, Mastercard is dedicated to supporting digital education initiatives that advocate for sustainable practices among individuals and businesses alike.
Ashutosh acknowledges that aligning sustainability goals with customer expectations can be challenging due to factors such as insufficient awareness, conflicting priorities, and the perceived high costs associated with sustainable products. To overcome these obstacles, companies should implement clear and easily understandable communication strategies that highlight the mutual benefits of sustainability, while also providing incentives for making sustainable choices.
He further suggests that addressing the issue of limited product availability requires close collaboration with suppliers and partners, expanding accessibility through various means, and considering online sales options. Ensuring transparency within supply chains, adapting to evolving customer preferences, and demonstrating tangible and measurable sustainability impacts are all critical steps in meeting these challenges.
Building trust by avoiding greenwashing, tailoring sustainability efforts to local preferences, and proactively engaging and educating customers through events and collaborations are key strategies to align sustainability goals effectively with customer expectations. Ultimately, companies that prioritise transparency, education, and customer collaboration are better equipped to foster a shared commitment to sustainability with their customer base.
“Ensuring a consistent and seamless customer journey across various channels in a hybrid model necessitates a well-planned strategy,” Ashutosh explains. “It begins with centralising customer data through a CRM system, which serves as a foundation for personalisation.”
The significance of adopting an omnichannel approach, which entails maintaining consistent messaging, branding, and service standards across both physical and digital touchpoints, cannot be understated.
It is crucial for the integration of technologies to be seamless, enabling the smooth flow of data between these channels to facilitate effortless transitions for customers. This uniformity in branding, design, and messaging serves to reinforce brand recognition and build trust.
In Ashutosh’s view, personalisation driven by customer data is paramount, ensuring that customers feel genuinely understood and well-served, regardless of the channel they opt for. Providing a consistent customer support experience, whether through phone, email, chat, or in-person interactions, remains of utmost importance.
Ashutosh emphasises that mobile optimisation is absolutely crucial in today’s business landscape. Mobile experiences must align with and match the quality of desktop interactions. Moreover, he stresses the importance of continuous feedback collection and iterative improvement to ensure that customer experiences are constantly evolving and improving.
In addition, Ashutosh highlights the vital importance of robust cybersecurity measures and strict data privacy protocols. These are essential not only for protecting sensitive customer information but also for maintaining and reinforcing customer trust in the long term.
Dr. Tung Whye Loon, the Director of Data, AI & Research at SP Digital, a part of SP Group, spoke on how SP Digital has achieved successful integration of AI and data optimisation into various facets of its operations, reaping numerous advantages.
One noteworthy application is predictive maintenance, driven by AI, which allows SP Digital to anticipate equipment failures and proactively perform maintenance, thereby reducing unplanned downtime and bolstering asset reliability. Additionally, the utilisation of AI in demand forecasting optimises production and distribution, ensuring efficient operations and minimising issues like stockouts or surpluses.
“AI-driven fraud detection enhances customer protection and financial security, while customer segmentation enables more effective marketing campaigns through personalised targeting,” Dr Tung explains.
SP Digital is actively exploring additional applications of AI and data optimisation to continue advancing its operations. This encompasses streamlining energy consumption through the use of AI for scheduling production during off-peak hours and the implementation of demand-response programmes to manage energy demand more efficiently.
Furthermore, there is significant potential for enhancing customer service through AI. Chatbots and machine learning can play a pivotal role in addressing customer inquiries promptly and efficiently, while also identifying potential churn risks.
Additionally, AI-driven data analysis can be instrumental in fostering innovation. It can identify customer patterns and generate fresh ideas through natural language processing, thereby facilitating the development of innovative products and services.
These initiatives showcase SP Digital’s commitment to leveraging AI and data optimisation to transform its operations and enhance customer value, according to Dr Tung.
Harnessing the potential of large-scale AI for a data-first strategy requires a systematic approach aimed at transforming organisations into data-driven powerhouses. This journey commences with the meticulous collection and integration of data from diverse sources, with a focus on ensuring data quality and standardisation.
The application of AI-powered analytics, including machine learning and predictive models, then plays a pivotal role in unveiling hidden patterns and correlations within vast datasets, offering valuable insights crucial for informed decision-making.
Moreover, the establishment of scalable infrastructure, such as cloud computing and edge computing, becomes vital to accommodate the ever-expanding volumes of data and facilitate real-time analysis. Strong data governance practices, robust cybersecurity measures, and unwavering compliance with data privacy regulations are indispensable elements for safeguarding data integrity and security throughout this process.
Dr Tung stresses that actionable insights are derived through visualisation, reporting, and automated alerts, empowering stakeholders to make data-driven decisions.
“Continuous learning, feedback loops, and a data-first culture foster ongoing improvement, with cross-functional collaboration and measurable impact driving the adoption of AI-powered data strategies,” he believes. “Ethical considerations guide responsible AI and data practices, ensuring the ethical use of data and AI technologies throughout the organisation.”
In a resource-intensive, hybrid IT environment, achieving a harmonious blend of innovation and sustainability is paramount. This can be accomplished by embracing a multi-faceted approach that addresses both technological advancement and ecological responsibility. Organisations should prioritise energy efficiency and renewable resources to power their IT infrastructure, complemented by data centre optimisation techniques that reduce resource wastage.
Dr Tung believes that embracing cloud computing and hybrid models allows for dynamic resource allocation, minimising energy consumption, “Circular economy principles encourage the recycling and reusing of IT equipment, further reducing environmental impact.”
Additionally, encouraging innovation for sustainability promotes the development of green IT solutions and the integration of emerging technologies to optimise resource utilisation. Effective data optimisation and management strategies minimise data redundancy, leading to lower storage and processing requirements.
Dr Tung firmly believes that involving employees in sustainable practices and regularly monitoring key performance indicators related to sustainability serves as the foundation for nurturing a culture of accountability within the organisation.
By adhering to environmental regulations and actively collaborating with eco-conscious suppliers, the organisation ensures that sustainability remains a central focus in its IT operations. This commitment to sustainability underscores the organisation’s dedication to responsible environmental stewardship.
By implementing these strategies, organisations can effectively balance the demands of innovation with sustainability in resource-intensive, hybrid IT environments, reducing their environmental footprint and contributing to a greener, more responsible future.
Joseph Yang, the Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in Singapore, revealed that HPE encounters various sustainability challenges in its pursuit of sustainability goals. Among these challenges, one major concern is the substantial energy consumption associated with its data centres and manufacturing facilities.
Addressing these energy-related issues is a crucial aspect of the company’s sustainability mission. HPE has successfully implemented strategies to diminish energy consumption without compromising operational efficiency, thereby mitigating its environmental impact.
Additionally, being a technology company, HPE faces the challenge of managing electronic waste (e-waste) stemming from outdated equipment. To address this issue responsibly, HPE emphasises the need for proper disposal and recycling methods to minimise environmental harm associated with e-waste disposal.
HPE confronts significant challenges in its sustainability initiatives, including the need to ensure the sustainability of its extensive supply chain. This encompasses responsible material sourcing and ethical labour practices, both of which require diligent management and oversight.
Moreover, HPE faces the intricate task of balancing data privacy and security concerns with its sustainability objectives. This balancing act underscores the complexity of HPE’s sustainability efforts, as it strives to uphold its commitment to sustainability while safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring robust cybersecurity measures are in place.
Joseph notes that HPE acknowledges several sustainability opportunities within its operations. One significant avenue involves embracing energy-efficient technologies and adopting sustainable practices within its data centres and facilities. This approach presents an opportunity to reduce energy consumption without compromising performance, aligning with HPE’s commitment to sustainability.
Joseph is confident that HPE can further capitalise on circular economy principles by refurbishing and repurposing old IT equipment, promoting recycling, and extending product lifecycles. Collaborating with suppliers and partners enables HPE to drive sustainability throughout its supply chain, from responsible material sourcing to reduced emissions in logistics and transportation.
Leveraging its technological expertise, HPE can innovate sustainable IT solutions, such as energy-efficient servers and environmentally friendly data storage, he says. Harnessing data analytics and AI allows HPE to optimise operations for sustainability, including predictive maintenance to reduce energy consumption and data-driven supply chain improvements.
HPE’s engagement with customers through green IT solutions and services, along with a dedication to regulatory compliance, enhances the company’s reputation as a responsible and sustainable organisation.
“By addressing sustainability challenges and capitalising on opportunities, HPE is well-positioned to align its business objectives with environmental and social responsibility” Joseph concludes. “Ultimately, we are contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future for all.”
Alexis Crowell, Vice President and CTO, Sales, Marketing and Communications Group – Asia Pacific and Japan, Intel reiterated the significance of implementing and seamlessly integrating data within the organisation to enhance customer satisfaction. By maintaining a robust data history, services can be tailored to better align with the individual needs of customers, ensuring greater personalisation and relevance.
Well-integrated data allows organisations to respond quickly to customer issues or complaints, which can improve company image and build customer trust. Additionally, this data-driven approach empowers organisations to identify trends and patterns in customer behaviour, which can then be leveraged to formulate more potent and effective marketing strategies.
Alexis believes that effective data management not only enhances customer satisfaction but also enables organisations to streamline their internal processes, leading to cost reductions and improved overall efficiency. Consequently, prioritising data integrity and quality represents a valuable investment in the pursuit of long-term success for any organisation.
Alexis added that it is possible to align data-based organisations with information technology sustainability. This strategic focus not only promotes eco-friendly practices but also fosters long-term resilience and responsible stewardship of resources in the digital age.
“Organisations do not need to worry about not being able to achieve harmony between efficient and sustainable use of information technology,” she argues. “With the right commitment and smart investments, every organisation can take steps towards sustainable, environmentally friendly data management.”
Mohit emphasised the crucial role of engaging the entire organisation in this ongoing journey, asserting that it’s not solely the responsibility of the IT department. The far-reaching effects and advantages of sustainable information technology reverberate throughout the entire organisation.
He believes that ample resources and support are readily accessible to organisations aspiring to embark on the path of information technology sustainability. These resources encompass a spectrum of tools, expert guidance, best practices and collaborative networks, all designed to facilitate a smooth and successful transition toward sustainable technology practices.
“By tapping into these available resources, organisations can navigate the complexities of sustainability initiatives with confidence and vigour, fostering a brighter future for both their operations and the planet,” Mohit is convinced.
In closing, Mohit extended his gratitude to all the delegates for their presence and active participation. He firmly believes that their invaluable insights and contributions not only enriched the discussions but also solidified a collective commitment to forging a sustainable and progressive future.