Digital capabilities to help customers during pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on most industries in Singapore, and this is particularly true of the tech space, said Grant Torrens, regional director of Hays in Singapore.
“Alongside Singapore’s commitment to becoming a smart nation, the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of most businesses. To support this wave of new projects, IT roles have become even more integral to ensuring organisations are able to adapt to new ways of working in an agile and effective manner,” said Torrens.
But even beyond the pandemic, Torrens believes that technology will continue to play a critical role in the coming months. He outlines four sectors that are likely to boost demand for IT professionals in Singapore.
Cybersecurity – With the proliferation of digital communication technologies in both personal and professional lives, Cybersecurity professionals and the cybersecurity industry as a whole saw a surge in demand that will continue. “Businesses need to ensure their new digitised systems and models are secure enough to deal with any new threats. Even Zoom, one of the greatest business success stories during the pandemic, had its challenges in this area. Cybersecurity will continue to be an area of promise and innovation for IT professionals,” said Torrens.
Data-led decision making – “A number of businesses have pivoted their business models using technology during COVID-19,” said Torrens. “After crossing the initial period of alarm at the onset of the outbreak, businesses and public bodies have started thinking about how they can continue to operate successfully under COVID-19 conditions. This has created a need for Data Analysts, Data Scientists and Machine Learning experts to model the impact of the pandemic in their respective fields.”
The number of data-led roles within MedTech also saw huge growth, as countries developed COVID-tracking apps and began to understand the impact the pandemic may have on local hospitals or health services, for example. Private businesses, like insurance companies, also saw the need to recruit these specialists, to understand the impact COVID would have on their customers’ risk profiles.
“In addition to this, there is a growing amount of data being collected as more companies go digital. The pursuit of organisations to harness this data and use it to make decisions will keep these roles in demand for some time to come,” said Torrens.
E-commerce – Retail was one of the sectors hit hardest by the impact of the pandemic. “Businesses were forced to move their retail operations online, hiring Developers to build applications and UI/UX specialists to either upgrade or build new digital e-commerce structures to sell from. This created a knock-on effect for Supply Chain & Logistics businesses, as supermarkets and companies like Amazon and Alibaba had to deal with a massive influx of online orders,” says Grant. The health and leisure space also saw a big adaptation, as Health Tech developments enabled gyms and other leisure activities to move online and into apps, adapting to the needs of their customers by offering app-based classes and booking capabilities.
Digital projects – “Organisations in Singapore quickly adapted to the challenges of country-wide lockdowns and made the necessary alterations to their operating models in the short-term to react to the changing environments. Now, they are starting to take a more proactive look at their futures, and need the help of Project Managers, Change Management specialists and those with experience in Agile Methodologies to assist them with this transition. They will also need Developers to build the digital applications required by their employees and customers,” said Torrens. This trend is being seen in both the public and private sectors who are working on digitising their products and services.
Torrens adds that IT infrastructure is a fifth area that played a critical role in the way business reacted to the pandemic and will remain integral as new ways of working become the norm. “Employers are now taking the time to proactively review their actions during the early stages of the pandemic. A large part of this includes improving and enhancing their remote working systems, especially considering that a higher proportion of remote or hybrid working is likely to be a key element of the new era of work.”