Andrew Tan Managing Director, JOS Singapore

As the Managing Director of JOS Singapore, Andrew Tan spearheads JOS business and operations in Singapore, leading the company’s transformation and growth. He took up this position in 2016, bringing with him more than two decades of business experience in the technology field, blending his technology expertise with his strong business acumen.

Key Takeaways
Singapore employers recognise the need to upgrade their workforce to compete effectively in the digital era
5 steps to start the smart workplace journey
Digital workplace promises to increase productivity by 28-43 minutes per user per day
Education, logistics and SMEs are starting their digitisation journey with JOS Singapore
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July 06, 2018
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The digital workplace: first step to nationwide digitisation

Singapore is well on its way to becoming a smart nation. With the government’s commitment to its Industry Transformation Map (ITM) initiative, digitisation has become more than a buzzword for local businesses.

This direction and approach is important in today’s digitised and disruptive world. It is even more so the case for Singapore, as its growth relies heavily on value-added services and a smarter workforce.

It is reported that by 2030, 25% of work activities and jobs in Singapore are expected to be displaced by automation due to escalating wage costs. In fact, Member of Parliament (MP) Melvin Yong recently touched upon how many Singaporeans are concerned about job security amidst the ever-changing and growing digital landscape.

Many employers are recognising the need to upgrade the skillsets of their workforce to compete effectively in this new era.

Focusing on the 23 government-launched ITMs, MP Yong highlighted the significant role the employers play in facilitating the transition of their workforce into the digital age. Business leaders need to educate and articulate the intricacies of the business, allay fears and provide training to equip employees with the skills and value-add necessary to remain relevant.

To enable successful digitisation initiatives, business leaders are not only investing in disruptive technologies, but also disrupting business processes. After all, if your business is not disruptive, you will be disrupted.

Where should businesses begin?

With more business transformation initiatives supported by artificial intelligence, cloud computing, automation and everything-as-a-service (XaaS), employers have a plethora of options to help them on their journey to digitising the workplace.

However, from our experience working with a variety of local and regional businesses, we’ve learned that the best way to begin is start small, think big.

Technology alone is not enough. A critical piece of digitisation starts from within. People are at the core of such transformation and they are the crucial energy needed to drive successful digitisation.

To encourage their workforce to share the same digitisation journey and vision, business leaders need to be specifically cognisant of individual employees and how they operate to provide a more engaging workplace. Thus, it is important to start this journey through transforming workspace before achieving greater success across organisations.

To help businesses to embark on this journey, we suggest five simple steps that marry people, technology and processes:

5 Steps

The foundation of a digital workplace

A true digital workplace goes beyond a fancy pantry or biometric security systems. It enables users to share files safely and securely across multiple devices, create automatic workflows, as well as to achieve faster and more direct return of investment.

But such an infrastructure is only available upon a flexible and scalable IT infrastructure based on the specific business needs of an organisation. The good news is, now more than ever before, this infrastructure is much easier to build.

Reaping the benefits

We are already seeing organisations across the country enjoying the benefits of workplace transformation. More than 1,300 SMEs are finding a 25% increase in productivity after tapping on Tech Depot, an SME Portal offering technology solutions developed by A*Star, Enterprise Singapore and IMDA.

Furthermore, studies have shown that a digital workplace promises an average of 28 to 43 minutes of increased productivity per user, per day.

Working with a wide range of industries, we have seen sectors such as education, logistics and SMEs benefitting the most from digital workplace transformation.

Digitisation in schools bring significant increases in student engagement. A recent collaboration with an institute of higher learning saw us implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It was managed and hosted over a cloud environment to optimise management, control and support. The solution provides a cost-effective and flexible model for the education institute via a pay-as-you-use model.

We are also seeing cloud-based platforms revolutionising the logistics and supply-chain industries by streamlining inventory management and communications.

While digitisation is slowly and surely making its presence felt, there is however a need for more support and guidance for SMEs to help them with their digital transformation journeys and enable them to better compete in today’s international arena.

With the maturity in technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, VDI and XaaS, there is an opportunity for digitisation in every business. The key is identifying the specific needs and solutions that best fit the organsation.

Are you ready to take the first step?

Note: This article was first published on "Enterprise Innovation"