The Future of Services in Singapore 

An IndSights Research report summary on Services 4.0 
Analyst(s): Tiffany Lim, Yvonne Tan 

 

As a tiny nation, Singapore’s growth depends on our ability to adapt and evolve with the emerging technologies that are accelerating changes globally.  

In June 2018, the development of the Services and Digital Economy (SDE) Technology Roadmap was commissioned to help Singapore capture opportunities created by emerging technology. Services 4.0 is Singapore’s vision for delivering next-generation services in the future.  

Services 4.0 is the next paradigm shift in the future where the ICT industry will benefit by shifting towards Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS), providing seamless services that are end-to-end, frictionless, empathic, and can anticipate customer needs in an unprecedented way using emerging technologiesIn this vision, digital and applications are designed and delivered as cloud-native microservices, leveraging advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT).i

IndSights Research surveyed companies providing IT services to find out where they are on this journey since it was launched. We started by looking at the level of awareness of Services 4.0 and found that 2 in 5 companies heard at least a little about Services 4.0.  

Next, we looked at emerging technologies, which are on the rise and we already see their influences in many parts of our lives and businesses. The biggest impact of these changes will be in the services sector, which forms the bulk of the global economy and Singapore’s GDP. ii 

For our study, 12 emerging technology solutions were identified as follows: 

1. AI software
2. IoT
3. Monitoring detection and response
4. Identity and access management
5. Infrastructure protection
6. AI for decision making
7. Machine to machine system
8. Human machine interaction
9. Blockchain
10. 5G
11. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
12. 3D scanning 

Of the companies polled, we found that 2 in 3 companies are currently providing at least 1 of the 12 emerging technology solutions, while 28% of the rest plan to offer at least 1 of the solutions within the next 3 years. 

There is also a trend in which companies who had heard about Services 4.0 were significantly more likely to offer at least 1 of the emerging technology solutions. 

We postulate that the companies who are more familiar with the initiative also understand the steps in the Services 4.0 journey, and know of the platforms to tap on for support (e.g. grants). These companies can therefore better capture the opportunities of the growing digital services economy and stay ahead of the rest. 

In the roadmap for Services 4.0, one of IMDA’s proposed approaches to create value is by aligning with the flexible consumption model, which is gaining traction across industries.iii 

Our study showed that more than 1/3 of the companies currently offer subscription-based service models, while 1/4 of the rest plan to offer such payment models in the next 3 years. This number suggests that there is increasing popularity in offering such models and supports IMDA’s thrust. 

 

At the heart of the new technology ecosystem is the Cloud Native Architecture, which will bring together components of emerging technologies and make them accessible to all workers and types of businesses. IndSights Research found that 3 in 4 companies polled were keen to find out more about GoCloud. Companies that had greater awareness of Services 4.0 were also more likely to be interested in GoCloud. 

Note: GoCloud is part of a series of initiatives to help ICT SMEs build digital capabilities to remain relevant and competitive, participate in future opportunities in Digital Government as well as to support Singapore’s transformation towards a Digital Economy. iv 

Overall, the findings seem positive with a good number of the polled companies already on the journey towards Service 4.0, or showing interest in moving along with the vision if they have not started yet.

About the study:

402 companies providing Information Technology (IT) services were polled between July and October 2019. Participants of the poll will receive a more detailed report. If you are interested in our future studies, click here to register. If you would also like to read our articles on various new technologies, add us on LinkedIn.

References: 

i. SERVICES AND DIGITAL ECONOMY TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP. (2018). Adapted from: https://www2.imda.gov.sg/-/media/Imda/Files/Industry-Development/Infrastructure/Technology/Technology-Roadmap/SDE-TRM-Main-Report.pdf?la=en

ii. 72% in 2017 (Source: Singstat, Ministry of Manpower, Singapore (MOM)). 

iii. SERVICES AND DIGITAL ECONOMY TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP. (2018). Page 34. Adapted from: https://www2.imda.gov.sg/-/media/Imda/Files/Industry-Development/Infrastructure/Technology/Technology-Roadmap/SDE-TRM-Main-Report.pdf?la=en

iv. FAQs for GoCloudFrom: https://www2.imda.gov.sg/-/media/Imda/Files/Industry-Development/Small-and-Medium-Enterprises/ICT-SMEs-Capability-Development/GoCloud/GoCloud-FAQ-Sheet.pdf?la=en

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