SGTech – Front Page News!
The Business Times – (BT Exclusive Feature)
Singaporeans woke up to SGTech on the front page of their papers today. Key findings of the SGTech Annual Business Survey were featured in an exclusive article by Janice Heng, in the Business Times.
The survey data indicates that recruitment remains a primary concern for firms in Singapore. The survey respondents include both technology providers and users, with both segments citing high costs and manpower capability constraints as the top two challenges in technology adoption.
The push for digitalization is vital to wider goals of economic transformation and firms have voiced concerns about the talent shortage as a major barrier to technology adoption. However, a number of initiatives exist to improve the current talent crunch, such as TechSkills Accelator. The Chairman of SGTech, Saw Ken Wye, recognized the government effort to provide assistance via such programs, but that, “..the impact of these initiatives will be gradual and take time.”
For the interim, government initiatives have been set up to facilitate continued growth in the tech sector by easing the acquisition of highly-skilled foreign talent, as long as companies have given proper and fair consideration to local professionals. For example, the new Capability Transfer Programme provides funding to bring in overseas experts to train local staff. Yet, some companies may want to recruit foreign talent below the Employment Pass (EP) salary level.
“It is no longer easy to bring in general talent at the S Pass level,” said Mr. Saw, who emphasized the importance of a strong Singaporean core for employers. “Companies understand the constraints and would need to work within them.”
Despite manpower concerns, SGTech’s research indicates that firms remain optimistic for 2018, with nine in 10 expecting positive turnover growth and nine in 10 expecting positive net profit growth. Looking forward this year, tech company’s investment plans include data analytics, AI and cyber security, as the top three areas of focus.
Further information can be found online in the SGTech Annual Business Survey Executive Summary.
Published March 2018