INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Contributed Content, Singapore
Kunaciilan Nallappan

At the crossroad of digital transformation and disruption


With the proliferation of devices and rapid improvement in infrastructure, Singapore, along with the rest of Asia, is at the crossroad of digital transformation and disruption. No other region is developing quite as quickly when it comes to the adoption of new technologies and innovation. This has brought a lot of attention to apps and technology that connect users, information, and devices.

According to IDC, by 2020, IoT in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) is expected to explode to 8.6 billion devices and worth US$583 billion. That IoT is poised to take Asia and the rest of the world by storm is hardly surprising, because IoT has the potential to positively impact the collection, processing, and analysis of data, as well as the regulation of different systems to support a digitised environment for both the private and public sector in any country. 

Making Smart Nation a reality with the Internet of Things
Singapore's Smart Nation project is built on the vision of creating a hyper-connected nation that encompasses every facet of a citizen’s life, from smart transportation to the smart workplace. With the initiative, the Singapore Government expects a major change, with innovative solutions to issues like urban congestion, healthcare for the rapidly aging population, and demand for productivity.

Despite having one of the strongest infrastructures in Southeast Asia, Singapore continues to look at further improving both its infrastructure and environment to achieve its vision of a Smart Nation. The environment will become more intelligent and interactive, with Government organisations being able to generate useful data, drive analytics, and develop applications to improve healthcare, transportation, and more.

Since the beginning of 2015, the Singapore government has started to integrate electronic sensors, digital cameras, and devices with the nation’s infrastructure. Most recently, Singapore's Land and Transport Authority announced that the next generation electronic road pricing system will begin running in 2020s with the aim of introducing more flexibility in managing traffic congestion with distance-based road pricing. In the near future, Singapore will likely see the Government, Citizens, Businesses, Devices, and Apps all connected in a seamless manner.

Applications: Playing a huge role in a hyper-connected society
Applications will play a huge role in achieving a hyper-connected society, working hard to ensure the success of the Smart Nation initiative. Within this context, there are various issues which all organisations need to consider. From a growing reliance on applications to a growing need to scale IT infrastructure very rapidly, the delivery of applications in a hyper-connected environment needs to be carried out without a hitch.

An application could be the best application in the world, but it would be obsolete if it is not highly available or cannot meet the expectations of users. Ultimately, the user experience should always be optimal: peak performance regardless of devices, along with reliability, agility, and security. Even when on the move, users are highly-influenced by the reliability of applications, and the more dynamic and uninterrupted they are, the more likely they are to use them.

The middle ground: Between digital transformation and digital disruption
From a technology point of view, the middle ground will involve a dependence on an agile hybrid IT infrastructure equipped with resources and skills capable of processing information. This need for highly available, secure, real-time 'social intelligence' stems from the advent of IoT-driven intelligence and creates the demand for a suite of application services to reside with the apps. 

IoT is a connected fabric of users, devices, apps, and data, promises compelling benefits in our personal lives and business environments. Inevitably, technology will need to keep up with these developments and become ever more sophisticated in the digital era.

As a matter of fact, organisations are getting more reliant on applications, leveraging them to drive customer engagement, improve productivity, and increase revenues. In a time where Singapore is well-poised to meet opportunities as an Asia powerhouse, organisations in the country will comfortably ride the digital disruption and emerge transformed.


The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Kunaciilan Nallappan

Kunaciilan Nallappan

Kuna is the Solution Marketing Director for Asia-Pacific in F5Prior to joining F5, he was the APAC product marketing manager in EMCKuna has more than 15 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industry having done sales, channel & product management, and marketing. He holds an Engineering Degree from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and an MBA from Nanyang Business School, Singapore.

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