INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

See how Singapore IT talents remain relevant in a diverse industry

And how they effectively unleash their talents.

Singapore Business Review recently caught up with Jacqui Whyatt, Executive General Manager, Talent International, South East Asia, and had a discussion about the IT industry in Asia and Singapore.

SBR: Which sector of the IT Industry is showing the biggest growth in Asia-Pacific?

Big Data, Cloud & Analytics are showing the strongest signs of growth in the Asia Pacific region. We are also continuing to see an evolution of the Digital industry, where a lot of innovation is taking place and being led out of development centres in Asia. This is a shift from the historical trend where innovation was led out of Silicon Valley. In addition, we are seeing a constant move to data centres being outsourced, not just to historical locations like India, but also to Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. 

SBR: How does the IT Talent pool in Singapore compare to the region? Which markets are the biggest threats?

The IT talent pool in Singapore is very strong, as we have a diverse working population with many skills from many different countries. As Singapore has become a hub for innovation and thought leadership, many of the IT skill sets here reflect this. The biggest threat for the region is the ongoing war for talent. The demand for skilled IT workers far outweighs the number of skilled candidates available. In view of this, the investment the government / IDA has made in universities and development partnerships with corporates remains critical. 

SBR: The IT industry is ever evolving. How does an IT Talent remain relevant?

It’s important that candidates in the IT industry are regularly up-skilling, to ensure their skills and expertise remain relevant to market trends and industry changes. In addition, many organisations are developing programs that provide a platform for their talent to do this. Gaining international experience is also invaluable for candidates looking to expand their skill base. 

SBR: Tell us more about the Talent Unleashed Awards organised by Talent International.

At Talent International, we’re not just about discovering great talent. We’re about rewarding it, too. So this year we’re thrilled to see the return of the Talent Unleashed Awards. We’ve sought entries from some amazingly talented individuals in four regions across Asia-Pacific, in five award categories. This year’s awards have focused on individuals working in or with technology, and who have unleashed some game changing technology either in a business environment or in the community and has the potential to transform.

It’s been a huge success – we had around 600 entries from mainly, Singapore, HK, Australia and New Zealand. Currently we are about to announce our regional winners. Our judges include Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak.

The winners will get to experience a five-day workshop at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa during Global Entrepreneurs Week from 18 to 23 November 2014. 

SBR: The winner gets a chance to experience a five-day business-mentoring workshop at the Branson Entrepreneurial Centre. How is this prize going to make a difference?

This truly is an opportunity that money can’t buy. Like-minded individuals brimming with ideas and opportunities will surround these winners, and to be there during Global Entrepreneurs Week, where the spotlight will be on these people, just intensifies the experience.

The prize will have an incredible impact on their businesses, and their confidence and will equip them with new skills and abilities. Not to mention the contacts that they will make! 

SBR: Why has Singapore been included in Talent Unleashed?

We opened the competition out to APAC after having created the awards in 2013 in Australia and NZ only. Singapore was a natural place for us to expand the competition to, since there is a huge amount of entrepreneurial talent combined with some amazing technology initiatives from both the government and the private sectors. Singaporeans are highly tech literate, and as we revealed through the diversity of the submissions, they also are incredibly community minded. 

SBR: What are the judging criteria adopted by Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak and what are they looking for?

Well, they have a tough job on their hands! The regional winners are strong contenders and the submissions are really diverse, so in some cases they have to compare like with unlike! Overall they will be looking for groundbreaking ideas; ideas that have scope.

SBR: How did Singapore entries compare to other markets?

The Singapore selections were extremely diverse. There were entries covering building services, charity initiatives, fundraising, solutions for the homeless, changepreneurship, social galvanising and digital creativity. We were genuinely impressed. Also the Singapore entries were all solution-based. 

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