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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Developing digital innovations for businesses in the ‘new normal'

People should be allowed to move with the technology shift.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an influx of businesses undergoing digital transformations to cope with the “new normal,” opening new and exciting opportunities for growth.

In Accelerating Digital Innovation and Resilience during the New Normal and Beyond, a webinar moderated by Singapore Business Review managing editor Paul Howell and attended by over 80 participants, key speakers discussed how digital innovations fare out for businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

New software solutions in a fast-changing world

Whilst the idea of digital innovation is not new, the search for new solutions is accelerating so fast than one can ever imagine. For OutSystems Singapore country manager Leonard Tan, we need to ensure that new solutions are built fast, built right, and are scaled for the future.

Ensuring that platforms are built fast is realizing that a lot of time can be shaved down from end to end. Organisations should ask if they have the proper skillset, people, and technology to rule things out quickly.

Meanwhile, building solutions right means laying a foundation on organisations’ enterprise landscape. Solutions need to have the ability to cater to security, compliance, and governance.

“Building it right doesn’t mean that you need to incur more cost, but at certain times you are actually saving in fact because of the sheer act of being able to change and revolve,” Leonard said.

Businesses also need to ensure that solutions being built should be able to integrate with their systems and to connect to wider ecosystems going into the new normal.

“We have seen disruptions, but it’s all about the change element that helps to spike the market to where it is today,” Leonard said.

He also noted that in developing technologies, organisations should ensure the right processes, structures, and ecosystems to support, including allowing people to move with the technology shift.

“We expect technology to change everything in the organisation, but people are actually the one that drive the technology,” Leonard added. “It requires people to start being edge on in the way that technologies are being defined.”

Applying concepts from the previous talk, OutSystems senior solution architect Willie Tan has also created an application through a live demonstration of OutSystems platform. He highlighted creating specific functionalities that fit to different platforms and technologies.

Empowering traditional businesses through digitalisation

Crown Group founder and chief executive officer Keith Tan shared the innovation of Ella, Crown Coffee’s first robotic barista, in his attempt to reinvent the traditional model of businesses.

He also identified four industry pain points when his startup business Crown Coffee scaled and had about four locations in a very short period of time, which includes rent, labor shortage, challenge and cost of training and hiring, and consistency.

“You need to have a very grounded approach as to how you’re using the technology to solve your pain point. Sometimes, that requires a rethinking of the business strategy. It needs to be backed up by your solid business model,” Keith said.

Leveraging on robotics, artificial intelligence and data analytics, Keith then started Crown Digital
to digitalise and empower traditional businesses. He mentioned that the creation of Ella solved the industry’s pain point of manpower. He also noted that whilst robots have been in factories for a long time, such innovations have not been evident in retail.

When asked about how robotics and artificial intelligence will affect the labour force, Keith said technologies should be embraced for doing mundane tasks and that workforce should be rescaled to hire more people.

 

Accelerating Digital Innovation and Resilience during the New Normal and Beyond from Charlton Media Group on Vimeo.

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