Movers & Shakers
Gain Insights from the industry's Best and Brightest
Ever wonder how the leaders of the Infocomm industry got where they are today? Watch this space and hear from the luminaries themselves what inspired them to join the Infocomm industry and what inspired them to join the Infocomm industry and what continues to drive them to excel.
DR CHONG YOKE SIN
Chief, Enterprise Business Group,
Everybody is talking about going wireless and cashless. However, what are the implications of embracing these “less” other than the promised higher efficiency and greater simplicity? Dr Chong Yoke Sin, Chief of Enterprise Business Group from StarHub, weighs in on these trends and shares the opportunities wireless and cashless bring to both users and the technology community.
What are the implications as wireless becomes pervasive?
With increasing adoption of wireless, the Internet of Things (IoT) will foreseeably also become more popular. After all, IoT presents a neat way to collect data subtly.
What do you think is fuelling the growth of the wireless trend?
As chips become cheaper, more powerful and more compact all at once, the implication is that people can now do more with less. What used to be possible only with mainframes can now be done on our mobile gadgets
Compared to China, cashless has not caught on as quickly in Singapore. What do you think is the reason?
It may sound controversial. But in part, I believe this has to do with the trust Singaporeans have in our banking system and financial institutions. The value of our currency and the reputation of our banks are both highly regarded, which is great; but it also means that people are in less of a hurry to go towards cashless.
Newly Minted SCS Honorary Fellow
A member of SCS since 1974, William – or more affectionately known as Bill – has contributed to various initiatives and, more recently, serves on the SCS Career Compass Steering Committee. This year, Bill is conferred the highest award of Honorary Fellowship, joining the ranks of 18 other Honorary Fellows.
Prior to achieving this accolade, Bill’s induction into the “Hall of Fame” of the IT Leader Awards in 2007 also attested to his longstanding contributions to the tech profession. Actually Bill’s fervent commitment to grow the tech ecosystem can be traced back to as early as some ve decades ago when tech was neither mainstream nor sexy.
With a Master’s degree in Operational Research & Management Studies from the Imperial College and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester under his belt, Bill joined the International Computers Ltd (ICL) in 1970 in the UK and returned to serve ICL Singapore in 1973.
Forty-eight years on, Bill continues to live out his love for tech and exemplify the pioneering spirit with the founding of Stream Global Pte Ltd in 2008 to give a hand to aspiring startups. Working alongside the National Research Foundation (NRF), Stream Global co-invests in promising startups and helps them carve a niche in the tech space. Calling his company a venture catalyst over a venture capital rm, Stream Global has been instrumental in shaping Singapore’s technopreneurial landscape today.
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How important is it for digital government services to be user friendly? As far as the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) is concerned, we are committed to transform the traditional delivery of digital government services by keeping Singaporeans at the heart of our government services.
Often, people seek government services because they need to. Rarely, these encounters are driven by self-directed initiatives to make contact. And regardless whether the experiences are pleasant and productive or not, they have little choice but to return.
NO WRONG DOORS
It is a fact that government services are quite different from commercial services. People are likely to log on to Netflix because they want to, whereas they are most likely to log on to government services only when the need arises.
MORE SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE
In spearheading the digital transformation within the public sector, a shift from an inside-out to an outside-in approach is inevitable.
READY ACCESS ALWAYS
Consistent with this principle is also the enhancement of the SingPass service to bring greater ease and control to Singaporeans.
In the eighties, Singapore took its rst step towards becoming a cashless society with electronic payment innovations like enabling salaries to be credited directly to bank accounts and retail card payments via the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card.
AN EARLY ADOPTER OF ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS
Singapore’s push towards becoming a cashless society began as far back as 1985, with the introduction of General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO) and NETS Electronic Fund Transfers at Point of Sale (EFTPOS). GIRO was ground- breaking in enabling bill payments electronically and receipt of salaries through direct credit to bank accounts, and NETS EFTPOS allowed consumers to make purchases with just an ATM card and Personal Identification Number (PIN).
In 1996, Singapore was also one of the first countries to introduce an electronic prepaid card on a nationwide basis with the NETS CashCard. Through the 2000s, rapid advances in Internet technologies, applications and mobile services enabled electronic payment solutions to become more pervasive. At NETS, this period was marked by the launch of eNETS, which facilitates online payments via credit card or debit card on merchant websites, and the contactless NETS FlashPay card for transit and retail payments.
LOYAL SUPPORTERS OF CASH
However, despite the wide variety and availability of cashless payment methods in the market, Singapore remains a resolutely cash-based society in certain segments.
A Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)-commissioned KPMG study in 2016 found that cash is used in 60% of all non-stored value facility transactions, making it the second most widely used payment instrument in the country. Cash is also the preferred payment method for small-value transactions, be it at hawker centres, provision shops or for taxi fares.
Since cash has worked well for Singaporeans, why then the insistence on going cashless?
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Search for Your Business Empire in Your Pocket
Can’t get the new tune in your head out of your mind? Write and publish your own song right away! Or how about starting your writing career when you next commute to work on the MRT? Now you can do the above and more with – your mobile phone.
Anyone who has lived through the digital revolution is probably used to computers getting more powerful every year. Today, we manage companies, create movies, write symphonies and even control spacecraft using nothing but software applications. Parallel to this development is the constant miniaturisation of technology. Computers have moved from occupying entire rooms to standing on our desks, then sitting on our laps. And the latest? We can now t some of the world’s most powerful machines in our pockets.
SMALL BUT POTENT
Granted, people have been using smartphones for quite some time. However, 2018 is the year when smartphone CPUs match, or even exceed, the processing speed of laptops for the rst time. Till recently, we used laptops to undertake most business tasks – marketing, data analysis, engineering, programming, etc. But with smartphones possessing the same level of raw power, access to information technology has become dramatically democratised.
BUILT FOR SMALL
Powerful processors, ready access to virtually any information in the world and industry-standard software are transforming mobile phones into dream machines which can bring ideas to reality almost instantly.
THE POSSIBILITIES OF SMALL
Everyone of us potentially has a business empire in our pockets. It is entirely possible to design a product, source its production, create visuals, place advertisements, sell to consumers and process payments with a smartphone. Singapore, with her high mobile penetration and excellent connectivity, is well placed to lead the creativity and entrepreneurship explosion this new trend brings. The rst mobile-only companies are here, and you can be a creator too.
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Splash Awards Winners Rise Up to the Drone Challenge
The SCS Splash Awards 2017 is back with its 14th edition. This year, in conjunction with the celebration of the SCS 50th Anniversary finale event, the competition was aptly themed “Drone Challenge”.
All in the spirit of creativity, leveling up tech savviness and honing problem-solving skills, this agship event – one of the longest running student infocomm competitions in Singapore – attracted close to 300 student participants from local and international Institutes of Higher Learning, Institutes of Technical Education, Junior Colleges and Secondary Schools.
In this instalment, the competition provided an opportunity for students to dabble in new technology using codable drones.
IT Professionals at Work and Play
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Great Turnout at the SCS Gala Dinner and IT Leader Awards 2018
Over 900 infocomm and digital media professionals from both public and private sectors attended the SCS Gala Dinner and IT Leader Awards 2018 held at Shangri-La Hotel on 9 March. The ceremony was graced by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.
During his address, Howie Lau, SCS President, shared about the Society’s 50th anniversary celebrations last year and reiterated the Society’s commitment to find new ways to serve SCS members and the industry better.
The IT Leader Awards 2018 that was held in conjunction with the annual SCS Gala Dinner also saw six distinguished individuals acknowledged and honoured for their achievements in Singapore’s infocomm and digital media industry.
At the joyous occasion, William Liu (Bill) was conferred the 19th SCS Honorary Fellow. He joined 18 other Honorary Fellows who have been similarly honoured over SCS’ 51 years of history.