Innovation in Government: Social, Economic, and Environmental Wins

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Governments worldwide struggle with intricate social, economic, and environmental challenges. Tight budgets often leave them with limited resources to address these issues head-on. However, innovation offers a powerful path forward.

By embracing new technologies, adapting to cultural shifts, and fostering new skills, structures, and communication methods, governments can find solutions within existing constraints.

Find out how public sector innovation is optimising internal operations, improving service accessibility, bridging the financial gap, transforming healthcare, and building a sustainable future.

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Click here to download ‘Innovation in Government: Social, Economic, and Environmental Wins’ as a PDF

Optimising Operations: Tech-Driven Efficiency

Technology is transforming how governments operate, boosting efficiency and allowing employees to focus on core functions.

Here are some real-world examples.

Singapore Streamlines Public Buses. A cloud-based fleet management system by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) improves efficiency, real-time tracking, data analysis, and the transition to electric buses.

Dubai Optimises Utilities Through AI. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) leverages AI for predictive maintenance, demand forecasting, and grid management. This enhances service reliability, operational efficiency, and resource allocation for power and water utilities.

Automation Boosts Hospital Efficiency. Singapore hospitals are using automation to save man-hours and boost efficiency. Tan Tock Seng Hospital automates bacteria sample processing, increasing productivity without extra staff, while Singapore General Hospital tracks surgical instruments digitally, saving thousands of man-hours.

Tech for Citizens

Digital tools and emerging technologies hold immense potential to improve service accessibility and delivery for citizens. Here’s how governments are leveraging tech to benefit their communities.

Faster Cross-Border Travel. Malaysia’s pilot QR code clearance system expedites travel for factory workers commuting to Singapore, reducing congestion at checkpoints.

Metaverse City Planning. South Korea’s “Metaverse 120 Center” allows residents to interact with virtual officials and access services in a digital environment, fostering innovative urban planning and infrastructure management.

Streamlined Benefits. UK’s HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) launched an online child benefit claim system that reduces processing time from weeks to days, showcasing the efficiency gains possible through digital government services.

Bridging the Financial Gap

Nearly 1.7 billion adults or one-third globally, remain unbanked.

However, innovative programs are bridging this gap and promoting financial inclusion.

Thailand’s Digital Wallet. Aimed at stimulating the economy and empowering underserved citizens, Thailand disburses USD 275 via digital wallets to 50 million low-income adults, fostering financial participation.

Ghana’s Digital Success Story. The first African nation to achieve 100% financial inclusion through modernised platforms like Ghana.gov and GhanaPay, which facilitate payments and fee collection through various digital channels.

Philippines Embraces QR Payments. The City of Alaminos leverages the Paleng-QR Ph Plus program to promote QR code-based payments, aligning with the central bank’s goal of onboarding 70% of Filipinos into the formal financial system by 2024.

Building a Sustainable Future

Governments around the world are increasingly turning to technology to address environmental challenges and preserve natural capital.

Here are some inspiring examples.

World’s Largest Carbon Capture Plant. Singapore and UCLA joined forces to build Equatic-1, a groundbreaking facility that removes CO2 from the ocean and creates carbon-negative hydrogen.

Tech-Enhanced Disaster Preparedness. The UK’s Lincolnshire County Council uses cutting-edge geospatial technology like drones and digital twins. This empowers the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum with real-time data and insights to effectively manage risks like floods and power outages across their vast region.

Smart Cities for Sustainability. Bologna, Italy leverages the digital twins of its city to optimise urban mobility and combat climate change. By analysing sensor data and incorporating social factors, the city is strategically developing infrastructure for cyclists and trams.

Tech for a Healthier Tomorrow

Technology is transforming healthcare delivery, promoting improved health and fitness monitoring.

Here’s a glimpse into how innovation is impacting patient care worldwide.

Robotic Companions for Seniors. South Korea tackles elder care challenges with robots. Companion robots and safety devices provide companionship and support for seniors living alone.

VR Therapy for Mental Wellness. The UAE’s Emirates Health Services Corporation implements a Virtual Reality Lab for Mental Health, that creates interactive therapy sessions for individuals with various psychological challenges. VR allows for personalised treatment plans based on data collected during sessions.

The Future of Industries
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Leaders Roundtable: Unlocking Innovation and Business Transformation – Practical Use cases for Industry 4.0

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Leaders Roundtable: Unlocking Innovation and Business Transformation – Practical Use cases for Industry 4.0

In today’s rapidly evolving economy, the only way to stay ahead of the curve is to innovate constantly and at scale.

We cordially invite you to a thought-provoking lunch roundtable where you’ll engage in a focused discussion with your peers about how organisations are driving transformation to business and operations through an Industry 4.0 approach.

IoT, edge computing, and a convergence of IT and operational technology (OT) allow companies across all industries to create smart operations that enable more sophisticated, more efficient, and more secure ways of working, creating new products, and generating new routes to market.

However, existing network and infrastructure solutions may not support these new data-driven business models effectively. In an interconnected, always-on world, it is a constant challenge to navigate the network to ensure data security, privacy, resiliency, continuity, and compliance while embracing these new business models.

How modern connectivity is transforming industries:

  • Smart Manufacturing: Autonomous robots, machines, and sensors for process automation, remote asset management, and predictive maintenance.
  • Smart Estate: The use of intelligent sensors and connected devices that can monitor and control energy consumption and facility utilisation in real-time; reduce waste and lower energy costs and more importantly bringing employee safety.
  • Smart Transport: Enabling connected and autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other and with traffic management systems in real-time, to reduce accidents, traffic congestion, and fuel consumption.
  • Healthcare: Remote patient monitoring – within and outside the walls of a healthcare organisation – to reduce clinician workload, optimise resources, and improve patient outcomes.

At this Leaders Roundtable, we will hear from leaders from large corporates about:

  • Enabling emerging technologies and their impact on business transformation.
  • Use cases and success stories. Learn how organisations across industries are driving innovation and transforming their operations.
  • Overcoming challenges and the implementation strategies. Discuss the practical considerations and best practices..
  • Scalability and futureproofing. Moving from successful proofs of concept into scalable and repeatable implementations.

We look forward to your participation and hearing your valuable insights on shaping the future of business innovation in the Philippines.

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Unlocking the Transformative Value of your Data: Building the Data Driven Intelligent Business

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LEADERS ROUNDTABLE: Unlocking the Transformative Value of your Data Building the Data Driven Intelligent Business

Most organizations today continue to underutilize the data they generate, and struggle to deliver on business outcomes – hindering current and future Digital Transformation initiatives.

At the same time, we face multiple challenges – continuing supply chain disruptions; an ongoing energy crisis and high inflation that has led to a strong focus on sustainability; economic uncertainty; skills shortage; and increased competition from digitally native businesses – where the effective use of data holds the answer!

Ecosystm research finds that in the Philippines:

  • 48% of organizations have Data & AI strategy as a key priority – however 50% find it a challenge to secure budgets for Data & AI because they are unable to show business value; and 48% are challenged by data integration issues
  • While 72% of organizations claim they have a data strategy that focuses on seamless access of real-time data across the organization, 54% are still focused on building a central data repository despite the emergence of data fabrics

I invite you to join this Leaders Roundtable to share and discuss best practices on how leaders like you can support your organization’s digital transformation initiatives and build a futureproof data & AI strategy that sets your foundation to become an intelligent data driven business.

The Digital Leaders Discussion will address:

  • The importance of a data and AI, and a data-driven business culture in enabling digital transformation
  • The role of a robust technology platform in mitigating challenges through efficient data collection and verification, better forecasting, and scenario modelling, and automation
  • How a data fabric can connect business functions through an agile digital infrastructure layer
  • How ready organizations’ current data strategies are for emerging trends such as ESG reporting and sustainability measures

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The Future of the Digital Enterprise – Southeast Asia

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Southeast Asia has evolved into an innovation hub with Singapore at the centre. The entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem has grown significantly across the region – for example, Indonesia now has the 5th largest number of startups in the world.  

Organisations in the region are demonstrating a strong desire for tech-led innovation, innovation in experience delivery, and in evolving their business models to bring innovative products and services to market.    

Here are 5 insights on the patterns of technology adoption in Southeast Asia, based on the findings of the Ecosystm Digital Enterprise Study, 2022.

  • Data and AI investments are closely linked to business outcomes. There is a clear alignment between technology and business.
  • Technology teams want better control of their infrastructure. Technology modernisation also focuses on data centre consolidation and cloud strategy
  • Organisations are opting for a hybrid multicloud approach. They are not necessarily doing away with a ‘cloud first’ approach – but they have become more agnostic to where data is hosted.
  • Cybersecurity underpins tech investments. Many organisations in the region do not have the maturity to handle the evolving threat landscape – and they are aware of it. 
  • Sustainability is an emerging focus area. While more effort needs to go in to formalise these initiatives, organisations are responding to market drivers.

More insights into the Southeast Asia tech market below.

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Click here to download The Future of the Digital Enterprise – Southeast Asia as a PDF

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Executive ThinkTank: Balancing Resilience, Innovation & Purpose

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Executive ThinkTank: Balancing Resilience, Innovation & Purpose

The financial sector has the most optimistic outlook for 2022. The industry is at a watershed time where economic factors and a multitude of transformative forces challenge the status quo and the power ranking in the industry.

This is an opportunity for innovative and transformative organisations to respond to the changing market conditions.

  • Open banking is changing the way our customers engage with banks and financial solution providers with the introduction of new channels.
  • DeFi promises to bypass centralised and regulated financial systems to offer innovative and personalised financial solutions directly to the mass markets.
  • ESG is requiring financial institutions to transition to a low-carbon, and clean-technology economy driving Sustainable Finance solutions and green investment assets.

There is no shortage of additional industry forces and buzzwords that could be added to this list, impacting financial services providers in an increasingly volatile economic environment.

Organisations that win in this increasingly digital future are those that can respond quickly through business agility and effective innovation and transformation programs. Their corporate DNA enables them to act fast to meet new demands and seize market opportunities as soon as they arise while managing risk and compliance.

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Operating in the New Normal – Telecom Providers in Southeast Asia

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Never before has the world experienced a shutdown in both supply and demand which has effectively slammed the brakes on economic activities and forced a complete rethink on how to continue doing business and maintain social interactions. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalisation of consumers and enterprises and the telecommunications industry has been the pillar which has kept the world ticking over.

It is unthinkable just how the human race would have coped with such massive disruption, two decades ago in the absence of broadband internet. The technology and telecom sector has seen a rise in their visible importance in recent months. Various findings show that peak level traffic was about 20-30% higher than the levels before the pandemic. The rise in traffic coupled with the fervent growth of the digital economy augurs well for the technology and telecom sector in Southeast Asia.

Revenues Hit Despite Rise in Traffic

Unfortunately, the rise in network traffic has not translated to an increase in revenue for many operators in the region. The winners, that enjoyed YoY growth in Q1 2020 despite challenging circumstances were: Maxis (4.9%) and DiGi (3.4%) in Malaysia; dtac (3.3%) and True (5.7%) in Thailand; PDLT (7.5%) and Globe (1.4%) in the Philippines; and  Indosat Ooredoo (7.9%) and XL Axiata (8.8%) in Indonesia. The telecom operators that struggled include: Celcom (-6.1%) and TM (-8.0%) in Malaysia; Singapore’s trio of Singtel (-6.5%), StarHub (-15.2%) and M1 (-10.3%); and AIS (-1.0%) in Thailand.

Key market trends include a dip in prepaid subscribers due to fall in tourist numbers, roaming income losses due to travel restrictions, and a general decline in average revenue per user (ARPU) due to weaker customer spend. The postpaid customer segment was resilient while the fixed broadband revenue stream was stable due to the increase in work from home (WFH) practices. With fixed tariffs, there are no incremental gains with an increase in usage. Voice revenue has been hit with the increase in collaboration-based communication applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Equipment sales fell as global supply chains were severely disrupted and impacted new sign-ups of the more premium customers. Most markets in Southeast Asia depend on retail outlets as a key channel to the market, which has been hampered.

With the job losses across the world, bad debts and weakened customer spend is inevitable and it is imperative that the operators provide for reflective pricing strategies, listen to new customer requirements to ensure customer retention and strengthening of their market position. In May, Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg said nearly 800,000 of their subscribers were unable to pay their monthly bills. Discussions with operators in Southeast Asia also highlighted this as a current concern.

Enterprise Segment Target for New Growth

Ecosystm research shows that enterprises in Southeast Asia are increasingly considering telecom operators as go-to-market partners (Figure 1). Enterprises are demanding more than just devices and connectivity and with the fervent digital transformation (DX) efforts underway, services such as managed services, business application services, cybersecurity and network services are in demand. Technology vendors have an opportunity to partner with the right telecom operator in each market to enhance their IT market offerings, ahead of the 5G rollouts.

Top Telecom Providers in Southeast Asia

The broad 5G ecosystem inculcates cross-sector innovation and greater collaboration leading to new business models and exciting new opportunities. Singtel is the leading operator in the region and has the enterprise segment contributing approximately 65% to its revenue in its domestic market. In the World Communications Award 2019, Singtel won both “Best Enterprise Service” and “The Broadband Pioneer” awards.  This places Singtel in a fine position to capitalise on the 5G enterprise services.

5G Needed Now More Than Ever

The pandemic has seen a rise in network traffic, onboarding of the digital customer and rapid DX of businesses which has whetted the appetite for faster broadband speeds and new services. Southeast Asia countries stand to profit from the trade war between the US and China and 5G features of low latency and higher security can boost adoption of IoT, Smart Manufacturing and broader Industry 4.0 goals to drive the economy.

Fixed Wireless in Southeast Asia is expected to be very popular considering the low penetration of fibre to the home (with the exception of Singapore) and will provide enterprises with a viable secondary connection to the internet. Popular applications – including video streaming and gaming – which are speed, latency and volume hungry will also be a target market for operators. Mobile operators that do not have a fixed broadband offering can enter this space and provide a serious “wireless fibre” alternative to homes and businesses.

Governments and telecom regulators ought to make spectrum available to the major telecom operators as soon as possible in order to ensure that the cutting edge 5G communications services are made available to consumers and businesses. Many experts believe 5G can raise the competitiveness of a nation.

Recent research from World Economic Forum (WEF) has found that significant economic and social value can be gained from the widespread deployment of 5G networks, with 5G facilitating industrial advances, productivity and improving the bottom line while enabling sustainable cities and communities. GSMA notes that mobile technologies and services in the wider Asia Pacific region generated USD 1.6 trillion of economic value while the mobile ecosystem supported 18 million jobs as well as contributing USD 180 billion of funding to the public sector through taxation.

US-China Trade War Threatens to Change Equipment Supplier Landscape

Despite severe pressures caused by the US-China trade war, Huawei posted an impressive 13.1% YoY growth in 1H 2020 registering revenue of USD 64.88 billion. Both Huawei and ZTE generate approximately 60% of their business from their domestic markets which is critical with the current unfavourable global sentiments. Huawei has diversified its business and built its consumer devices business which should withstand the disruptions caused by the political challenges.

Ericsson and Nokia stand to benefit from Huawei’s current global position and this was evident with the wins for the 5G contracts by Singtel and JVCo (Singtel and M1). The JVCo announced it selected Nokia to build the Radio Access Network (RAN) for the 5G standalone (SA) mmWave network infrastructure in the 3.5GHz radio frequency band. Singtel selected Ericsson to provide for the RAN on the same mmWave network.

However, while there is an opportunity for NEC and Samsung to join the party, Huawei is expected to do well in most other countries in Southeast Asia.

The Rise of the Digital Economy in Southeast Asia

A recent Google report valued the internet economy in Southeast Asia at USD 100 billion in 2019, more than tripling since 2015, and the sector is expected to hit USD 300 billion in 2025. With a population of approximately 570 million people, the region has some of the fastest-growing internet economies in the world.

The Indonesia market is the largest in the region and is expected to hit USD 133 billion from USD 40 billion in 2025. Indonesia’s lack of a world-class telecom infrastructure coupled with their slowness in 5G adoption has not impeded the country’s attractiveness for global technology investors who see the 270 million population as an immense opportunity. US tech giants, Facebook, Google, and PayPal have invested in Indonesia to reap the benefits from the growing digital economy powered by unicorns such as Gojek, Bukalapak, Tokopedia. In June 2020, Google Cloud launched in Jakarta, only the second in the region after Singapore with the four big unicorns being anchor customers.

In 2025, Google predicts Thailand to be the second-largest internet economy worth USD 50 billion. The internet economy for Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines are estimated to be over USD 27 billion each. Shopee and Lazada are the top eCommerce apps in the region and have seen an increase in sales due to the disruption in the Retail industry. In-store shopping contributes to more than 50% of Retail in Singapore and Malaysia – this provides a tremendous opportunity for eCommerce players.

While movement restrictions are gradually being lifted, some things may never return where they were before COVID-19. Public debts have risen with numerous aids and handouts impacting economic growth forecast and rising unemployment is impacting customer spending power. On the plus side, DX of businesses and sharp onboarding of customers have redefined interactions, and sectors such as Education, are going online which will boost the digital economy. While the challenges are evident, exciting times are ahead for the technology and telecom sector in Southeast Asia.


Emerging Technology

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