It’s been 9 months since Singapore’s first COVID-19 case, and the economy starts to show signs of a slow recovery. The businesses are now re-opening and people are adjusting to the new normal as the Circuit Breaker restrictions ease quite a while ago. The COVID-19 has caused dire economic consequences, but it also shines a spotlight on the digital economy. It’s also great to see how consumers and businesses have adapted to the pandemic. Thus, the article provides you information about the trend of the tech industry in Singapore after the pandemic!
Tech Industry Trend After COVID-19
The importance of digital transformation has been in the limelight for many years, and also one of the key priorities of the Singapore government. Many businesses across the country have been adopting tech and benefiting from its power to resolve key challenges and unlock new growth opportunities.
The impact of tech adoption on business has been more apparent now. However, when the circuit breaker measures had to curb the spread of COVID-19, it was heavily reliant on digital tech, from collaboration platforms to cloud-based services and cybersecurity solutions. Eventually, it became the lifeline of all businesses in the industry sector.
There are some of the tech industry trends that may continue to accelerate Singapore’s economic growth in the post-COVID-19 situation!
1. E-commerce and on-demand food & services tech
The popularity of e-commerce has been flourishing recently, and it’s even against conventional shopping. People also get used to consuming more goods and services online, especially in the on-demand space.
The consumers who have traditionally purchased groceries at the supermarket are trying out grocery deliveries, as well as dine-in or takeout meals at the restaurant are transforming into the delivery right to your doorstep. For instance, Grab, Deliveroo and FoodPanda are doing contactless delivery in 60 mins or even less.
Not only that, recent innovation such as telemedicine, consulting with your doctor through an app is also gaining popularity.
These services initially step out of convenience as they have evolved into almost a necessity for urbanites during the pandemic. Moreover, merchants who are reluctant to jump on the technological bandwagon, and still preferred to rely on their in-store sales are eventually being forced to adapt, or they will face zero revenue as there is no other alternative.
In the post pandemic, there is a possibility that merchants may realize having an online business will not cannibalize their offline business, but it can continue to help as an additional source of revenue for their business.
2. Digital Contactless Payment
During the pandemic, we are worried that everything can carry the virus, including cash money. Thus, central banks in China, the US, South Korea, and Singapore have implemented various measures to ensure banknotes are clean before going into circulation.
However, it may not be the most effective solution, but another recommendation payment method to avoid the spread of COVID-19 is through contactless digital payments, either in the form of cards or e-wallets.
In order to accelerate digital transformation and boost e-payment during the outbreak, the Singapore government is also choosing the nationwide e-payment service called Paynow. It’s preferably mode to distribute its stimulus package to eligible citizens, and have seen a sharp increase of more than 50.000 businesses adopting Paynow Corporate since this April.
3. Remote Working and Home-based Learning
As companies ask employees to work from home and governments shut schools and move into home-based learning during the pandemic, there are some technologies that support these activities. Starting from virtual private networks (VPNs), voice over internet protocols (VoIP), virtual meetings, cloud technology, work collaboration tools, to facial recognition technologies.
However, existing web conferencing systems such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex gained traction, but a relatively unknown player in the pre-pandemic period like Zoom has suddenly become popular in 2020. Zoom has been used across industries for holding classes, webinars, meetings, and even large-scale events, and it leads a share price from $68.72 in January to $204.15 just six months later.
To support this long-term remote work trend and to bolster its enterprise offerings is telecommunications giant Verizon which was announced in April 2020 on its $400 million acquisition of video conferencing service and Zoom competitor, BlueJeans.
4. Robotics and Drones
Somehow COVID-19 makes the world realize how heavily we rely on human interaction to make things work. The businesses such as retail, F&B, manufacturing and logistics which rely heavily on labour, are the worst hit. In recent times, robots have been used to disinfect areas and deliver food to those in quarantine.
Singapore is also increasingly turning to robots, drones, and machines to address labour shortages and to lower costs. For example, Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace) is deploying drones as robotic guards in simulated security attacks. During a recent trial, a black ST Aeroplane drone followed a role-playing intruder, transmitting live images back to a command centre enabling security officers to be directed to the breach.
However, this could mean that while new jobs will be created in the process, many blue-collar workers could be replaced in the near future and policies must be here to provide sufficient training, also social welfare to the labour force for embracing the change.
5. Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
The high speed and affordable internet 5G network technology is acknowledged as the future of communication for the entire mobile industry. It provides super-fast download and upload speeds as well as a more stable connection.
In addition, one of the applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) will enable us to predict and treat health issues in people even before symptoms appear through various IoT devices. In 2019, there were about 26 billion IoT devices and it’s estimated the number will increase to 75.44 billion in 2025, with 15 IoT devices per person in the US by 2030.
Many companies have already embarked on their digital transformation journey or working on one, but some of the companies are not far enough to fight the COVID-19. The COVID-19 situation seems to be a wake-up call for the companies’ management to recognize how important the digital transformation is.
In conclusion, the tech will continue to take the lead even after the COVID-19, you and your business should adapt to that. As today, we live in the digital era and cannot be denied if almost everything is connected to the internet. Also, digital technologies are dissolving the boundaries between industry sectors.