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Singapore's budget opens the way for an economy driven by data and creativity

The Drum 23 Feb 2021 09:36

Business leaders and brand ambassadors can play a role in ensuring their teams have the creative mindset and skillset to embrace opportunities in this new competitive landscape, says Simon Dale, the managing director for South East Asia at Adobe, and support with a solid digital foundation, technology, and training for execution.

Covid-19 has made businesses across the globe rethink and reimagine their people, processes, and technologies. Transformation and digitalization have become imperative for business sustenance and growth, regardless of the size of the organization.

In Singapore’s Budget 2021 address, finance minister Heng Swee Keat emphasized the need for a strong spirit of innovation, deep regional and global connections, and redesigned job roles for Singaporeans to keep up with the demands of the new economy.

For Singapore to emerge stronger from the global pandemic, there is an urgency for organizations to not only leverage technology and build their data capabilities, but also deploy creativity, to boost business and employee resilience.

Amid the changing requirements of a volatile economy and operating landscape, creativity is a core differentiator for businesses, teams, and individuals. It holds the power to unlock unique business opportunities, which in turn will give rise to new and exciting roles for employees to further develop their skills and talents.

Creativity is the toolkit for our workforce to solve today’s problems and also prepare for tomorrow’s uncertainty, and it doesn’t happen by chance. Adopting a structured approach to creativity, and building an overall organizational culture that supports that, will help brands develop a competitive edge to think far beyond the immediate and most obvious solution. Organizations that can combine data with creativity, and provide employees across all functions with the right skills and tools to extract meaningful insights from data and execute on it creatively, will be better equipped to stay agile and continually delight their customers.

While borders remain closed, brands with strong digital foundations and robust customer intelligence initiatives will go far in delivering seamless customer experience across platforms.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is one example of an organization that is leveraging its data assets and technology to create immersive experiences, for international and domestic tourists – both now and for the future. The Tourism Information & Services Hub has almost 3,000 local tourism partners contributing royalty-free-destination assets that other members can leverage through APIs to promote Singapore. This enables a level of content velocity that ensures Singapore’s competitiveness as a holiday destination while many prospective travelers around the world fantasize about their next trip.

Businesses in other sectors can innovate similarly on the digital front to bridge the physical-to-virtual hybrid model. For example, retail shops can offer personalized recommendations to their shoppers for nearby restaurants, cafes, or art galleries, along with special deals that they can enjoy there, to offer a more holistic customer experience.

New and more sustainable ways of working

The concept of the office has changed for good. Rather than a physical space where employees gather each day, it is now defined by flexibility and innovative technology. And this sea change is a positive one, with reduced commute, increased flexibility and more time with loved ones.

To stay a step ahead, organizations need to offer end-to-end experiences that are convenient and consistent across touchpoints. With consumers and employees turning to all things digital for their daily needs, actively offering digital formats for transactions, with e-forms and e-signing options such as ’Sign with SingPass’, will increase the ease and motivation to engage.

In Singapore, we are privileged to have a government that has a strong vision of a future driven by innovation, and that is implementing initiatives to ensure businesses and citizens are prepared to embrace it.

Simon Dale is the managing director for Southeast Asia at Adobe

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