Singapore going deep with tech in 2020?

The software development industry is a dynamic sector, supported by limitless advancements in deep technologies. Deep technology – known as technologies derived from continuous engineering innovation, scientific advances and discoveries – have been the key driver of growth.

In fact, approximately SGD60 billion has been invested in Singapore’s deep technology ecosystem since the 1990s. This has created a global reputation for Singapore for being a smart city and getting ahead in the race to become a technological hub.  

2019 in a nutshell

2019 has been a year focused on the trending technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and block chain to name a few.

Nevertheless, concerted efforts are still needed to further improve the ecosystem and below are some of the trends that you can expect from the sector in 2020.

What to expect in 2020?

  • Greater reliance on AI and ML

In 2020, businesses will place greater emphasis on AI and ML plus the value-added services that it can bring to their customers. This not only sustains their profitability and growth, but can also provide them with a competitive edge over competitors.

Currently, Singapore has invested over SGD500 million to further AI research, innovation and enterprise. The country has also pledged to continue to raise its AI research and development capabilities to develop, deploy and commercialise AI solutions. Singapore will also tap into international partnerships in areas like data-sharing and digital identity cross-recognition to facilitate cross border AI collaboration.


  • Prominence of 5G

5G is currently the biggest appeal to various software development companies with high-speed connectivity at their fingertips.  

Singapore plans to roll out commercial 5G services starting in 2020 and intends to have at least 50% of the city-state covered with a standalone network by the end of 2022.

The city-state has yet to publicly state its position on whether Chinese tech giant Huawei will be allowed to participate in its 5G networks. Singapore has set aside around SGD30 million for 5G trials

Nevertheless, while 5G promises increased bandwidth, higher speeds, with low latency, it also brings an influx of cybersecurity concerns. The dramatic expansion of bandwidth that makes 5G possible creates additional avenues of attack. Cyberattacks on 5G will be software attacks; they must be countered with software protections and Singapore will need to evaluate their strategies to ensure that there is consistent visibility across the 5G network.



  • Edge Computing

Computing at the edge offers many complementary advantages for businesses including reduced latency for time sensitive data, lower capital costs and operational expenditures due to efficiency improvements. Computing in 2020 will increasingly be made up of hybrid clouds and multi-vendor subscriptions. Large enterprises will mix and match cloud computing services in unique ways. In this case, edge computing is deployed right where the data is collected, and it is much faster than sending the data to the cloud. This is especially suitable for real-time processing and time-sensitive decisions.


Lack of talent

With the above trends in mind, it is no doubt that talent will be needed to support and sustain this growing market. Deep tech is in high demand today across all industries and have been identified by LinkedIn as the top skill that companies need the most, for the past four years in a row.

In Singapore, there is currently more demand than supply of talent with deep tech related expertise. This accentuates the need for up-skilling and re-skilling workers in jobs affected by automation and emerging technologies. Cloud giants like Amazon and Microsoft are also aware of the skills gap and therefore they are kick-starting workshops and training in this region. Rather, it is the lack of experienced people with both industry knowledge and supply chain know-how which can commercialise this technology.

To build our pipeline of talents, Singapore also has its own SGInnovate team that have launched programmes, workshops and sessions covering topics around deep tech. Local universities like Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), along with the National University of Singapore (NUS) have courses and majors focussing on AI, ML and computing.


2020 goal to become a smart city?

Smart cities in particular represent a huge market for Asia-Pacific digital transformation through a combination of solutions deployed urban environments that are poised to transform the administration and support of living and working environments. Smart city development is emerging as a focal point for growth drivers in several key ICT areas including 5G, AI, IoT, and the convergence of AI and IoT known as the Artificial Intelligence of Things or simply AIoT.


How we can help

Deep tech in Singapore is certainly picking up speed due to more funding and investments. According to TechTarget, cloud services, software and security will be the top spending areas in 2020 for the Asia Pacific region.

If you are an organisation looking for top software developers in the market, or if you are a software developer looking to break into Singapore’s exciting and growing market, do contact us via our contact form below. If you are interested in other industry-related insights, do connect with us on LinkedIn

If you would like to find out more information about the market outlook within the sector, please leave your details below:

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