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Many organisations today are experiencing the impact of digital transformation brought about by social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing. These technologies also lay the foundation for the next wave of transformation where new developments in robotics, machine learning, immersive reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain pave the way for a paradigm shift in the way businesses operate and engage with their customers.
At the same time, organisations have to deal with other megatrends that are re-shaping the global socio-economic landscape. These include rising populations, the emergence of new markets, rapid urbanisation and challenges surrounding public safety, climate change and resource constraints.
To succeed in this challenging environment, organisations need to be creative in developing innovative solutions, which will support new business models, enable them to respond with greater speed and agility to changing customer needs, and prepare for the unexpected.
“It is really about shifting the mindset of organisations to embrace enterprise transformation and take advantage of the benefits of digitalisation to uncover new value, re-define business models and gain a competitive edge for the digital future,” said Chia Wee Boon, Chief Executive Officer, NCS.
The role of big data analytics in PUBLIC SAFETY
An example of how new value can be created through digital transformation is the way law enforcement agencies can harness digitalisation to counter terrorism and effectively detect, prevent and deter crime.
In today’s complex security landscape, law enforcement agencies can leverage digital technologies and new security solutions to support dynamic policing operations. Mundane and straightforward tasks that currently rely heavily on human resources can be automated, boosting institutional efficiency and effectiveness and allowing staff to be re-trained and re-deployed to focus on frontline law enforcement.
As the coverage of public spaces by CCTV cameras and other sensors increases, technologies such as video and data analytics can also be used to analyse and correlate massive amounts of data with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Advanced analytics tools can help predict the potential occurrence of a crisis, disorderly human behaviour or illegal crowd congregation. Alerts on these abnormalities will provide law enforcement agencies with better situational awareness and improve efficiency in resource planning.
“With the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT), the next-generation of law enforcement and security management will be analytics-driven. Public safety agencies around the world will increasingly leverage various video analytics applications, such as crowd density analysis, facial recognition and vehicle license plate recognition to achieve unprecedented speed and success rates in crime prevention and investigation.” Ferry Chung, Vice President of Smart and Safe City Centre of Excellence and Communications Engineering, NCS.
Meeting the HEALTHCARE needs of ageing populations
Another area where digital transformation is set to have a major impact is healthcare.
In many countries, higher life expectancy is leading to a squeeze in healthcare resources. To meet this challenge, the sector is embracing disruptive technologies to boost operational efficiency. Real-time location sensing systems using radio frequency identity (RFID) tags are being deployed in hospitals to track staff, patients and critical equipment. The data provided is analysed to optimise equipment usage, staff productivity, and reduce costs.
At the same time, the emergence of personalised medicine is revolutionising healthcare. This is where genetic information, big data, machine learning and analytics are being used to provide more effective customised treatments for patients.
On a cautionary note, the healthcare sector has to ensure that it takes a holistic approach in the adoption of these disruptive technologies to ensure that safety; legal and regulatory concerns are addressed.
Transforming PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Digital technology is also having a transformative impact on public transport. The testing of driverless taxis in Singapore in 2016 signalled a major step in this direction.
To meet the public transport demands of a growing population and address the challenge of land constraints, Singapore unveiled its Smart Mobility 2030 masterplan1 that aims to take urban mobility to a new level by using data analytics and making relevant and useful information available to commuters and motorists in a timely fashion.
Data captured from in-vehicle equipment, surveillance cameras, sensors and other Internet-of-Things (IoT) and fed into collaborative platforms for big data analysis. The analytics can then be used to enhance the efficiency of the transport network, optimise utilisation and improve the maintenance of public transport assets.
For commuters and motorists, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) can be the future of transport, seamlessly stitching together different transportation modes to help travellers get to destinations more quickly and comfortably.
Supporting the shift to learner-centric EDUCATION
In education, too, digitalisation is playing a huge role as the focus shifts from a teacher-centric to a learner-centric environment to prepare students for a rapidly changing world and provide support for lifelong learning.
Immersive technologies such as augmented, virtual and mixed reality are key enablers in experiential learning and work-place training, providing students with “hands-on” experience and the opportunity to “interact” with equipment, which may be far too expensive or too impractical to gain access to in real life.
Predictive analytics can be applied to a student’s learning progress, enabling teachers to identify learning gaps or difficulties faced by the student and to provide early intervention that could lead to better learning outcomes.
RegTech - the FINANCE sector’s new hot button
In the financial services sector, financial technology (FinTech) companies are harnessing disruptive technologies such as machine learning and predictive behavioural analytics to open new markets and challenge traditional financial service providers with innovative digital solutions that build customer intimacy and drive operational excellence at lower costs.
There is also growing demand for regulatory technology (RegTech) as the financial services sector looks to rein in rising regulatory and compliance costs. Today, RegTech is being implemented to increase efficiency and reduce costs while enabling a forward-looking approach to compliance.
Agile RegTech solutions are creating an environment where companies can respond quickly to fresh regulatory requirements and challenges. An example is the use of predictive analytics to identify patterns in market trading to spot potential risks such as stock pumping or rogue trading.
Achieving a state of ‘permanent innovation’
As disruptive technologies continue to challenge traditional business models, there is a pressing need for organisations to embrace change and continuous innovation.
Digital technologies are changing the economics of executing business models,” said Lai Weng Yew, Vice President of Business Application Services, NCS. “I call it ‘competition without borders’ and it is here to stay. The tsunami of digital technologies and innovation will become a constant.”
Helping organisations to deal with this tsunami are specialist units such as NCS Rapid Labs, which helps enterprise customers to bring digital futures to life through design thinking, ideation and rapid prototyping. The prototype, be it a web, mobile or an enterprise application, is validated by a broad team of users, stakeholders, developers and designers and is constantly being refined. This enables organisations to “experience” how their solution behaves in a real environment and to experiment with new digital technologies.
New ideas are also tested in a “sprint” process that accelerates development timetables, allowing for early identification of flaws as well as innovations with the greatest potential to deliver new value.
With these services and solutions, digital transformation now becomes a state of “permanent innovation”, where standing still is no longer an option, and the greatest risk lies in failing to grasp the opportunities of digital innovation.
1 In 2014, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Intelligent Transportation Society of Singapore (ITSS), of which NCS is a member, jointly developed the Smart Mobility 2030 plan, which outlines the way forward for a car-lite, connected and interactive land transport community.