Speech By Mr Ronnie Tay, CEO, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at The Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium 2012

17 Aug 2012 - Speech By Mr Ronnie Tay, CEO, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at The Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium 2012 – “Co-Creating The Future”, 9:15am at The Sands Expo and Convention Centre

Speech By Mr Ronnie Tay, CEO, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at The Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium 2012 - "Co-Creating The Future", 17 Aug 2012, 9:15am at The Sands Expo and Convention Centre


1. Good morning distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to IDA's Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium 2012. I am pleased to see such a good turnout at this morning's symposium that's entitled "Co-Creating the Future". This occasion provides a good opportunity for us to gain insights into the latest infocomm technology trends and the opportunities these bring to the government, enterprises and consumers.

2. IDA has over the years put out Infocomm Technology Roadmaps from time to time. These roadmaps aim to help the industry and vertical sectors stay abreast of global ICT trends and developments, which impact the way we manage and operate our business activities. The early adoption of emerging infocomm technologies also enables enterprises and organisations to sustain their competitive edge.

3. In looking back just over, say, the past five years alone, we would see that the infocomm landscape has changed remarkably. We all know that social media and social networking have grown to become an integral part of our lives. We are now more connected than ever before, with the fast adoption of mobile devices and the mobile Internet. New technology giants have emerged, overtaking some of the companies that we were once familiar with. New Internet businesses have been created, delivering innovative products and 'sticky' consumption models that seek to meet the various needs of our daily lives. While they each originated from a particular area of technology disruption - whether search, entertainment, gaming, or e-commerce, they are now competing aggressively in many markets and other industry sectors too.

4. It is therefore not difficult to see that the infocomm landscape is changing more rapidly than ever before. Not only is it becoming more complex, it is also becoming more exciting. This infocomm technology roadmap therefore seeks to identify infocomm technology trends that have the potential to impact and even disrupt our lives, and the opportunities that the public and private sectors can leverage. This edition of the roadmap will highlight the possible evolution of key infocomm technologies, as well as enablers for adoption, as we look into the future, with an emphasis on the three to five year time frame.

5. Over the past year, the roadmap team led by Leong Mun Yuen, IDA's Chief Technology Officer, has researched and consulted a wide range of industry technologists, business leaders and other stakeholders, on what some of the key technology themes might be, going forward. After distilling and synthesizing their various inputs, the team has scoped them to nine themes. While we want to have a broad coverage, the technologies highlighted within the themes are by no means exhaustive. The preliminary thoughts and ideas have been condensed into the handbook that each of you have, and it will serve as a good basis to guide our discussion today. Allow me to now briefly highlight each of the nine themes.

  1. The first theme is Big Data. Driven by the rapid increase in number of people and devices connected to the Internet, data is growing at a phenomenal rate. The analysis and insights gleaned from this pool of data give organisations the opportunity to understand the behaviour of their customers, and enable them to develop new services or make better business decisions to compete.

  2. Another important area of growth is Cloud Computing, the second theme. This sees the shift away from conventional hosting and delivery of services, to utility-based consumption in both the enterprise and personal space, enabling 'everything-as-a-service'.

  3. Next, the boundary between the physical and digital worlds is blurring, with mobile and fixed sensors collecting information about everything from ambient temperature to light intensity to an individual's location. Connecting these devices together in the Internet of Things, creates opportunities in delivering intelligent and contextualised services.

  4. The fourth theme, ICT and Sustainability, discusses how ICT can play an active role in enabling innovations to tackle the global challenge of sustainability.

  5. Next, Social Media has revolutionised the way we socialise and interact. It is now a communications platform of choice for many. It is thus essential for organisations to learn to tap on the conversations on the social media platforms to leverage the power of the masses.

  6. Coupled with the widespread adoption of social media is the trend of the Internet offering direct access to mass consumer markets, which is the focus of the sixth theme, the New Digital Economy. This will fundamentally transform consumer-enterprise online interactions, especially in the exchange of goods, content and monies, in sectors such as retail and entertainment. We can expect to see more innovative consumption, business and payment models emerging in the near future.

  7. The User Interface of the Future, the next theme, will lead to a more seamless, interactive and immersive user experience. We are already moving beyond the keypad and the mouse to the touch interface. Human-machine interaction will become more intuitive and interactive. Already, we are seeing the emergence of voice and speech analytics for a more interactive user experience, like Apple's Siri and Samsung's S-Voice. Technologies such as Augmented Reality and head-mounted displays are already in development and are likely to see adoption within the next three to five years.

  8. Of course, we cannot forget another important theme - the Communications backbone, which must be capable of supporting the massive amount of traffic in the new hyper-connected world.

  9. Finally, the ninth theme, Cyber Security, will become increasingly more important as we become more connected and perform more essential tasks through the Internet. The cyber attacks that occur on a daily basis are a reminder of that. Organisations will need to provide a more secure environment for individuals and enterprises to operate in, even as they embrace emergent technologies.

8. In line with the Symposium theme of "Co-Creating the Future", today's event aims to bring together industry and organisation leaders like yourselves to engage in a discussion and allows us to gather your important inputs and feedback on the nine themes. The spirit of the symposium is to create an opportunity for everyone to contribute to and hence co-create the roadmap. This morning, we have a line-up of distinguished speakers to provide broad visions and perspectives on the evolving ICT landscape. In the afternoon, we have three parallel tracks on the nine themes. Each track is a consultative platform, and I would like to invite you to participate actively in the tracks and give your valued comments to the team. The draft report will be available online at the IDA website for the next six weeks for consultation, so that we can all collectively contribute to this document.

9. Thank you once again for taking the time to be with us today and many thanks to our speakers for sharing their views with us. I believe this will be a good opportunity to gain insights on the latest industry trends and opportunities, to generate new ideas and foster industry collaboration. I wish everyone a rewarding and most enjoyable time at the conference.