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Continuous skills upgrade key to thriving in the digital age: Singtel’s Bill Chang

Nayela Deeba | March 14, 2017
Bill Chang, CEO of Singtel's Group Enterprise and winner of Singapore Computer Society's IT Leader Awards, also shares what else is needed to become an effective IT leader

Bill Chang, CEO, Group Enterprise, Singtel

The information and communications technology (ICT) industry has pushed the boundaries of innovation.

Bill Chang, CEO, Group Enterprise, Singtel, told CIO Asia that the tech space is experiencing a lot of innovations including robotics, artificial intelligence and cloud. However, the challenge many IT leaders face is not knowing when or how to incorporate such innovations into their companies to drive the business forward.

The other challenge is shortage of skilled talents. "We have a lot of people in the ICT area.  However, there is a need to transform them into new areas to get higher productivity and higher output.  There's just not enough people who understand how [new] technology works and our focus should be on how we can develop people and their skills," he added.

He also advised the younger generation to continuously upgrade their skills and keep themselves updated about new technologies to tap on the opportunities available for them in the tech space.

"Our young will pave the way for us in the next 50 years. Young people should develop their skills and not stop doing so as [ICT] is a fast moving industry. They need hands-on experience with tech, which will help not just regionally, but also globally," he said.

Putting his words to action, Chang said that he "motivates [and] develops" his team, as well as encourages them to go the "extra mile" to pick up new skills.

Besides that, Chang has collaborated with the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) to train mid-career ICT professionals under the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists (CSAT) programme. He hopes that the move will help address the critical issue of the lack of trained cyber security professionals in Singapore.

Recognising his efforts to help strengthen Singapore's ICT sector, the Singapore Computer Society (SCS) recently named Chang 'IT Leader of the Year' at its 2017 IT Leaders Awards.

When asked about the qualities that an effective IT leader should possess, Chang cited having a clear vision, being able understand the ever changing tech market, and knowing how to best capitalise on technology.

The following are four other ICT professionals who were recognised at the awards for their achievements and contributions to help transform and strengthen Singapore's ICT industry:

SCS 2017 IT Leaders Awards winners
From left to right: Howie Lau (President of SCS), Yeo Quan Yang (IT Youth), Dr Lim Woo Lip (Professional of the Year), Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Bill Chang (IT Leader of the Year), Saw Ken Wye (Hall of Fame), Alex Lau (Entrepreneur of the Year), Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim. Credit: SCS


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