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Forum: SingTel ICT helps CIOs become business leaders

CIO Asia | Dec. 19, 2013
Participants at SingTel's CIO Day in Shanghai, China, discuss why prioritisation and planning of technology projects require collaborations between CIOs, internal users and vendor professionals.

"Operating alongside SingTel as an ICT provider are two other group members: NCS, which provides a wide range of IT services, and Optus, a leading integrated communications provider in Australia," said Lim. "Together, the SingTel Group has become one of the major ICT providers in the Asia Pacific region. SingTel is recognised by research firms as being one of the leading providers of cloud technology. In the IDC Marketscape 2013, for Asia Pacific Next-Generation Telecom Services Vendor Assessment, SingTel has improved in the 'leaders' quadrant, close to the front of the field."

The keynote presenter for SingTel's IT specialist subsidiary, NCS, stressed the economic opportunity presented by the Internet, which celebrated its 44th anniversary in the same week as CIO Day. "The first great wave of business opportunity was the invention of the joint stock company that enabled businesspeople to invest with partners," said Shen Min, Country Director, NCS China. "The second wave was the railway and the telegraph. The third wave is the Internet, and we are now witnessing the opportunities it provides."

As China becomes the world's biggest economy, the cloud is transforming business investment. "To create a startup back in the 1980s, entrepreneurs had to invest a few million dollars, with 20 percent going to IT, and to buy expensive enterprise software such as ERP systems," said Shen. "Now, investors can almost avoid CAPEX by launching business operations on the cloud. And, should the venture fail, only the IT resources used have to be paid for."

NCS works with its customers to make the best use of the business opportunities presented by ICT. "One fast-growing field is machine- to- machine communications (M2M)," said Shen. "The Internet will not only connect the world's people, but will be used to connect billions of devices, in every industrial sector,integrating the operations of global civilisation in ways that are currently beyond our imagination. M2M net access is already the basis for revenue earning business investments, and NCS has the expertise and capacity to assist its clients to innovate in this field."

An emerging technology which NCS is developing is in the field of big data and how the analysis of big data can provide the concepts for creating new business ventures. "NCS can offer data analysis of video content, including facial expressions," said Shen. "This can be used to predict criminal intentions, or assess whether individuals are likely to commit crimes, including terrorism."

NCS' forte in the financial services vertical could enable banks to reduce their reliance on ATMs and one way to do that is using mobile devices for Internet banking."Mobilephone apps can create electronic purses for online payments," said Shen. "One concern is security – if the device is lost, NCS can cancel the relevant information without violating the privacy of the user."


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