IT roadmap to help biz spot innovation opportunities

Singapore Infocomm Development Authority seeking public consultation for its 6th infocomm technology roadmap, highlighting nine key trends, to help businesses identify opportunities for innovation.

SINGAPORE--Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) wants public collaboration to get "real" input to finalize the blueprint aimed at helping businesses spot and take advantage of opportunities from the various convergences of key technological trends.

At the Infocomm Technology Roadmap (ITR) 2012 symposium here on Friday, Leong Mun Yuen, CTO of IDA, highlighted nine themes under its latest infocomm technology roadmap (ITR 2012): big data, cloud computing, social media, user interface (UI), communications of the future, Internet of Things, sustainability, and cybersecurity.

The themes were identified based on their importance and impact on Singapore's ICT landscape and overall economy and society.

IDA had earlier consulted several industry technologists, business leaders and stakeholders to scan which were the key technology forces, so "it's not like we just put [the roadmap] out there by ourselves", Leong said at event sidelines.

ITR 2012 is the sixth edition of the series, which essentially charts the visions and developments of the ICT landscape in Singapore amid global macro trends, and also shapes the country's wider infocomm masterplan. The previous ITR edition was in 2005.

Feedback to shape final report by November
The ITR 2012 preliminary report is currently available for public consultation and feedback for the next six weeks, after which a final report will be published later in November this year.

Leong said the roadmap's main value that it is "real" and neutral, detailing the challenges, issues, adoption and enablers, from the perspective of end-users, be they corporations or consumers. So, rather than prescribe what and how technological trends should be looked at, the resulting information will be collective and representative--and from that, companies can make learned decisions for their business strategy, he explained.

Future opportunities for business and innovation can be spun off by charting the convergences of the nine ICT themes, he added. For instance, the convergence of UI, big data and communications for the future can lead to breakthroughs in low-power sensors that capture data from physical gestures which can put through analytics.

Concurring, Cort Isernhagen, vice president, international at IDC Insights, another speaker at the event, said the roadmap is a "high-level, almost philosophical" presentation, rather than a prescription to be followed. "The free market decides eventually," he added.

He also pointed out that while Asia has been "good at seeing what comes out of Silicon Valley and retooling the IP (intellectual property)" for the local market, the playing field of late has increasingly evened out. There is opportunity and momentum for innovation and IP to be created in local markets, he said.

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