Capturing growth in Asia’s digital economy despite talent shortage

By 2020, Asia Pacific will face an imminent labor shortage of 12.3 million. This figure is expected to reach 47 million by 2030, costing the region an annual opportunity cost of US$4.238 trillion. In Singapore, talent shortage is expected to reach more than one million workers, with a potential loss in annual revenue of US$106.8 billion by 2030.

The lack of talents with new skills – such as cloud engineering, DevOps, and data science – is worrying as they are crucial for organizations looking to capture the opportunities presented by ASEAN’s digital economy, which is predicted to be valued at US$300 billion by 2025. This is because those talents can help organizations become more agile and efficient, deliver superior customer experiences, and create new business models that generate new revenue streams.

Solving the talent conundrum

To help address the skills gap, Asian governments are pushing out initiatives aimed at both businesses and individuals to encourage them to upskill and reskill. In Singapore, the government is offering individuals S$500 worth of SkillsFuture credits, which can be used on a wide variety of courses, to encourage them to upskill or reskill. It will also provide companies up to 80 percent of funding support through the Enterprise Development Grant if they work with unions to train their workers.  

However, these measures won’t be a quick fix as it will take some time for employees to acquire new skills. Moreover, those talents will need to have a multitude of new skills, as well as the know-how and experience of effectively using new technologies to help achieve business goals.

Expecting a talent or a team to be able to align IT with business priorities can be a tall order. Some organizations are therefore turning to a strategic partner to accelerate their digital transformation journey.

With the right managed services partner (MSP), organizations will be able to gain unbiased guidance on the technologies that will best serve their unique needs, based on their digital transformation maturity and business strategy. They can also get expert advice on the best platforms for various applications; receive help architecting, implementing, and optimizing the chosen solutions; and be able to scale resources on demand. In short, an effective MSP will help simplify digital transformation and relieve the day-to-day IT management tasks, which will in turn empower the IT team to focus on revenue-generating tasks.  

A helping hand for business growth

As the business environment gets continually disrupted by new technologies and new business models, there is no sure-fire way of guaranteeing that organizations will have the right in-house talents to address changing business demands in the future. This is more so when there is stiff competition for those skilled talents across industries.

Businesses also need to understand and accept the fact that sometimes, they will need external help to achieve their goals, especially since IT and business transformations are usually complex. As such, they will need to seek specialized expertise and support from a strategic partner to transform their operations effectively. By turning to an MSP to jointly plan, assess, design, migrate, manage and optimize their cloud/digital transformation journey, businesses will be able to capture the opportunities presented by ASEAN’s digital economy faster and with less risk.