While the global COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and labour markets worldwide, it has also accelerated the adoption of digital technologies as organisations have moved their operations, processes and employees online. While many businesses have struggled to survive, the tech sector is flourishing, particularly in Singapore, and we expect to see the current high demand for the best tech talent continue well into 2021.
Even though the workforce in some sectors has started returning to the office, the “new normal” suggests that it won’t be for everyone, or even full-time for many, and that remote working is here to stay. The cost savings on real estate and travel are too hard for businesses to ignore and, particularly for those that have already invested heavily in technology to facilitate remote working, there seems little to be gained from a full-scale return to the office. The knock-on effect is that Information and Cybersecurity have moved up the corporate agenda as organisations seek to secure their processes and remain compliant.
Large corporates that had to change their operating models have also had to bolster their full stack, front and back end integration capabilities, so engineering skill sets have been and will continue to be much sought after. The good news for hiring managers is that the lifting of restrictions recently also seems to have given candidates in this area a renewed appetite to move and although competition for the top talent is fierce, we are seeing significant activity.
Singapore has more than 4,000 tech start-ups and is already the Asian regional headquarters for almost two thirds of multinational tech companies, including LinkedIn, Google and Visa, and Facebook is also building its first Asia-Pacific data centre here, scheduled to open in 2022. This drive to establish Singapore as the tech capital of Asia will see the new Tech.Pass visa programme launch in the new year, which will attract foreign tech experts to further scale up the sector. It should also help mitigate the departure of a number of senior professionals that we have seen move overseas to be with family during 2020, as well as kickstart any projects that might have stalled because of their exit. In what is already a dynamic, evolving sector, the 2021 technology market could be very exciting indeed.
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