With Singapore’s vision of becoming a Smart Nation, the adoption of enterprise video is bound to elicit better customer and employee experiences, bringing benefits to organisations in the long run. This article also provides tips for enterprises to follow to ensure its successful integration within the enterprise.
Driverless vehicles. Biometric locks. Autonomous drones. These are all scenarios that may have sounded more at home in science fiction a mere two decades ago. Today, they would be hard pressed to garner news coverage, a testament to how rapidly technology has progressed in the recent past.
As our lives become increasingly intertwined with technology, cities around the world are leveraging this relationship to integrate technology into multiple facets of daily lives. This has led to the establishment of smart cities—cities that seek to enhance the quality of living for its citizens through technology empowerment.
Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiative
Singapore is no exception, with its smart city aspirations well underway following the unveiling of the ‘Smart Nation’ initiative by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2014. 1
Progress has been promising. Students in Singapore can look forward to the launch of the Singapore Student Learning Space. 2 This comprises an online portal offering digital learning materials, aimed at enhancing learning outcomes through the delivery of highly engaging learning experiences.
Additionally, recognising the role of the Internet and Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices as the future of smart living, regulations around building codes are being drafted to ensure all new homes come equipped with wiring to support strong Internet connection throughout all areas of the house. 3
Elements of a Smart Nation
The building blocks are swiftly falling into place, but Singapore’s success in building a smart nation was no accident. Early computerisation efforts in the 1980s paved the way, creating an environment well-suited for technological innovation. 4 Here are some characteristics of Singapore’s society that has made it a good fit for a Smart Nation:
- Digitally Savvy and Adaptable Population
Besides technology, the success of a smart city also hinges strongly on the adaptability of its human capital.
The World Economic Forum has ranked Singapore amongst seven of the world’s most digitally savvy countries. 5 In tandem with a government that is fully committed to advancing the digital agenda 6, a population that possesses a mindset open to change goes a long way in ensuring the successful implementation of technological innovations.
- Robust Info-communication (ICT) Infrastructure
Another cornerstone of Singapore’s Smart Nation success is the country’s robust ICT infrastructure, a vital component in supporting any wireless or data-based initiative.
Internet speeds in Singapore are amongst the world’s fastest 7, while more than 80 per cent of its population are connected to the Internet 8, a far cry from the global average of 50 per cent. Singapore also holds the distinction of having one of world’s highest mobile penetration rates, at close to 150 per cent. 9
- Extensive Government Support
The Singapore government has provided extensive support to spur innovation, digitisation, and to assist its citizens in keeping pace with the changes.
Supporting measures may come in the form of monetary grants, or initiatives such as SkillsFuture that ensure the skill sets of employees are kept up to date with industry advancements, creating a future-ready workforce instilled with a culture of lifelong learning.
A Mixed Report Card
By all accounts, Singapore is well on its way to achieving its Smart Nation ambitions. While great strides have been made in getting numerous projects off the ground, progress in integrating technology appears to have stymied in the country’s business world.
A study by Microsoft found 75 per cent of business leaders in Singapore believe digital transformation to be necessary as a growth enabler. 10 The study found that only 34 per cent of companies had a digital strategy in place today, leaving them ill-prepared for the transition to the digital era.
As we progress into 2018, we foresee increased adoption of progressive technologies into the enterprise as businesses strive to maintain their competitive edge. Another catalyst will be the trend amongst Singaporean firms towards internationalisation, which is expected to lead to an increasing number of decentralised workplaces and put them into contact with an increasingly diverse demographic of customers and demographics with different needs and preferences. This will require firms to re-evaluate their operational processes, adopting new technologies to facilitate the new normal.
Video as a Game Changer in the Enterprise
One such technology is video, a medium that is fast gaining popularity across the world. Asia Pacific (APAC) is home to the world’s most avid consumers of video, with eMarketer forecasting digital video viewership in the region to have reached 1.1 billion at the end of 2017, a number that accounts for more than half of the world’s video audience. 11
Video is a highly engaging medium which makes it an effective method for conveying information, eliciting higher knowledge retention rates in comparison to conventional text-based materials. Due to the fact that video engages multiple senses, it has the ability to increase access to knowledge, and boost comprehension.
Millennial and Generation Z audiences are amongst the first cohorts to have Internet technology readily available to them at a young age. Being exposed to an unprecedented amount of technology in their upbringing, they tend to be digitally fluent and are highly visual—characteristics that have led to their status as some of the most avid consumers of online video. 12
As these individuals come of age and enter the workforce, it stands to reason that optimal results would be guaranteed if they were able to work with the same tools and formats that they are most familiar with in their social lives. This makes a strong case for the use of video in the enterprise.
Below are some benefits that organisations will stand to gain from video adoption:
Increased Accessibility to Knowledge
Internationalisation will see organisations serving and working with an increasingly diverse pool of customers and employees. The digital nature of video means that content could easily be adapted to meet the needs and preferences of different groups, such as the addition of subtitles for multilingual support.
More importantly, with its ability to engage multiple senses, video can be edited in various ways to meet the needs of persons with disabilities (PwD). For instance, PwDs suffering from dyslexia or visual challenges bene-fit from audio voiceovers, while the ability to stream content will undoubtedly be a benefit for mobility challenged individuals.
Efficient Dissemination of Knowledge
Similar to how computer labs of yesteryears are gone, corporations everywhere are getting rid of the classroom and moving to an online training model, leveraging video. Classrooms take up significant space, are hugely expensive to maintain, and incur high costs when educators have to be flown to multiple locations to train regional teams. Conventional print materials often leave things open to interpretation, which leads a lack of standardised practices across the breadth of an organisation. The visual nature of video makes training easily widespread, and eliminates ambiguity.
Effective Internal Communication
Communication between decentralised teams can be challenging. Video enables employees to communicate without sacrificing the visual components of face-to-face communication.
Video can also help in peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and training. Companies often don’t know what they know, or what knowledge resides within their employees’ heads. We are seeing adoption of collaboration tools and social business platforms that incorporate video as well as enterprise video portals that help employees connect, and share knowledge with each other through video.
Once you have decided to devise a video strategy for your organisation, there are some key competencies to keep in mind when looking for a video management platform:
Centrally Managed, Deployed Elsewhere
Corporations should establish a central video repository. This enables videos to be easily re-used across the organisation’s many departments and branches, reducing duplication of efforts.
Easy Creation and Consumption
Aside from easy consumption of videos, corporations also need to look at tools simplifying video creation. Democratising video and enabling user generated content that is moderated and shared allows employees to connect and share knowledge.
Interactivity and Data
Organisations can create a two-way experience through interactive features such as video quizzes that effectively engage viewers.
Beyond the basic play rate of videos, organisations should also measure how effective video is in engaging viewers, or whether viewers genuinely understand the content. Organisations are even using this data to produce predictive data, which could assist in improvements on workplace processes.
Use of Enterprise Video Across the World
Enterprise video is on the rise in the global landscape, led by market leaders Europe and North America. North America currently holds the largest share in the global Enterprise Video Market in 2017 13, while more than half of European enterprises have already implemented video solutions and services in their organisations. 14
Some examples of organisations that have been successful in leveraging the power of enterprise video include:
The state-owned Norwegian railway company, NSB, faced a considerable challenge in communicating with their employees who were dispersed throughout the country, often on the move, and had no ability to meet frequently. Passengers, aided by their phones, often had more up-to-date information than staff.
Seeing a need for a communication channel that could reach employees on a regular basis, NSB implemented an organisation-wide internal online video channel, where content closely linked to the strategic roadmap was published. It was also used by NSB to maintain a constant line of dialogue with staff.
The end result was a more engaged and informed workforce that were kept up-to-date on NSB’s strategic priorities and the latest operational information, evidenced by a decrease of 12,000 calls to NSB’s operations centre. 15
One of the largest insurance providers in the world, MetLife has a workforce of 58,000 globally dispersed employees over 26 countries. MetLife recognised that it faced a big communications challenge as it looked to build employee understanding and support for its corporate strategy.
MetLife’s resulting solution, OneVoice, is an internal YouTube-style social video portal that allow employees to post videos that demonstrate how their work is helping to deliver MetLife’s strategy. This has proven to be a hit with employees, representing a fun way to drive engagement and build a strong corporate culture. 16
With the APAC region forecasted to be the fastest growing market for enterprise video 13, Singapore enterprises should strive to create a comprehensive video strategy. However, there are some hurdles to adoption that organisations will need to overcome.
Singapore appears to have been a victim of its own success, having traditionally been a first mover in the adoption of technology. While this strategy served the country well at the onset, it has led to a significant number of legacy systems in place, slowing efforts in the adoption of modern, progressive technologies. 17 Firms must recognise that digitisation is the first step to remain relevant in today’s fast paced economy, enabling them to leverage the power of technology to leapfrog the competition.
Another hurdle could be a perceived lack of awareness around the benefits of enterprise video. Our experience in APAC revealed the disconcerting prospect that video does not seem to rank highly amongst the growth plans of local businesses. With video dominating globally as the preferred medium of choice, firms would look to ensure that the evolving needs of their customers and future workforce are met.
Finally, it has also been suggested that a deeply-rooted cultural stigma against failure could be creating inertia around the country’s digital transformation plans. 18 While the Singapore government has put initiatives in place to create a culture of innovation, change needs to start on the individual level. The onus is upon individuals to develop a change in their mindset, to realise failure is part-and-parcel of the road to eventual success.
The Road Ahead
In three short years, Singapore has indeed advanced much towards its vision of a Smart Nation. Existing projects have established a strong supporting foundation while projects in the pipeline hint at changes on a national scale that could provide the country with far reaching benefits.
However, it is evident that more could be done to improve the country’s global standing by way of digitisation. Critical to success is to adopt a mindset of adaptability, and recognising that resting on one’s laurels will mean falling behind countries that proactively engage in innovation.
An area for potential improvement that local firms could start with lies in the adoption of enterprise video. In view of an internationalisation drive that is well underway and the popularity of video as a medium amongst the current generation, video is bound to elicit better customer and employee experiences, bringing benefits to the organisation in the long run.
1 Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), 2014, Transcript of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech at Smart Nation launch on 24 November, Singapore, Accessed via http://www.pmo.gov.sg/newsroom/transcript-prime-minister-lee-hsien-loongs-speech-smart-nation-launch-24-november.
2 Channel News Asia (CNA), 2017, Singapore schools to introduce e-learning portal from 2018, Singapore, Accessed via https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-schools-to-introduce-e-learning-portal-from-2018-9127446
3 Tham I, 2017, What is life like living in a smart nation?, The Straits Times, Singapore, Accessed via http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/what-is-life-like-living-in-a-smart-nation.
4 Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech), Digital Gov Transformation – Milestones and Awards, Singapore, Accessed via https://www.tech.gov.sg/Digital-Government-Transformation/Milestones-and-Awards.
5 Estopace, E, 19 July 2016, Singapore among world’s 7 most digital savvy countries, Enterprise Innovation, Singapore, Accessed via https://www.enterpriseinnovation.net/article/singapore-among-worlds-7-most-digital-savvy-countries-1839259534.
6 Chen, J, 8 August 2017, Singapore tops again for having the world’s best tech-savvy government, AsiaOne, Singapore, Accessed via http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/singapore-tops-again-having-worlds-best-tech-savvy-government.
7 Channel NewsAsia (CNA), 2017, Internet speeds in Singapore among world’s fastest: Report, Singapore, Accessed via https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/internet-speeds-in-singapore-among-world-s-fastest-report-8879516.
8 Kemp, S, 8 February 2017, The full guide to Southeast Asia’s digital landscape in 2017, Tech in Asia, Singapore, Accessed via https://www.techinasia.com/talk/full-guide-southeast-asia-digital-landscape-2017.
9 Ng, JS, 2018, Parliament: New video and audio technologies push bounds of reality, says Yaacob Ibrahim, The Straits Times, Singapore, Accessed via http://www.straitstimes.com/politics/parliament-new-video-and-audio-technologies-push-bounds-of-reality-says-yaacob-ibrahim.
10 Microsoft, 24 April 2017, 75% of business leaders in Singapore believe they need to be a digital business to succeed: Microsoft study, Singapore News Center, Singapore, Accessed via https://news.microsoft.com/en-sg/2017/05/03/75-business-leaders-singapore-believe-need-digital-business-succeed-microsoft-study/.
11 eMarketer, 16 January 2017, eMarketer Expects Digital Video Viewership in Asia-Pacific to Increase by 10.3% This Year, United States, Accessed via https://www.emarketer.com/Article/eMarketer-Expects-Digital-Video-Viewership-Asia-Pacific-Increase-by-103-This-Year/1015037.
12 Bazilian E, 2017, Infographic: How Gens X, Y and Z Consume Video Content, AdWeek, United States.
13 PR Newswire, 19 July 2017, Enterprise Video Market Worth 40.84 Billion USD by 2022, United States, Accessed via https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/enterprise-video-market-worth-4084-billion-usd-by-2022-635422213.html.
14 IDC, 2016, IDC Europe: Enterprise & Broadcasting Video Trends, Europe, Accessed via http://info.video.ibm.com/IDC-europe-enterprise-broadcast-video-trends.html.
15 Kaltura, Case Study: IMG Play and Kaltura, United States, Accessed via https://corp.kaltura.com/sites/default/files/IMG%20NSB%20case%20study.pdf.
16 Kaltura, Innovation in Employee Engagement with MetLife, United States, Accessed via https://corp.kaltura.com/content/innovation-employee-engagement-metlife-emea.
17 Tan, W, 14 April 2017, A mixed report card for Smart Nation initiatives,
TODAY, Singapore, Accessed via https://corp.kaltura.com/content/innovation-employee-engagement-metlife-emea.
18 Assomull, SA, 7 November 2017, ‘Kiasuism’ may be factor holding back Singapore’s digital transformation, says study, The Straits Times, Singapore, Accessed via http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/kiasuism-may-be-factor-holding-back-singapores-digital-transformation-study.
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