Singaporean IT leaders concerned skills shortage could hinder Smart Nation

IT leaders are concerned Singapore does not have the IT talent readily available for the building of a Smart Nation-ready workforce. Read more here.

  • 93% of Singaporean CIOs are concerned IT talent in Singapore is insufficient for the successful implementation of Smart Nation initiatives.
  • 60% believe Smart Nation initiatives will increase job opportunities for IT professionals, 53% say it will increase average IT salaries.

New independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half has found more than nine in 10 (93%) Singaporean IT leaders are concerned Singapore does not have the IT talent readily available for the building of a Smart Nation-ready workforce. Following the Government’s launch of Smart Nation initiatives in 2014, businesses have been increasingly involved in the strategic deployment of technology across the nation for improved living, economic growth and national progress [1] - which inevitably requires highly skilled IT professionals to manage.  

Incidentally, compared to five years ago, almost nine in 10 (87%) CIOs find it more challenging to source qualified IT professionals. A similar proportion (83%) say that it is more challenging to attract qualified IT professionals to their organisation. 

As companies seek to secure the best IT candidates to drive innovation and business growth, they are confronted with a widening skills gap, exacerbated by increased demand for IT professionals, and intense competition in the job market. Employers are embattled in an ongoing war for talent, and struggle to find skilled job candidates in specific functional areas, namely IT security (59%), cloud technology (36%), business intelligence (28%), IT management (27%) and business analysis (25%). 

Smart Nation perceived as a boost for IT sector
Regarding the outcome of Smart Nation initiatives, the research has also found IT leaders are optimistic as the clear majority (92%) of CIOs believe that the government’s Smart Nation initiatives will positively impact the local IT employment market. Additionally, more than half (60%) expect an increase in IT job opportunities and 53% predict an increase in average salaries. 

Just under half are expecting increased competition to top IT talent, and 29% feel the initiatives will increase the number of locally-trained IT talent. Only 8% of CIOs believe the Smart Nation initiatives will not impact the local IT employment market. 

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said: “There is no doubt the government’s Smart Nation initiative will propel Singapore into a prosperous future. However, for Smart Nation to become a reality and result in nationwide success, a stronger supply of highly-skilled local IT talent will be required. Many companies are currently experiencing challenges sourcing and attracting qualified IT professionals – these crucial skills gaps will need to be filled quickly in order for Smart Nation to be a success.”

“As the demand for top IT skills continues to increase in Singapore, a more comprehensive approach will be required to close the current and future technology skills gap. Educational institutions should be encouraged to work with the business community and government to build a more robust business and technology ecosystem that develops and nurtures more talented IT professionals within the local talent pool.”

“To ensure Smart Nation’s continuity and success, employers should look to create awareness around the benefits and opportunities available with a career in IT and technology in Singapore, both on a company as well as industry-wide level.”



About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in June 2018 by an independent research firm, surveying 75 CIOs/CTOs in Singapore. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.  


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]