Mr Ron Goh, President (ASEAN and Korea), Automation Anywhere
Mr Phillip Heah, Assistant Chief Executive (Technology & Infrastructure), IMDA
Friends from Automation Anywhere and IMDA ITE Colleagues and Students
Ladies and gentlemen
ITE’s RPA journey has made significant progress in the last two years. I recall urging my staff in 2017 to explore and develop RPA bots with these phrases, “Automate for Accuracy” and “Streamline for Simplicity”. We wanted to use technology to simplify work, to ensure accuracy and to take away tedious and repetitive work from staff. I am glad my staff have been willing to put in the effort to examine work processes, to learn RPA programming and to re- design work processes. We now deploy RPA bots in many of our work functions: attendance analytics, procurement processes, exam data processing, HR processes, student financial assistance processing and so on. We are able to compute the hundreds of man-hours saved through each RPA bot and how this time is released to enable staff to engage in more satisfying work that requires human interaction, human empathy, human consideration, human judgement, human creativity. My staff also spoke about how they have new digital colleagues and had fun thinking what names to give them.
When I compare ITE’s RPA experience with the vision of Automation Anywhere, I note there is almost complete alignment. Your vision states that you want to:
take the robot out of the human
- liberate employees from mundane, repetitive tasks, allowing them more time to use their intellect and creativity to solve higher order business challenges
- have employees work side-by-side with digital workers, making them exponentially more productive and fulfilled
What I have described is the RPA journey of ITE staff. What about our ITE students? We can predict with 100% certainty that when they join the workforce, their workplaces will certainly feature a lot more technological automation and RPA. Let me highlight two sets of data:
- The “Embracing Robotic Automation” survey carried by The Edge Singapore on 9 Nov 2018, highlighted that the RPA adoption rate by companies in Singapore is 50%, compared with 58% in Canada, 61% in the UK, 65% in Ireland and 74% in the US.
- In the recent 2019 Budget speech, Minister Heng Swee Keat highlighted that Singapore’s economy grew by 3.2% in 2018 and Productivity, as measured by real value-added per actual hour worked grew by 3.6% in the last three years (2016-2018) compared to 1.6% in preceding three years (2012-2015). He also highlighted that the productivity growth
is stronger for outward-oriented sectors like Manufacturing but some sectors like Construction and services industries continue to show weaker productivity growth.
What we can conclude from the two sets of data is that in the coming years, Singapore companies will certainly step up in RPA adoption both to raise productivity as well as to deal with the challenge of manpower shortage. It is thus timely and important that ITE students must acquire RPA programming skills and be comfortable working alongside technological automation and ‘digital colleagues’. This would enhance their employability opportunities, enabling them to take on RPA programming job roles to create new value-add and productivity gains for their employers. For ITE graduates in non-RPA programming job roles, they will be quick to adapt and work effectively in a human-digital work environment.
Automation Anywhere is one of the top global providers of RPA solutions and ITE is honoured to welcome you as our partner. We are privileged have your commitment to work with us to equip our students with RPA skillsets.
I would like to highlight three specific areas of collaboration between Automation Anywhere and ITE:
We will set up Centres of Excellence for RPA at the 3 ITE Colleges. Six computer labs will be installed with the Automation Anywhere software for our students’ training. We will adopt a ‘Train the Trainer’ approach where Automation
Anywhere staff will train our Lecturers who will in turn train our ITE students.
Automation Anywhere will support ITE in developing a new Elective in RPA for students in the Higher Nitec in IT Applications Development course. This elective will be adapted for students from non-IT courses.
Automation Anywhere will co-host RPA competitions and project fairs and sponsor the prizes. Such events will provide a platform for students to apply their RPA skills on authentic industry-related challenges.
In conclusion, I thank Automation Anywhere for your readiness and commitment to partner with ITE to equip ITE students with RPA skills that would in turn open doors for them to work in various industries and build their careers. My ITE colleagues and I look forward to a fruitful collaboration with you.