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Hong Kong’s JOS eyes Singapore IT services market

The IT services firm claims to have an edge in being less rigid than larger rivals in pushing for specific IT implementation methodologies that may not suit the needs of mid-tier customers

Hong Kong-based IT services provider Jardine OneSolution (JOS) is casting its sights on Southeast Asia, starting with mid-sized enterprises in Singapore.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Andrew Tan, managing director of JOS in Singapore, said the company has been growing its headcount by about 10% to 15% in the city-state over the past 12 to 18 months, with new accounts growing by about 10%.

“These are some good indicators that things are moving pretty well… and it’s a good sign for us in terms of new account acquisitions and engineering support,” he said, adding that the company is also raking in good profits.

JOS is the IT arm of Jardine Matheson Group, a conglomerate that includes hotelier Mandarin Oriental, automotive and property group Jardine Cycle & Carriage, as well as retail giant Dairy Farm.

Most of JOS’s customers in Singapore are in government and manufacturing, although Tan said the company is increasingly targeting the hospitality and healthcare sectors, where the firm has worked on virtualisation and hybrid cloud projects.

On what makes JOS different from other IT service providers in the market, Tan said JOS, which employs about 350 people, including over 200 engineers in Singapore, is apt at serving the needs of “mid-tier” customers with deal sizes of less than $1m.

“We have customers in the mid-tier commenting to us that the big boys are not really focused on them,” Tan said, adding that some of the large service providers often approach the market with specific methodologies that may not suit customers.

“Our approach is to look at where customers are now, their pain points, and we systematically look at what works best for them, starting with small steps before we embark on bigger steps,” he said.

With organisational culture being the biggest barrier to digital transformation, Tan said JOS also makes it a point to guide businesses through change management, such as breaking down walls that impede data sharing across an organisation by clearly articulating the business benefits of big data initiatives.

JOS itself has gone through the process of change management to overcome the apprehension from employees when it deployed robotic process automation (RPA) in finance and operations to improve business processes.

Tan said there were employees who were worried about losing their jobs, but the fears were assuaged through open discussions and commitment from management that they would be trained in higher value job functions such as analytics.

In Singapore, IT spending is being driven by sectors that have been performing relatively well, such as government, healthcare, finance and insurance, according to IDC.

The technology research firm added that digital transformation initiatives involving the implementation technologies, such as cloud, big data and analytics, mobility and security, will continue to drive IT services growth in Singapore in the foreseeable future.

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