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Apt time for apps – and tech jobs

Published on Friday, 06 Jan 2012
Google executives break ground for a data centre in Singapore late last year. They are eyeing full-time and contract staff in Asia.
Photo: EPA

From selecting the perfect beer to booking a hotel room and branding a business, social media and online applications (unusually referred to as apps) continue to change the fabric of business and society.

"Apps for mobile devices allow people to make use of the cracks in the day, whether people choose to use the time for business or to organise personal financial and social activities," says Steve Garton, Synovate managing director for media in Hong Kong and Asia Pacific.

Now part of Ipsos, with offices in over 80 countries, Synovate generates insights to help clients drive competitive brand, product and customer-experience strategies.

Garton says a recent Synovate study conducted in Hong Kong revealed people are looking for ways to get information and tasks completed on the go. "With people constantly pressed for time, Hong Kong residents are using apps to escape the complexities of post-modern life," says Garton.

He adds that a new generation of forward-thinking Hong Kong businesses are using apps to attract new customers and to drive business. "Not only are apps and smartphones changing the way we live our lives, they are also changing the way many firms conduct their business," Garton says, adding that software professionals who design apps need to produce easy-to-navigate apps that provide succinct information that are free or affordable to use.

With mobile traffic growing exponentially, especially in the Asia Pacific region, companies such as Google are looking for comprehensive but cost-effective ways to manage data. Cisco forecasts mobile traffic to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015.

When Google opens its first Asian data centre in 2013, about 25 jobs will be created for computer technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers. Simon Chang, Google's head of Asia Pacific hardware operations, says the centre - located in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate - will help Google keep up with rapid growth in capacity demand across the region.

"We are working now to hire the leadership team for this facility and we'll continue to hire as construction progresses. When fully operational, we'll employ around 25 full-time staff, along with a number of part- and full-time contractors, in a variety of roles," says Chang.

"We are really excited about this data centre, particularly its innovative design that will make it one of the most efficient and environmentally-friendly in Asia, providing users in [the region] with faster and more reliable access to our tools and services," says Chang.

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