Here Are 2021’s Top 10 Most Digitised Industries and 50 Business Ideas You Can Start Today

Written by
Marissa Saini
Last Modified on
December 19, 2023

When you look left, right, and centre, it’s evident that the concept of online businesses is on the rise. While becoming your own boss and making a living out of your own business sounds like a great idea, you first need to know which industries and trends are the most lucrative before you enter the market.

Based on the McKinsey Global Institute industry digitization index, we have uncovered the most highly digitised sectors and industries just for you, along with several business ideas and areas you can tap into for your next business venture!

Top 10 Digitised Industries and Business Ideas You Can Get Out of It

1. Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector leads the pact as the most digitised industry in this study. With the rapid development of technology in this day and age, many aspiring entrepreneurs have tapped into this field in search of a lucrative career.

ICT also happens to be one of the broadest industries consisting of several different components such as internet access, data, communications technology, hardware and software, as well as cloud computing. This only means that there are a plethora of digital business ideas that you can enter and branch out to.

Examples of some of the most common ones include:

  • Data entry
  • Mobile app and software development
  • Computer training
  • IT support
  • Content automation

2. Media and Communications

Just like ICT, Media and Communications is also a broad sector that covers a wide range of disciplines as well. This involves everything from journalism, broadcasting, public relations, marketing, advertising, and the list goes on.

In recent years, this industry is being increasingly dominated by massive tech firms too, which adds to the diversity of online business ideas one can embark on. Technology increases the speed of communication between individuals through various platforms and even enhances existing jobs too.

If you’re looking into getting started in media and communications, here a few online business ideas to get you started:

  • Content writer or copywriter
  • Content strategist
  • Video content creator
  • Social media manager
  • Digital marketer

3. Professional Services

Jobs in the professional services field require a niche or specialised skillset in more technical industries such as the arts and sciences. If you have a particular area of expertise that you want to capitalise on, a business in professional services might be ideal for you.

Certain professional services require specialised certifications, licenses or degrees in order to carry out the practice.

Below are some of the most common online business ideas you can explore in this field:

  • Accounting firms
  • Legal services
  • Web design
  • Multimedia and graphic design
  • Writing and translation
  • Online tutoring

4. Finance and Insurance

From banking, insurance, to investments, financial services comprises a broad range of activities that one can tap into to start their own digital business. While it may seem like a risky step to take, going into finance is an extremely rewarding feat, which also increases your financial literacy significantly.

Possible online business ideas in this sector include:

  • Online insurance agent
  • Financial advisor
  • Finance consulting firm
  • Financial analyst
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

5. Wholesale Trade

The wholesale trade industry can be interchangeably referred to as the Business-to-Business (B2B) transaction of goods and services. This sector has been a consistent contributor to Singapore’s economy, with S$47.3 billion accounted for in 2017, and is also one of the most profitable online business ideas.

Acting as the middleman in the supply chain process, companies in wholesale trade distribute goods mainly from mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and information industries to vendors or retailers, who will then distribute the goods to the general public.

If you’re unsure of which products perform the best in this market, you can consider distributing:

  • Beauty products
  • Gifts and handicrafts
  • Furniture
  • Agrochemicals
  • Sports items

6. Advanced Manufacturing

While this field is considered to be highly digitised, it still requires a certain level of skill and expertise to form an online business. Advanced manufacturing makes use of cutting-edge technology to create or improve both products and processes. This includes sectors and production activities that are highly dependent on automation, computation, information, software, and networking.

For those equipped with the relevant experience and skills, some common jobs and business areas to consider in this industry are:

  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing business)
  • Control sensor development
  • Medical device design and manufacturing
  • Supply chain strategy

7. Oil and Gas

You may be thinking: how is it possible to form an online business in the oil and gas industry? Here’s how it would work.

First, digital technologies in oil exploration and production are applied. Big data will then be used to generate useful insights, which is finally followed by utilising cognitive analytics to improve efficiency in the process. Alternatively, industry manufacturers can also enter the B2B e-commerce market.

This could be done by:

8. Utilities

Little did you know, there’s also digital transformation unfolding in the energy and utility sector. This industry is best known for its key segments like electricity generation, natural gas and water distribution, which is clearly a more technical and hands-on business altogether.

But over the years, we have seen an increase in the use of digital solutions, followed by the technologies and transformation in the utility chain. As a result, it is now possible to create digital businesses in the utility sector that are both profitable and sustainable in the long run.

Consider these ideas for your next business project:

  • Energy auditor
  • Edge computing
  • Solar panel distributor

9. Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals

Yes, it is actually possible to form an online business from chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Vietnamese online pharmaceutical marketplace, Thuocsi, also known as BuyMed has shown us that this is a viable business model in the B2B space.

While the pharmaceutical industry is still a conventional business to be done digitally and completely online, there is tons of potential for this area to grow and lead to more innovation, higher productivity, and even create new channels in the market.

10. Basic Goods Manufacturing

While the consumer goods industry focuses on items that are ready for consumption and use such as food and clothing, basic or capital goods are tangible assets that businesses use to produce these consumer goods such as materials, equipment, machinery, and manufacturing plants.

Some simple manufacturing business ideas for basic goods include:

  • Metal casting
  • Canvas sewing
  • Custom assembly
  • Bioplastic packaging
  • 3D printing

Why Go Digital?

In the foreseeable future, going digital will become the new normal for most businesses around the world across most sectors. In fact, this phenomenon is already starting as you’re reading this. In such a time where technology and digital innovation is rampant, companies will need to keep up with the trends and find ways to stay relevant if they want to avoid being left behind.

As daunting as it sounds, we should be encouraged to embrace this digital shift to reap all the benefits it has to offer, and simply ride the waves.

Starting a business in 2021?

With Aspire Kickstart, you can seamlessly incorporate your Singapore-based business from anywhere in the world. With a 100% digital procedure, same-day business account opening, and unique advisory solutions from our trusted partners, embarking on your next venture in the region’s most vibrant business haven is just a click away.

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About the author
Marissa Saini
is a seasoned writer and an avid trendspotter across business finance, personal finance, travel and lifestyle industries. With writing history at SingSaver, INK, and ohmyhome, Marissa leverages her broad range of experiences to simplify finance and make readers financially savvy.
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