New initiatives announced to help Singapore companies go digital

SINGAPORE: A slew of recent initiatives was introduced on Tuesday (Mar 2) as a part of efforts to assist Singapore companies of their digitalisation journeys.

In asserting the initiatives, Minister for Communications and Data S Iswaran famous that Singapore’s digital future is underpinned by quite a lot of issues together with “competitive enterprises that leverage digital technologies to innovate and grow”. He additionally highlighted how, due to COVID-19, many conventional brick-and-mortar companies have pivoted in direction of hybrid online-offline fashions to have interaction and transact with shoppers.

Among the many initiatives that had been introduced was a brand new Chief Expertise Officer (CTO)-as-a-Service scheme that can embrace a one-stop, self-help device for small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs) to evaluate their digital wants and gaps, mentioned Mr Iswaran.

“SMEs can then access customised recommendations on digital solutions based on the company profile, and information on Government support,” he mentioned, including that the Infocomm Media Growth Authority (IMDA) would work with the related businesses on the initiative as a part of Singapore’s Good Nation drive.

“SMEs that need more in-depth advice can tap on a shared pool of CTO- equivalents or digital consultants with expertise in areas such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence,” he mentioned at the Ministry of Communications and Data’s (MCI) Committee of Provide session.

In a media launch, MCI famous that these digital consultants can be managed by IT consultancy companies appointed by IMDA, and can be chosen primarily based on their digital expertise and expertise in related industries.

Corporations will obtain each digital consultancy and mission administration companies to establish wants and options, in addition to handle mission implementation.

These sources can be accessible to all registered SMEs, together with home-based companies that are sole proprietorships, mentioned Mr Iswaran.  

The service will come within the type of an internet utility for the service, accessible through computer systems or cell units. 

READ: Fortitude Finances: Greater than S$500m allotted to assist digital transformation of companies amid COVID-19 outbreak

Mr Iswaran additionally introduced a brand new Digital Leaders Programme, which is able to “equip firms with the capabilities and talent to accelerate their digital transformation journey”.

“The programme will provide up to 70 per cent support on qualifying costs to help companies build a core digital team to develop and execute their digitalisation strategy,” he mentioned. 

“It will also connect companies with tech partners to develop new digital products and services, and better position them to compete internationally.”

The minister mentioned the programme will initially assist as much as 80 firms, starting with these extra superior of their digital journeys, with administration groups “committed to drive digital transformation for sustained growth”.

It is going to be managed by IMDA and Enterprise Singapore in addition to different financial businesses, he added.

Corporations within the programme will take part in a two-year pilot, receiving funding assist to assist construct an in-house core digital staff, and develop proof of ideas for brand new digital services, mentioned MCI, including that the programme can be launched in April this 12 months. 

READ: New digitalisation plan for SMEs in coaching and grownup training sector

The IMDA can be introducing the Higher Information Pushed Enterprise (BDDB) programme, which is able to present companies with free instruments and steerage to assist safeguard their clients’ private information whereas extra successfully utilizing information to stay aggressive.

“The programme will also provide a free business intelligence tool that can convert raw data into visual dashboards that can aid business outcomes such as better sales and operational efficiencies,” mentioned Mr Iswaran. 

“It will also enable more advanced data uses, such as for R&D and innovation, through curated resources such as case studies and videos,” he added. 

In the meantime, one other S$50 million can be invested in IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform – a crowd-sourcing platform that matches enterprise challenges to know-how answer suppliers – to boost its capabilities, he mentioned. 

“This will help more enterprises access innovative solutions and accelerate the deployment of digital innovation at scale. IMDA will also co-fund the prototyping of matched challenges to help innovative tech companies expand their market base,” he mentioned.

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