, Singapore

Government reveals initiatives to aid firms in digitalisation

Many brick-and-mortar businesses have pivoted towards hybrid online-offline models.

Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran has announced a number of initiatives to help Singapore companies in their digitalisation efforts.

Amongst the initiatives is the launch of new Chief Technology Officer (CTO)-as-a-Service scheme by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). Through the initiative, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can access customised recommendations on digital solutions based on the company profile, and information on government support.

It will include a one-stop, self-help tool for SMEs to assess their digital needs and gaps, according to Iswaran.

“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 added.

They will also receive both digital consultancy and project management services to identify needs and solutions, as well as manage project implementation.

Iswaran also announced a new Digital Leaders Programme (DLP), which aims to “equip firms with the capabilities and talent to accelerate their digital transformation journey.”

“The programme will provide up to 70% support on qualifying costs to help companies build a core digital team to develop and execute their digitalisation strategy. It will also connect companies with tech partners to develop new digital products and services, and better position them to compete internationally,” he said.

The DLP will initially support up to 80 companies, starting with those more advanced in their digitalisation efforts, with management teams “committed to drive digital transformation for sustained growth.”

It will be managed by the IMDA, together with other agencies.

The IMDA will also launch the Better Data-Driven Business (BDDB) programme, which will provide businesses, particularly SMEs, with free tools and guidance to use their data responsibly to drive business growth.

“It 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 or operational efficiency. It will also enable more advanced data uses, such as for research & development and innovation, through curated resources such as case studies and videos,” Iswaran said.

During the speech, Iswaran mentioned that their envisioned digital future is underpinned by competitive enterprises, an inclusive society, safe and secure digital spaces, robust digital infrastructure with fit-for-purpose regulations, and close collaboration with the community and enterprise partners.

“Impelled by COVID-19, many traditional brick-and-mortar businesses have pivoted towards hybrid online-offline models to engage and transact with their consumers,” Iswaran said.

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