New initiative to help SMEs embrace emerging technology

A new initiative is being launched to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the infocomm technology sector to embrace emerging and advanced technologies.

GoCloud will help them move to cloud native architecture, where software and systems are designed specifically to be deployed over a network, otherwise known as a cloud.

This will allow them to amend their applications quickly and scale up or down as required, as compared to the conventional way applications are developed as a block, where it could take weeks or even months for companies to make these amendments.

GoCloud is part of the Services and Digital Economy Technology Roadmap which was launched by Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran yesterday.

Developed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) together with business leaders and technology experts, it provides a scan of the digital technology landscape in the next three to five years to identify key shifts and trends.

These initiatives will help the service sector use emerging technology to predict customers' needs and deliver on their demands.

Termed Services 4.0, this approach encompasses industries such as logistics, banking, media and transportation, and will be a key driver for Singapore's growth.


Mr Iswaran said: "The next generation of service providers must be able to anticipate and empathise with the customer, and take proactive, automated actions to enable the customers to seamlessly fulfil their needs in one platform."

In announcing GoCloud yesterday, Mr Iswaran said: "Cloud native architecture may sound like an advanced technology, but no company is too small or young to go cloud native.

"Young companies or start-ups, which are at the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey, can iterate their applications agilely and scale their solutions according to demand with cloud native architecture."

He was speaking at the IMDA's Singapore Digital Industry Day, held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

According to the IMDA, SMEs that sign up for GoCloud will first learn about cloud native and work with an expert on how to plan and develop a project involving this technology.

They will then go through training in designing, coding and developing cloud native applications.

Lastly, they will transform an existing process, system or solution in their own company to use this technology under the guidance of consultants. This process will take four to six months, and is expected to be available early next year.

Mr Iswaran also announced a new two-year programme to help match companies with digital solution providers.

The Digital Services Lab will bring together industry and research partners to solve sector-specific digitalisation challenges. These include research institutes, institutes of higher learning and technology providers.

The Digital Services Lab will also help companies manage the risks of early-stage technology development by identifying the right partners and helping to integrate the appropriate technology solutions.

"We know from our industry engagements that many companies are excited about the opportunities in the digital economy, although not all of them are able to navigate the technology landscape comfortably. These companies may need help to embark on their digital transformation," said Mr Iswaran.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2018, with the headline 'New initiative to help SMEs embrace emerging technology'. Print Edition | Subscribe