Singapore businesses get more help to go digital

Newly minted Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran is determined to continue the fight against fake news, while keeping an eye on cyber security and trying to balance the economic and social side of technology.

Speaking to the media for the first time since taking on the role about three weeks ago, Mr Iswaran said the Government will ensure that citizens are equipped with digital skills needed for both work and personal daily living, and continue to act as the "facilitator and catalyst for the transformation in the economy and society".

He was speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural SG: Digital Industry Day held at the Suntec Convention Centre yesterday, where he announced a slew of updates to programmes designed to help firms go digital, such as a new nationwide e-invoicing standard, and training for professionals to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) implement their digital strategies.

He also spoke briefly about an online crowdsourcing, problem-solving platform for companies, and enhancing the cyber security of local infocommunications technology solutions.

"While the digital economy holds much promise, going digital may be daunting for many enterprises, especially given the multiplicity of challenges in today's complex and competitive economic landscape," said Mr Iswaran.

"We want to help all our companies succeed in this transformation, and that is why we are ramping up our efforts to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies."

HELP FOR COMPANIES

While the digital economy holds much promise, going digital may be daunting for many enterprises, especially given the multiplicity of challenges in today's complex and competitive economic landscape. We want to help all our companies succeed in this transformation, and that is why we are ramping up our efforts to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies.

MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION S. ISWARAN

To that end, Mr Iswaran said that the authorities have decided upon the Pan European Public Procurement On-Line system for its nationwide e-invoice system, which aims to cut costs and reduce human error for companies when handling invoices.

He also announced that the Open Innovation Platform, which was first announced during this year's Budget in March, will be launched next month.

This platform lets companies crowdsource for solutions to their business challenges or problems online by pairing them with partners such as Singapore-based infocomm media compa-nies and researchers from research institutes or institutes of higher learning.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority is also improving its SMEs Go Digital programme, launched last April, with the introduction of a new digital project management service.

This programme will train professionals, managers and executives to become digital project managers, where they will help other SMEs with their digitalisation.

Lastly, local information and communications technology companies which produce software and related products can learn how to make their solutions even more secure.

A two-year programme called GoSecure, which starts from a fee of $6,500, will pair such firms with cyber-security professionals to figure out how to design their software with security in mind, as well as perform threat-risk assessments and design reviews for any potential weaknesses in their product.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore businesses get more help to go digital'. Print Edition | Subscribe