11 May 2010 - Opening Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, At The Industry Briefing 2010 - Business Opportunities For Infocomm In The Public Sector, At Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

Opening Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, At The Industry Briefing 2010 - Business Opportunities For Infocomm In The Public Sector, Tuesday, 11 May 2010, 9.00am At Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen

1. Welcome to this year's Industry Briefing on business opportunities for infocomm in the public sector. We would like to share with you the Government's infocomm procurement plans for Financial Year 2010, and hope this will help you plan your resources and participate in the various projects.

Positive Outlook for the Economy and the Infocomm Industry

2. The last two years have been challenging, with the world economy in a very major recession. During this period, the infocomm industry too was not spared, as companies reviewed their IT spending, prolonged their product replacement schedules or put on hold less strategic IT projects.

3. However, since the second half of 2009, the global economy has been showing signs of recovery. The International Monetary Fund1  has raised its forecast for world economic growth to 4.2 percent this year. The global ICT outlook also appears to be improving, in line with the global economy. According to a Gartner report2, global IT spending is expected to grow by 5.3 percent in 2010, with an even higher level in the Asia-Pacific, of 8.7 percent.

4. Singapore's economy has also turned around fast from the 2.0 percent contraction in 2009, and is projected to grow between 7.0 to 9.0 percent3   in 2010.

5. The Government continued to invest and deploy infocomm technology in the public sector even during the downturn. At last year's briefing, we shared that the FY09 Government's infocomm procurement was estimated at $1.73 billion. The actual procurement for FY09 was approximately $1.12 billion, which does not include the SOE for Schools project which has not been awarded yet.

6. Besides major projects such as the Next Gen NBN and SOEasy, the Government has also invested in projects that would enhance the delivery of public services. For instance, LTA awarded a contract to ST Electronics to expand the Expressway Monitoring & Advisory System or EMAS to manage major arterial roads. This system will help to optimize the available capacity on the existing transportation infrastructure and enhance the utilisation of roads. Another example is the new gov.sg portal which will provide citizens with a single point of access to the latest key government news, events, online feedback for the government and a consolidated directory of government offices, key personnel and services.

7. Another project is i-Singapore which encourages innovative geospatial services by mash-up of public, private and people sector contents to create knowledge and value. The i-Singapore pilot is currently underway with four services launched, namely Business Competitive Analysis by ShowNearby, Dynamic Navigation Assistance by Quantum Inventions, Location-based Active Mobile Community by Mapking, and Location-based and Interactive Commerce by SurroundNetworks.

8. The continued investment and emphasis on infocomm by both the public and private sectors have placed Singapore high on various international rankings. Singapore was ranked second in the Networked Readiness Index under the World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010 released in late March. The report also ranked Singapore first in its readiness sub-index, which measures the extent to which individuals, business and the government are prepared to use infocomm in their daily activities and operation.

9. This year, the Government will continue to invest in infocomm projects in the various sectors. The total estimated procurement for FY10 is $1.1 billion. If we exclude the very large Next Gen NBN and SOE projects, we can see that Government investment in infocomm has been steadily increasing over the past years. James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive for GCIO, will provide you with details on the Government’s FY10 infocomm procurement plan after this.

Leveraging Infocomm for Innovation and Productivity in Service Delivery

10. Infocomm plays an increasingly prominent role as a key enabler and has become an essential infrastructure crucial for sustaining and enhancing an economy's innovation potential and long-term competitiveness. Infocomm is also instrumental to achieving productivity growth as it enables workers and end users to work faster and more effectively.

11. For instance, ComfortDelgro used infocomm to enhance its SMS taxi booking service, which gave customers more convenience and streamlined business processes. ComfortDelgro uses the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Framework-based solution to reduce the booking time for its customers, in most cases to just 30 seconds from the time of sending an SMS to receiving a confirmation of the booking. Using this solution also allows ComfortDelgro to ease the customer-load on the contact centre agents, which in turn allows them to spend more time to provide value-added services to corporate customers.

12. The value of using infocomm can be significant and more companies need to embrace its benefits. Our Annual Survey on Infocomm Usage by Enterprises found that usage of infocomm services by SMEs though increasing over the years, could still be higher. Accounting & Finance, Human Resource & Payroll, and Point of Sales were the most commonly used infocomm services by SMEs, with adoption rates of 42 percent, 16 percent and 11 percent respectively in 2009.

13. To encourage usage of infocomm services by SMEs, IDA, Spring Singapore and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore have come together and established the $25 million SME Productivity with Infocomm Adoption and Transformation or iSPRINT Scheme. The scheme aims to address the different infocomm adoption needs of SMEs and make it easy for them to seek assistance for their infocomm adoption projects to improve their productivity and efficiency. iSPRINT supports a suite of infocomm solutions, from simple solutions to improve business operations to innovative use of technology to transform the business or sector. It also promotes the use of quick to implement and "Plug-and-Play" solutions by SMEs to improve their business operations. SMEs can look forward to leveraging on emerging technologies such as mobile and software-as-a-service applications to get started easily and minimise the cost of adoption.

14. Given that over 80 percent of our SMEs are small businesses with less than ten employees, it is beneficial for SMEs to aggregate their demand and approach infocomm adoption from a sectoral approach for economies of scale. IDA will be working with other Government agencies and industry associations to support such sectoral level transformation. Some examples include IDA's collaboration with the Education Ministry, to focus on computerising operations in the pre-school sector, to support innovative teaching and learning at pre-schools. We are also working with the Association of Employment Agencies to automate its members' common business processes through the implementation of a portal.

15. The Next Gen NBN that is currently being rolled out will bring broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps to all homes and businesses by 2012. It will offer opportunities for the development of innovative products and services for consumers and enterprises. The Next Gen Services Innovation Programme was launched to catalyse the development of innovative products and services. Our first call for proposal through the Next Gen Services Innovation Programme received more than a dozen innovative proposals, and we expect to see services launched soon.  The second call for proposal will be launched later this year.

16. IDA encourages potential retail service providers, or RSPs, to develop and deploy Next Generation services on our Next Gen NBN. We organised the first Lighthouse Series in 2009 to engage potential RSPs on the opportunities over Next Gen NBN which saw very good response. We will be organising a second Lighthouse Series this year to build on the successful industry engagement efforts last year. We will also be expanding the education effort to potential users of the ultra high-speed network through a series of BEACON forums and workshops. BEACON, which stands for Bringing Enterprises and Consumers on Next Gen NBN, aims to educate government, enterprises and consumers by providing information on the Next Gen NBN and showing the benefits and infinite possibilities afforded by the network.

17. The emerging trend of Cloud computing enables the provision and consumption of scalable on-demand services, such as data-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and so on. We recently awarded a bulk tender  which would facilitate the easy procurement of Grid Services from Grid Service Providers by government agencies. We also awarded the EnVision bulk tender which would facilitate procurement of Video Hosting and Streaming Services.

18. As we move into the era of data and digital abundance, it is how we make use of the wealth of available data, and deriving insights from that analysis to create knowledge that is key. Through strategic use of Business Analytics such as prediction and optimization techniques and software that leverage on digitized information in the enterprise, infocomm can generate insights for decision-making and strategy formulation to increase productivity of enterprises. IDA is looking into how we can adopt and promote the use of Business Analytics in both the public and private sector.

19. We recognise that the Government is a major infocomm user and there are opportunities for the public sector to pilot new innovative solutions proposed by industry and to push the envelope in providing services to its employees and citizens. Programmes like the Government Technology Experiments & Trials Programme or TREATS aim to identify suitable technologies for trials with Government agencies and encourage innovation in the public sector. Infocomm companies should leverage this opportunity to test-bed cutting edge solutions to meet business needs expressed by our agencies.

20. We are currently formulating the next e-Government Masterplan. The next wave of e-Government will see new models of collaboration with the private and people sectors, leveraging on emerging technologies and social trends. The Government CIO-CXO Exchange to be held later this morning is part of our continual efforts to engage and gather feedback from the industry on the next e-Gov Masterplan. I invite you to share your views and contribute ideas for the next e-govt masterplan.

Closing Remarks

21. Before I close, I would like to highlight some upcoming events. The Infocomm Media Business Exchange or imbX 2010 will be held from 14 to 18 June 2010 at Singapore Expo. The event will bring together business leaders, companies and industry professionals to showcase their latest innovations, network, exchange ideas and tap into new markets. The iGov Global Forum will be held in conjunction with imbX on 14 and 15 June 2010. Themed "e-Government: The Next Quantum Leap", the event will bring together e-Government experts and practitioners from around the world to discuss their experiences and challenges in their e-Government strategies. We hope to see all of you at imbX and iGov Global Forum in June.

22. We would also like to encourage you to participate in the National Infocomm Awards 2010. This award, which is jointly organised by IDA and SiTF recognises excellence in infocomm innovations in Singapore. Online nominations have started and will close on 2 June 2010. The NIA gala dinner, where the award winners are announced and celebrated, will be held in early October, so do also keep a lookout for it.

23. Finally, I take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support in the Government's various efforts to develop and grow the infocomm industry, and harness infocomm to enhance productivity and competitiveness. I look forward to your continued participation in the coming year. On that note, I wish you and your companies continued success in the coming year.

24. Thank you.


1 According to the IMF's "World Economic Outlook", published on 21 Apr 2010. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2010/RES042110A.htm
2 According to "Gartner Market Databook, March 2010 Update"
3 According to MTI's press release "MTI Revises 2010 Growth Forecast to 7.0 to 9.0 Percent" dated 14 Apr 2010.

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Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023