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Upgrade Your Skills With COMIT

5 October 2006 - Speech By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At the Singapore Computer Society Launch of Comit, HDB Hub Auditorium.

Speech By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At the Singapore Computer Society Launch of Comit on 5 October 2006, HDB Hub Auditorium.

Mr Lee Kwok Cheong, President, Singapore Computer Society,
Mr Lau Soon Liang, Chairman of the COMIT Resource Panel,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

A very good morning.


1. I am very happy to be here today to witness the launch of the region's first IT outsourcing certification, the Certification in Outsourcing Management for IT (or COMIT, for short). This is a proud moment for the Singapore Computer Society and many here today, and is an exemplary effort of Public-Private-People Partnership. IDA is pleased to endorse and support this 2nd national certification, after the Certificate in IT Project Management (CITPM) which was launched in 1998.

Singapore's Vision as a Business Process Outsourcing Hub

2. Singapore is currently at an exciting phase of infocomm growth and development. Last year, the infocomm industry grew by about 7 percent, garnering some S$37 billion in revenues. And just recently, IDA launched a ten-year infocomm masterplan, Intelligent Nation 2015 or iN2015. This masterplan sets bold targets to make Singapore number one in harnessing infocomm to add value to our economy and strengthening the global competitiveness of our infocomm industry.

3. One important thrust is to strengthen and reinforce Singapore's position as a leading Business Process Outsourcing Hub. Besides our reputation as an established and trusted business hub, Singapore has the advantage of a strategic location, world-class infrastructure, excellent global connectivity, pro-business environment, competitive overall business value and a ready pool of skilled manpower. As such, Singapore can have an edge in being the location of choice for enterprises' higher-end shared services or outsourced activities. In fact, Singapore has been consistently ranked among the leading offshoring destinations by independent analysts. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit 2005 ranking of global offshoring environments for example, Singapore ranks fourth, after very low-cost locations like India, China and the Czech Republic. AT Kearney ranked us fifth last year.

4. This bodes well for Singapore's infocomm industry, as infocomm is a key enabler for many functions and form the backbone of the outsourcing industry. Specifically for the case of infocomm outsourcing, many organisations now see this as an absolute strategic necessity. Recently, IDC projected that infocomm outsourcing spending in Asia Pacific alone, excluding Japan, will surpass the US$10b mark in 2006 and is expected to increase at a rate of about 11% a year in the next few years.

The Need for Skilled Infocomm Professionals

5. With the infocomm industry moving at a phenomenal pace, especially the outsourcing of infocomm services to meet business demands, this means that there will be many more infocomm jobs.

6. The opportunities are out there for us to tap. But Singapore cannot compete solely on costs, as our ranking vis-á-vis low-cost countries like India show. We must compete on value. Singapore infocomm professionals will need to look to higher end, higher value-added jobs that builds on Singapore's other business advantages. Certification of competencies will be an important differentiator for us, because it gives businesses assurance of an individual's capability, and his or her ability to bring value to the organisation. Companies that choose an outsourcing location solely on lowest visible cost often find quality and reliability an issue. As the saying goes, "If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys." Singapore may not be cheapest, but we aim for best value.

7. I am happy to share that COMIT is aligned with the National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF), our national standard for infocomm manpower development. The NICF is a joint effort established by IDA, Workforce Development Agency, and the Society, with inputs from many industry leaders to define the skills, certifications and career paths for our infocomm professionals. We hope that the NICF will serve as a useful guide for infocomm professionals. We hope that employers will similarly leverage on the NICF for career development planning and recruitment.


8. In closing, I would like to congratulate Singapore Computer Society and all industry partners once again for the successful development and launch of the COMIT certification.

9. Thank you.