19 May 2011 - Speech by RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at the Industry Briefing 2011, Business Opportunities for Infocomm in the Public Sector, Suntec City Convention Centre

Speech by RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at the Industry Briefing 2011, Business Opportunities for Infocomm in the Public Sector at Suntec City Convention Centre, Ballroom 2 on 19 May 2011

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Welcome to this year's Industry Briefing on business opportunities for infocomm in the public sector.  As with previous years, this event is a very well subscribed event and it serves as a platform for the public sector to share the Government’s infocomm procurement plans for the financial year ahead.

A Positive Outlook for the Infocomm industry

2. The overall outlook for the infocomm industry is a positive one. Gartner reported that worldwide IT spending in 2010 totalled US$3.4 trillion (S$4.4 trillion), up 5.4 per cent from the previous year. For 2011, Gartner forecast worldwide IT spending of up to US$3.6 trillion (S$4.6 trillion), a 5.1 per cent increase from 20101. Locally, Singapore's ICT sector contributed about S$15.6 billion, or approximately 7.4 per cent of Value Add in 20102. As we can see, spending on infocomm is on the uptrend, demonstrating a strong demand for infocomm services. Opportunities for the industry continue to abound.

3. Likewise, the Singapore Government continues to invest in infocomm to drive productivity and innovation within the public sector. In the 2011 Waseda e-Government Ranking, Singapore has once again been ranked top, for the third year running. Singapore has also, for the second year, clinched the second spot in the Global Information Technology Report, an annual ranking of how well global economies use ICT to further growth. We also emerged with the highest overall Networked Readiness Index (NRI) score in Asia. This is a strong testament to the Government's commitment to continually improve the delivery of services and information to citizens and businesses, and the important role of infocomm in fostering economic growth in Singapore.

4. In FY 2010, the Government awarded 647 infocomm contracts worth more than $1.12 billion. This figure excludes the $850 million invested in the Schools Standard ICT Operating Environment, or SSOE programme. When completed, the SSOE will benefit about 40,000 teachers and staff and 500,000 students; it will importantly also support the third masterplan for ICT in education, providing schools with an ICT infrastructure that will enhance teaching and learning through the use of innovative technologies.

5. The deployment of our Next Gen NBN is on track, with about 70% of our homes and offices covered.  It will underpin the development of innovative services for enterprises and consumers alike. Toward that end, we have recently made awards to three companies during our second call for proposal under the Next Gen Services Innovation Programme, or NGSIP.

6. The three proposals are: Prevview, an Online Video Resume Portal by Evvo Media, which will be Asia's first interactive video job portal helping jobseekers and employers brand themselves better with the power of Video Résumés on a professional social media platform; Next Generation Cloud Gaming, a video-game-on-demand platform by SingTel Idea Factory, which will allow game data to be stored in the 'cloud' and streamed to computers instantly, and users can  enjoy convenient access to a library of games over an Internet connection; LittleEdu by LittleLives Inc. which will help students learn through engaging animation in high definition videos; each lesson comes with puzzles, quizzes and games to help teachers and parents assess the learning progress of their children.

Government Spurs Infocomm Innovation & Productivity

7. For FY 2011, the estimated Government procurement for infocomm services is expected to reach $1.1 billion. Besides the Government's investment in infocomm to benefit citizens and businesses, we are also intent on spurring infocomm innovation and productivity by nurturing a thriving and vibrant infocomm industry. This is done through our continual efforts to facilitate adoption of infocomm across sectors, as well as continued engagement and collaboration between the public and private sectors.

8. The exponential growth of data alongside technologies that have evolved to analyse and monetise information presents a tremendous opportunity for the industry. Singapore, like other countries across the world, is keen to unlock insights from public data and in turn create business opportunities. By providing data to the public in various forms, developers and companies could use such data to build solutions and services that will enhance competitiveness of various sectors. To this end, opportunities for the industry are made available through various Call-for-Collaboration, or CFCs. Let me highlight a few.

9. IDA, in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, issued a CFC for e-freight@Singapore in March this year. This is a business re-engineering effort to integrate the Singapore air cargo and logistics supply chain as well as establish interoperable data exchange standards. The CFC invites industry to submit proposals for integrating key ICT systems, business processes and data to support paperless air freight processing.  The industry can provide suitable ICT solutions and help supply chain stakeholders such as shippers, freight forwarders, ground handlers and airlines to enhance work processes, thereby leading to higher productivity.

10. Another notable CFC is the i-Singapore@Work CFC that was issued last month. It aims to promote the integrated use of Government's geospatial data with the private sector's business data to derive synergistic benefits for our citizens and other businesses. Under this CFC, the industry is invited to submit proposals to demonstrate how the usage of geospatial infocomm technologies can lead to the desired outcome of better decision making and increased productivity in business enterprises.

11. Globally, mobile users and the growth of mobile internet are expected to outpace desktop Internet by 20143, and the mobile applications market is expected to hit US$25 billion by 2015. Locally, Singapore's mobile phone penetration rate has reached 144.24 per cent and consumers are enjoying a plethora of multimedia, mobile content, applications and services. Hence it is not surprising that even the public sector as well as community organisations are turning to innovative use of Web 2.0 mobile platforms to engage communities. The National Arts Council for instance, developed the Singapore Arts Fest App that allows users to check festival programme, plan schedules and even share favourite events over Facebook or Twitter. IDA also recognises the importance of this trend, and through our People Sector Initiative, has been working with community organisations to develop applications to reach out to their members and constituents.

12. As more and more organisations embrace Web 2.0 mobile platforms, the industry can also look forward to co-creating innovative mobility solutions. IDA is looking into growing and nurturing a vibrant and competitive mobile ecosystem in Singapore. We will be engaging the infocomm industry to explore how innovative mobility solutions can help sectors such as retail and hospitality to strengthen their customer engagements as well as improve their internal processes. To this end, the industry can look forward to a new CFC in mobility solutions for the retail, food and beverage, and hospitality sectors next month.

13. Besides CFCs, we have also put in place initiatives to spur infocomm-enabled business innovation. For small & medium-sized enterprises, we introduced the iSPRINT scheme in 2010 to enhance SMEs' capabilities through infocomm. As at end March 2011, more than 1,200 SMEs have benefitted from the iSPRINT, generating over $12 million in infocomm expenditure. IDA has worked with the infocomm industry to pre-qualify quick-to-implement packaged solutions for SMEs to kick-start their ICT journey. To-date, IDA has pre-qualified more than 80 infocomm packaged solutions, offered by over 50 infocomm solution providers. Furthermore, IDA also worked with the various sector leaders such as the Stevedore Association, Robinsons and PSA, to develop and accelerate the adoption of sector specific solutions.

14. In tandem with the national drive for higher productivity, a further $85.5 million was injected to iSPRINT by the National Productivity Fund, to assist at least 5,000 SMEs in their ICT adoption over the next five years. In this process of enabling businesses to incorporate technology into their operations, we look forward to support from the infocomm industry in furnishing more infocomm packages and solutions for SMEs' adoption.

Upcoming Events

15. Before I conclude, let me highlight some upcoming events during the period of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange or imbX 2011, Asia's largest infocomm event, which will be held at the Marina Bay Sands in June this year.

16. The first is the eGov Global Exchange which aims to initiate a co-creation process with the industry and eGov policy makers and practitioners to bring more transformative projects to public service in Singapore. Besides the forum and exhibition, we will also be launching our next e-Government Masterplan. Details of the next masterplan as well as some of our pilot projects will be shared during this event.

17. Separately, two international meetings will be held in Singapore during the imbX period. One of these is the 41st Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Public Meeting, which will see over 1,000 participants from members of the infocomm establishment worldwide discuss issues on the management and coordination of key policy, operational, technical and security issues concerning the Internet. The other is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) "Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on Digital Inclusion for All", which will explore and discuss the promotion of digital inclusion in a diverse population.


18. In conclusion, Government infocomm demand will continue to be an important factor in promoting a vibrant infocomm industry. My colleague, James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive (GCIO) of IDA  will share with you the details on Government procurement trends shortly. Colleagues from the Ministry of Home Affairs, National Environment Agency, Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Defence and the Defence Science and Technology Agency will also be sharing the procurement plans from their respective agencies.

19. I wish one and all the best in the year ahead. Thank you.

Notes to Editor:

1 According to Gartner's "Worldwide IT Spending to Grow 5.1 Percent in 2011", published on 6 Jan 2011. http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1513614

2 Statistic from MTI.

3 Source: Morgan Stanley Research

4 As of Feb 2011