Welcome Address by Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Infrastructure & Services Development Group), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at Management World Asia 2012

7 February 2012 - Welcome Address by Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Infrastructure & Services Development Group), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at Management World Asia 2012 at Pan Pacific Hotel.

Welcome Address by Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Infrastructure & Services Development Group), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at Management World Asia 2012 on Tuesday, 7 February 2012, 8.50 am at Pan Pacific Hotel.

Distinguished speakers and guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

1. Good morning. It is my pleasure to welcome and join all of you today at the Management World Asia 2012, which is now in its fourth year in Singapore. IDA is delighted to be involved in this event particularly with its focus on cloud.

2. Across the globe, including the Asia Pacific region, cloud adoption is expected to accelerate over the next decade. Cloud services uptake is also permeating all sectors and enterprises. Many have already migrated "significant resources" to the cloud and are ready to migrate more application services to the cloud. This is not a trivial endeavour. According to Gartner, "At year-end 2016, more than 50 per cent of Global 1,000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud" 1. In order to reduce cost and optimise efficiency and resources, various companies are looking at either private, public or hybrid clouds.

3. Similarly in Singapore, the cloud computing paradigm shift brings about disruptive changes to the traditional business models in the infocomm sector, and how applications are delivered and consumed within the consumer and enterprise environments. With such a shift, Singapore will remain competitive through the adoption of cloud computing and development of our cloud computing ecosystem to enhance the vibrancy and growth of Singapore's infocomm sector.

4. According to many infocomm companies offering cloud computing products and solutions, cloud services enable enterprises and end-users to have access to secure, scalable and agile computing power, software and data storage on a "pay-as-you-use", and "on-demand" basis. Such providers of cloud services, which include Software-as-a-Service and Storage-as-a-Service, offer businesses an alternative to the conventional "ownership" model which involves having to invest upfront on expensive infrastructure, and directly managing infocomm staff who maintains and operates such increasingly complex infrastructure. Businesses, especially SMEs, can save by tapping on these cloud services to avoid incurring heavy upfront capital costs in equipment and software licenses, but yet have secured access to the necessary computing resources and enjoy the flexibility cost effective option of being able to scale up or down their applications infrastructure in a timely manner and in tandem with their business requirements.

5. In Singapore, both private and public sectors have made good progress in cloud adoption. Cloud computing played a key supporting role for the infocomm needs of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games or YOG hosted by Singapore in 2010. A cloud-based platform was deemed the most cost effective solution to support technical infrastructure for the Games: it had a low setup cost and provided fast, cost-effective, robust and highly scalable infrastructure needed by the Games. Another key consideration was that the Games would be a one-time event, and therefore a cloud-based infrastructure would significantly reduce the need for post-Games wasteful disposal of hardware inventory.

6. Besides the YOG, IDA has also put in place various measures to foster the early usage of cloud computing to meet Government's own needs. A cloud bulk tender, called Grid Services bulk tender then, was put in place since 1 March 2010. Such a bulk tender facilitates the purchase of cloud services from pre-qualified bidders by government ministries/departments, statutory boards, organs of state and participating entities. To foster the greater adoption of video streaming services on an "on-demand" basis, a second period bulk tender, known as EnVision, was established for the supply of utility-pricing based video hosting and streaming services for government. In 2011, a tender for a Central G-Cloud was called to set up a new central Whole-Of-Government infrastructure for agencies to leverage to reap the benefits of cloud computing. Government agencies will assess the suitability of Central G-Cloud based on their business needs, before deciding whether or not to move their applications or services to the Central G-Cloud. This is a timely next step in this journey towards a new resilient, cost-effective and scalable platform for the Whole-of-Government.

7. As part of its efforts to promote the adoption of cloud computing in industry, government and research institutions, IDA has launched four Calls for Cloud Computing Proposals. Depending on the impact and scope of the project, selected projects receive support in terms of compute and storage resources based on the approved duration of up to six months, and quantum of cloud services such as compute core-hours and storage GB-months from one of the participating cloud service providers which sponsor cloud resources. Through the first three calls, 47 projects have been awarded cloud resources to undertake test-bedding, proof-of-concepts and research. The fourth call was closed in October 2011 and we are in the midst of assessing these proposals.

8. IDA will also continue to collaborate with various public and private organisations such as the Building and Construction Authority, IBM, HP, Intel and Yahoo! to boost local cloud adoption and capability development. This has resulted in various centres of innovation such as Singapore Centre of Excellence under the Open Cirrus cloud collaboration, the Cloud Innovation Centre and the IBM Cloud Lab. IDA also partners with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research or A*STAR, to better link the work of the local research community and industry. For example, one of the programmes enables companies to develop cloud computing solutions based on technologies made available by the Institute for Infocomm Research or I2R and Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd through a short-term, no-fee evaluation licence grant that also gives these companies an option to take on a commercial licence if their trial deployment proves to be successful and of value.

9. In enhancing manpower and competency development, IDA has put in place the necessary framework and incentives for companies and workers to upgrade their competencies. Institutes of higher learning have incorporated cloud computing electives into their curriculum and cloud computing courses are being evaluated for support. A cloud computing track was also added to the National Infocomm Competency Framework which lists the skills needed for cloud computing and offer accredited training services for infocomm professionals.

10. With the growth of cloud computing and to make further progress in its adoption, there is a need to make a concerted effort to address users' concerns on cloud security. Such concerns stems from many sources like lack of understanding to unavailability of clear guidelines and standards. Other concerns include the availability and performance of cloud.

11. In addressing these issues, IDA and the Infocomm Standards Committee have formed a Cloud Computing Standards Coordinating Task Force to develop best practices for virtualisation and undertake industry-wide consultations on meaningful standards and/or guidelines to address security concerns on use of cloud computing. We are taking a multi-pronged approach which includes establishing various relevant policies and regulatory frameworks to govern the use and provision of cloud services, promoting awareness and certification of Cloud Service Providers.

12. As more personal and sensitive information is put in the cloud, another concern is data protection. Although we have various sector-specific data protection laws, we are looking at an overarching law. The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts or MICA has sought public feedback on the proposed consumer data protection or DP framework and its implementation. The proposed DP framework aims to protect consumers' personal data through the regulation of the collection, use, disclosure, transfer and security of personal data. MICA hopes to introduce a basic broad-based DP law applicable to private organisations to create a balance between the need to protect individuals' personal data vis-á-vis the need for organisations to use the data for legitimate and reasonable purposes. The intended framework also seeks to strengthen and entrench Singapore's position as a trusted hub for businesses and create a conducive environment for the fast-growing global data processing and data management industries in Singapore.

13. The infocomm industry is constantly undergoing transformation and progress in embracing various technological innovation and convergence, and continued investments are needed in national infocomm infrastructure to support and enable such economic and structural changes. For example, Singapore's Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network or Next Gen NBN, serves to provide a competitive nationwide platform for its transformation towards a greater knowledge based and services competition economy which is underpinned by a cost competitive, and pervasive high speed broadband network. We are also rolling out our National Authentication Framework to enable greater trust and security for infocomm access. We are also working to put in place a mega data center park to provide a cost competitive environment for growing more premium data centers in Singapore. Such initiatives provide an important backdrop for the development of the cloud computing services ecosystem in Singapore. But precisely because infocomm is global, evolves and moves quickly that we must always continue to share and learn from each other.

14. Such changes can provide opportunities for progression or regression in quality and value of life. It is only when we, the people, private, and public sectors, work together that we can uncover and adopt new strategies that address the concerns and expectations of the ever-changing consumer and the business environment, and to do so in a sustainable manner, to transform businesses towards greater efficiency, competitiveness and responsibility to the consumers and public.

15. On this note, I wish you a fruitful forum. Thank you.

Note to Editor:

1 Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2012 and Beyond