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Speech by IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Mr Khoong Hock Yun at CloudAsia 2014 at Suntec City Convention Centre

29 October 2014 - Speech by IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Mr Khoong Hock Yun at CloudAsia 2014 at Suntec City Convention Centre, Wednesday, 29 October 2014, 9:30 am to 9.50 am.

Speech by IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Mr Khoong Hock Yun at CloudAsia 2014 at Suntec City Convention Centre, Wednesday, 29 October 2014, 9:30 am to 9.50 am

Mr William Liu, Chairman of the National Cloud Computing Advisory Council,

Mr Chak Kong Soon, President Singapore Computer Society,

Ms Shirley Wong, Chair, Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation,

Mr Jim Reavis, CEO & Co-Founder, Cloud Security Alliance,

Dr. Sak Segkhoonthod, CEO, Electronic Government Agency of Thailand

Keynote speakers,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning

1. I am glad to welcome you to this year's edition of CloudAsia. Every year, cloud computing continues to gain significance and momentum as more companies grasp the nimble, versatile and flexible nature of the cloud.

2. The speed of technological change means old ways of up- or down-scaling with changing customer and market conditions is no longer an option. Cloud's pay-per-use, capacity-on-demand model has become the answer that keeps companies lean without compromising on quality. Crucially, cloud puts disaster recovery and business continuity plans in reach of smaller companies, who we expect will see the most gains from moving to the cloud.

Cloud Computing for a Smart Nation

3. This capability is why Singapore will look increasingly to the cloud on its journey to be a Smart Nation. There are many reasons why Singapore believes it can become the world's first Smart Nation. We have the capability to bring together people, policy and technology, iterate quickly and deploy nationwide. Cloud is a necessity as we build our Smart Nation Platform and work towards our "Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, All the time" goal of collecting and comprehending data for better services for the nation.

4. Which is why I am pleased to note that cloud adoption in Singapore has continued with strong growth over the past year, with cloud spending among enterprises at S$512 million. This is expected to almost double to S$920 million by 2018.

5. In the latest IDA-commissioned cloud adoption survey, Singapore remains in its leading position in ASEAN in terms of cloud adoption. The survey result also shows that Singapore maintains its third place position after Australia and Japan in the Asia-Pacific region in cloud adoption. The market adoption of SaaS is projected to grow at a compound annual growth of 22 percent with three-quarters of all businesses in Singapore adopting SaaS by 2018. IaaS adoption is projected to have a higher compound annual growth rate of 26 percent. The demand for cloud services remains strong in Singapore, with the results showing cloud spending among enterprises at S$512 million in 2013. This is expected to rise to S$920 million by 2018.

6. Singapore will continue to enrich the cloud ecosystem and encourage adoption. Today, I would like to share with you four main ways we are doing so.

Encouraging the Data Landscape with DaaS

7. Firstly, our new Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) pilot. This was launched yesterday at our Smart Nation Dataworks event, and I invite you to try it out at our IDA booth here. The data economy is ripe, with data analytics expected to contribute S$1 billion in value-add to the economy by the end of 2017.

8. The DaaS platform makes discovery of datasets easier between potential data users and willing private sector dataset owners. We launched with several datasets available ranging from real estate to mobility patterns, and are encouraging more companies to come forth, join the platform and offer feedback to enhance it.

9. We will be holding a series of outreach activities such as workshops and data challenges to raise awareness of the DaaS platform.

10. We recognize that datasets with incomplete or outdated data can be difficult to use. We thus also encourage dataset owners to make use of our Data Quality Metric guidelines. These metrics are intended to help dataset owners measure the quality of their datasets and give potential users a base of comparison between similar datasets from distinct owners.

11. Correctly interpreting, applying and utilizing datasets is also a challenge. IDA is therefore also working on guidelines for dataset versioning, which provides information on the changes made to the datasets.

Enhancing our CSP Registry

12. This brings me to my second point on raising confidence by raising trust through transparency in the sector. Today, we are announcing an enhancement to our Cloud Service Provider Registry. This will allow access to near-real-time information on availability and performance of CSPs on top of the current existing listings of a CSP's self-disclosure form and Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) certification level.

13. Potential cloud adopters can use the registry to compare and contrast different CSPs based on the information published, making it easier for them to decide which CSP is right for their needs. We are collaborating with Compuware, who will provide the free use of software tools and expertise for this monitoring, and encourage CSPs to make pertinent information available on the CSP Registry as well.

Cloud Security with MTCS

14. Security, however, continues to be one of the largest impediments to cloud adoption, which is why IDA, together with the Singapore Standards Council, under the aegis of SPRING Singapore, launched the world's first Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard last year to help users gain clarity over security provisioning by CSPs.

15. Since then, the standard has seen good take-up with CSPs, including the attainment of the top MTCS Level Three by Amazon Web Services. Other international CSPs are signing on; with the first CSP obtaining MTCS Level One coming from Hong Kong-based Ribose. Local CSPs like New Media Express and ClearManage have also obtained MTCS certification.

16. More MTCS certification is expected shortly, as we have received thirteen industry proposals from CSPs for our third round of public cloud services bulk tender, where MTCS certification is a mandatory requirement.

17. Industry adoption utilizing the standard as a benchmark has also begun to take up. For example, we understand that Singapore's first liberal arts college, the NUS-Yale College, aims to achieve MTCS Level One for its hybrid cloud based on open technologies.

18. CSPs who may have other certifications and looking to certify for MTCS have also been given help. We have already published a set of guidelines for CSPs with ISO27001 certification to attain MTCS certification easily and vice versa. We will soon make a similar set available for harmonizing with the Cloud Service Alliance's Open Certification Framework.

19. Since September, SPRING has also been providing grant support for MTCS certification under its Capability Development Grant (CDG) scheme. It will assist local CSPs looking to upgrade their capabilities by defraying up to 70 percent of qualifying project costs.

20. In line with encouraging CSPs to enhance their cloud security competencies, the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC), under the aegis of SPRING, is launching an accreditation programme for MTCS certification today. Certification Bodies (CBs) accredited by SAC will have been assessed to meet stringent criteria of conducting good certification practices in accordance with international best practices. SAC accreditation ensures that CBs are competent in providing certification to the MTCS SS. As such, CSPs with accredited certification will provide greater assurance on cloud security to cloud users following the stringent certification processes in place to ensure that it meets the MTCS SS.

21. MTCS is a continually evolving standard to match the evolving nature of the cloud. It was created with well over 300 comments from you, the industry, and will continue to be so. With the benefit of a year of deployment, IDA and the IT Standards Committee are now in the process of reviewing the standard and are soliciting a second round of feedback, which will end on the 28th of November.

Supporting Flagship Users of Cloud Services

22. To round up IDA's efforts, let me finish with some updates on two other programmes we have done. In 2011, we launched the Technology Evaluation Programme to help Singapore-based tech companies develop innovative cloud solutions while alleviating risks associated with adopting R&D outcomes.

23. By testing prototype solutions before committing to commercial license agreements, companies were able to assess market demand before diving in. More than 100 requests were submitted in diverse tech areas such as scalable media platforms, video analytics and video content search using images. Out of those issued evaluation licenses, sixteen percent went on to commercial licensing.

24. We also recently concluded in March our SaaS Enablement Programme, which helped companies make their software available on the cloud. IDA has funded 20 such projects across industry verticals such as the construction, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.


25. To conclude, cloud computing will be the solution that will drive us into the next generation and it is going strong. Its affordability, robustness and flexibility are key to ensure companies can stand up to tomorrow's changing demands while obtaining enhanced cost management and productivity gains.

26. Singapore will continue to do all in its power to drive adoption of the cloud, and our enhancements to the CSP Registry and MTCS are our commitment to that.

27. On this note, I wish you an enjoyable and fruitful time at the conference. Thank you.