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Speech by IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Mr Khoong Hock Yun at CloudAsia 2016 at Suntec City Convention Centre

4 May 2016 - Speech by IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Mr Khoong Hock Yun at CloudAsia 2016 at Suntec City Convention Centre, Wednesday, 4 May 2016, 9:30 am – 9.50 am.

Speech by IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Mr Khoong Hock Yun at CloudAsia 2016 at Suntec City Convention Centre, Wednesday, 4 May 2016, 9:30 am – 9.50 am

Mr William Liu, Chairman of the National Cloud Computing Advisory Council,
Mr Howie Lau, President Singapore Computer Society,
Ms Shirley Wong, Chair, Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation,
Keynote speakers,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning


1. Welcome once again to CloudAsia, now in its 13th edition. Some of you may be a little surprised that this comes so shortly on the heels of our last meeting just in October. This marks a return to our traditional date midway through the year, in order for us to take stock of what has occurred and look forward to the year ahead.

2. In these few short months, we are pleased to see continued growth in cloud adoption, and the growing embracing of Big Data and data analytics. A survey by AMI Partners shows that Singapore continues to lead in the ASEAN region, with adoption rates growing to about 29 percent in 2015. Across matured markets, Singapore maintains its position as one of the leading countries in APAC, after Australia and Japan.

3. It is IDA’s continued goal to bring awareness of cloud computing’s benefits to enterprises, and as such you may have noticed in your goodie bag that we have just released our new Cloud Adoption Starter Kit booklet for those friends of yours who may still be hesitant to jump on the cloud to learn more. You can also grab a copy from our IDA pavilion.

A Smart Nation for Innovation to Flourish

4. Singapore’s Smart Nation drive is sometimes mistakenly believed to be an end goal, and some have asked me “When can we see the results? What is the end date?” The answer is we already are, all around us. Our Smart Nation drive intends to up-skill workers, up-rank productivity and drive innovation in an always-on connected future. It is a journey, which will see constant innovation and new solutions springing up.

5. There is no “ah ha” planned end-goal moment where we will say “Yes, we have passed the goalpost.” Instead, Smart Nation is our vision to bring together people, policy and enterprises to work collaboratively, co-create our future and overcome impending megatrends we have articulated before, such as ageing populations or urban density, through tech. IDA must serve as a key lynchpin by ensuring the inherent assumption – technology and its guidelines – are foundationally sound, well-laid and fertile for innovation to grow.

Cloud Security with MTCS

6. To that end let me give a quick update on the cloud ecosystem. When we first announced our Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) Singapore Standard in 2013 it was hailed as an innovative approach towards ensuring strong security standards in the cloud, while remaining flexible for both enterprises and Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). So far we have seen good takeup. 

7. I am thus pleased to inform you that we now have 64 services certified to various MTCS tiers across CSPs. We are about to see a few of them being awarded their certificates immediately after this, and I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate them.

8. Such strong takeup is reflected in the latest Asia Cloud Computing Association Cloud Readiness Index report, where Singapore has risen two ranks to be placed second in Asia. Similarly, Cisco’s audit of over 150 countries on cloud readiness places us in the top ten globally for fixed cloud and a leading front for mobile cloud readiness. 

9. MTCS and the Healthcare Sector MTCS’s main strength lies in its flexibility. First, it keeps controls comprehensive and stringent as a strong baseline for any sector to adopt. Secondly, its multi-tiered approach allows enterprises the flexibility to choose the level of security they need. Additional sector-specific considerations can be placed on top as required. I am thus pleased to announce the results of our mapping guidelines for the private healthcare sector.

10. Since March 2014, IDA and the Ministry of Health have been working to review the suitability of MTCS requirements for the private healthcare sector and how it could benefit healthcare providers.  To this end, a joint working group was established from MOH, IDA and other public healthcare organisations.

11. The working group has completed the review and established a mapping table that provides guidance on the types of healthcare information and data that may be hosted on different MTCS levels. 

12. Under the MTCS model, Level 3 certified CSPs would be suitable for healthcare applications that process and store clinical data. Level 2 would be appropriate for non-clinical healthcare applications and systems while Level 1 is suitable for hosting non-sensitive public information such as public-facing informational websites. IDA will continue to work with ministries for other sectors in future.

13. While healthcare providers will still need to carry out their due diligence and implement appropriate additional security and controls for their applications in line with risk assessments and security policies, the results of our mapping now extends clarity to the private healthcare sector on how to adopt and procure cloud computing solutions, potentially boosting their productivity and efficiency.

14. SaaS Seeing SUCCESS In June 2015, IDA launched the “Support for Cloud-enabled Certified Secure SaaS” (SUCCESS) programme. This partnership with MTCS-certified IaaS’s has them providing incentives and assistance to independent software vendors (ISVs), in exchange for the ISV obtaining MTCS certification. In just under the year since its launch, a total of seven SaaS have been MTCS certified. This is an encouraging sign as more SaaS move to adopt the MTCS standard.

Encouraging the Data Landscape 

15. IDA’s second big thrust is in Big Data, the natural brother to Cloud Computing. Up to this point, IDA has been working on various means to ensure clarity in the data landscape, such as through our Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) pilot, and releasing our Data Quality Metrics Technical Reference and Dataset Versioning Guidelines.

16. This has been very much focused on ensuring the potential market in private datasets grows by putting in place the building blocks (or soft enablers) in identification capabilities and clarity on the quality of datasets. We have heard industry feedback that they would like further clarity in this area, and as such I wish to inform you that IDA is now looking into what could go into a suggested data certification framework. 

17. Such a framework would look to further clarity in the data landscape through exploring possible options such as creating a “common tongue” for both dataset providers and buyers to understand the opportunities and restrictions on for-sale datasets. We are also exploring how to ensure such a framework would be interoperable with existing open data standards. We are issuing an open call for feedback to garner more information. If you are interested, we welcome you to visit our pavilion. 

18. For those keen to learn more about the potential benefits of private datasets, our pavilion also has several companies who can walk you through the potential of Big Data and how such datasets could integrate with your products for greater efficiencies and productivity. 

19. We will also continue to work with industry to bring learning series talks out. IDA is still running our Data 101 series of talks at the National Library Board and we welcome you to attend. These range from more technical talks discussing data integrity to how to monetize your data, and are all conducted by industry experts such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Fusionex, and the Personal Data Protection Commission. 

20. Finally, for those who are rooting for our young talent, our Data-Driven Innovation Challenge for Institutes of Higher Learning is still ongoing. The first round has just concluded, and I welcome participants to check out the first set of winners tomorrow at the awards ceremony. The second run of the challenge started in December 2015 to spur students to contribute ideas on how data can be used to provide insights into challenges faced by our urban landscape by developing data mashups, games and undertaking analysis. 


21. For Singapore’s Smart Nation future, we will continue to build assurance and trust for cloud and data users. We continue to welcome any and all feedback 

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