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Welcome & opening address by IMDA Assistant Chief Executive (Development), Mr Khoong Hock Yun at Cloud Asia 2017


Welcome & opening address by IMDA Assistant Chief Executive (Development), Mr Khoong Hock Yun at Cloud Asia 2017, Suntec City Convention Centre, 11 April 2017, 9:30 – 9:50 am

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

Mr Saw Ken Wye, Chairman, Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation

Ms Jennifer Ong, Executive Director, Singapore Computer Society

Keynote speakers

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning

I would like to welcome you to the 14th edition of CloudAsia, with this year’s theme of ‘Precipitating Borderless Intelligence for Applications: A Smart Nation Powered by Cloud’. At this year’s CloudAsia, we have an exciting programme lined up for you. You will hear from regional and international experts on how cloud computing is delivering value to both government and businesses. You will also learn about the latest best practices and innovations in cloud adoption, cloud security, data-driven innovation and many more. There are also insightful sessions from co-located events such as the Cloud Security Alliance APAC Summit held yesterday, and the International Cloud Forum that will be held today. 

I would like to talk about what has happened in 2017 and how we can all look forward to the years ahead. 2017 has brought exciting news and announcements. One of the major milestones this year was the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) report that articulates where Singapore’s area of focus should be. Based on the recommendations, IMDA will help to build digital capabilities as a key advantage, as such we will drive towards charting Singapore’s next chapter of growth in a digital economy.

Impact of the Digital Economy

With the rapid evolution in technology, this has led to disruptions for businesses throughout various sectors. As mentioned during the SiTF CXO Breakfast Talk just last week, we are at the inflection point. The digital age is upon us and this has led to more participation from the private sector in the co-creation of entirely new products and services. 

Our children heralded into the digital age are digital natives, as they have grown up with digital technologies in a world that is vastly different from ours. Consumers’ expectations are on the rise and businesses must now change their mind-sets to not only match but exceed these expectations. IMDA will help to grow our Infocomm Media (ICM) sector and ensure that ICM is pervasively used across all sectors and verticals. 

The need is real for businesses themselves to start the digitalizing efforts in keeping up with technology and global trends. The need is real for employees to continue to develop the essential skillsets in the digital economy.

Last year, I spoke to you as IDA and as many of you are aware, we have merged with MDA to form the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). This formation is to enable government, businesses and people to be better prepared for the digital economy where technology and media converge. 

As the leading driver of the digital economy, IMDA will play an important role in Singapore’s digital transformation and will support our Smart Nation vision. We want to enable our people and businesses to develop greater digital capabilities and empower possibilities in the digital economy. 

Announced during the committee of supply debate, Minster for Communications & Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim shared new initiatives such as SMEs Go Digital programme and the Data Innovation Programme Office (DIPO). SMEs Go Digital programme will help SMEs build their digital capabilities and enable SMEs to embark on their digital journey. 

Later in 2017, IMDA will be launching the Data Sandbox Programme as one of the important drivers under DIPO. The Data Sandbox will be a trusted platform for companies to share data across sectors and this programme will also provide data analytic tools to help companies build data science expertise. Data is the new oil and DIPO will help to address industry concerns on lack of good data and awareness on data regulations. 

Cloud Ecosystem and Initiatives in Singapore

Initiatives such as SMEs Go Digital and Data Sandbox programmes require a strong and robust cloud ecosystem and cloud computing professionals equipped with the necessary skillsets. In driving our digital economy, cloud will continue to play an important role. 

In the past, IMDA has worked closely with the industry in areas such as cloud security and managing of cloud outages through the development of the Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) Singapore Standards (SS 584:2015) as well as the Cloud Outage Incident Response (COIR) Guidelines. COIR embodies Singapore’s commitment to business continuity management (BCM) and disaster recovery (DR) in responding to outages in cloud.

Currently, more than 20 CSPs have since attained MTCS certification. As of 1 February 2017, a total of 82 cloud services are MTCS certified. Of these, 66 are IaaS/PaaS and 16 are SaaS. With the launch of COIR guidelines in 2016, the guidelines were subsequently submitted to Information Technology Standards Committee (ITSC) and approved to be developed into a Singapore Standard. 

IMDA also believes that a strong cloud infrastructure requires cloud computing professionals to be equipped with the right skillsets and know-how. Just last month, in a collaboration with the Singapore Computer Society (SCS), we have launched the Body of Knowledge for Cloud Computing. There are many important recommendations outlined by the BoK working group which comprised experts from the academia and private sector. IMDA will be an active partner in supporting Infocomm and Media (ICM) companies and professionals in adopting these recommendations. 

Launch of CODA Guidelines

Last year, the former-IDA began to look at possibilities of developing a data certification framework to provide clarity in the data landscape, through creation of a common language between providers and buyers of datasets. A working group comprising industry experts was convened for this piece of work, and 4 focus group sessions were held, with inputs and comments from 31 private sector organisations taken into consideration. I would like to thank the Working Group members and focus group participants for their valuable contributions. Since then, we have been hard at work on the development of the Guidelines on Commercial and Open Dataset Attestation (CODA). 

Today, I am pleased to announce that the CODA Guidelines is now available for download from the IMDA website. The overall objective of CODA is to instil trust and confidence in the use of data through providing a standardised framework to assess a dataset’s metadata and the associated data publishing process. 

The scheme aims to improve data users’ level of trust on a dataset, through the description of opportunities and restrictions on the dataset, the amount of effort needed to process the dataset, the amount of support that can be reasonably expected, as well as the availability of enterprise level support. For data providers, the scheme is a structure to provide transparency on their datasets, and is a guide to improve data sharing and monetisation.

As a next step in the evolution of CODA, we are currently looking to pilot it in our Data Sandbox Programme that is scheduled to be launched later this year. 

IMDA will continue to work with the industry and we would like for you to continue to provide us with valuable feedback necessary in ensuring that the CODA framework is able to be taken to the next stage of development. If you are keen to learn more, I would encourage you to attend the session on CODA by Ernst & Young on the third day of the conference. 

In a related effort, the Technical Reference for Data Versioning (TR 55:2016) that was initiated by IMDA and completed under the auspices of the IT Standards Committee was made available via SPRING Singapore in December 2016. It provides a set of guidelines for managing and communicating changes about datasets between data providers and users. The chairperson of the Working Group that worked on this Technical Reference, Ms Chen Yew Nah will elaborate on this on the third day of the conference, which I encourage you to attend as well.

Handing the reins to Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation

Lastly, I would like to announce that this will be the last year that CloudAsia will be organized by IMDA. It has been an absolute honour to have conducted 14 editions of CloudAsia over a 13-year period. This has been an incredible journey and we are pleased to have witnessed not only the evolution but the maturity of Cloud in Singapore. 

13 years ago, when we launched the inaugural CloudAsia, then called GridAsia, our key intention was to increase cloud awareness through a singular use-case centric conference. It has been a gruelling and yet satisfying effort as today the question is no-longer why cloud, but when. 

With the help of the industry, we have come a long way. According to a survey by AMI Partners, cloud adoption has risen to about 31% at the end of 2015. Singapore maintains its leading position in ASEAN in terms of cloud adoption and maturity. Currently there are 187 local and international cloud-related providers listed in the 2016 edition of the Cloud Computing in Singapore booklet.

We feel that the potential of CloudAsia can be developed beyond what it is today if the baton is passed on to the industry. With that I am pleased to announce that IMDA will be handing the ownership of CloudAsia to Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) after the conclusion of this year’s event. 

As the leading infocomm industry association, with a large membership of ICT companies ranging from start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and multinational corporations, we believe SiTF will be able to take CloudAsia to greater heights. SiTF with their extensive reach of networks into the industry and various flagship events and initiatives, will be beneficial in driving future CloudAsia events. 


Going forward, IMDA will continue to work ever so closely with the industry as cloud will be the essential infrastructure for the next chapter of Singapore’s growth. I look forward to an exciting year ahead as we continue to embark on our digital economy. On this note, I wish you an enjoyable and fruitful time at the conference. Thank you. 


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