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Speech by IMDA Assistant Chief Executive (Development), Mr Khoong Hock Yun at the Singapore Cloud Society’s Cloud & Business Continuity Management Conference 2017

17 March 2017 - Opening address by IMDA Assistant Chief Executive (Development), Mr Khoong Hock Yun at the Singapore Cloud Society’s Cloud & Business Continuity Management Conference 2017 at One Farrer Hotel, 9.10am

Dr Chong Yoke Sin, Vice-President of the Singapore Computer Society

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning

As cloud technology matures and businesses are increasingly aware of the need for business continuity management (BCM) plans, there has been a big shift where many businesses can leverage on cloud for their BCM plans. 

Today, I am glad to welcome you to the inaugural launch of the SCS Cloud & BCM Conference 2017. 

Impact of the Digital Economy

With advancement in technology, we have seen disruptions across industries. I am sure you are familiar with the private car hire services disruptors such as Uber and Grab that are taking advantage of cloud computing.

In today’s digital economy, we strongly encourage businesses to constantly evolve with new technology and for cloud computing professionals to develop new essential tech skillsets.

For example, Minister for Communications & Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim shared details on the new SMEs Go Digital Programme during the committee of supply debate on the 6th of March, 2017. As part of this programme, IMDA will collaborate with larger corporations who can influence SMEs to digitalise. We have worked with Robinsons, a major retailer on an e-procurement platform to transact electronically with 200 SME Suppliers. This solution can be adopted by other large retailers such as NTUC Fairprice and Cold Storage for their SMEs suppliers. 

IMDA also announced the establishment of the Data Innovation Programme Office (DIPO) to facilitate data-driven innovation projects, and the development of Singapore’s data ecosystem. DIPO will introduce a Data Sandbox Programme, a trusted platform for companies to share data across sectors. This programme also provide data analytics tool to help companies build data science expertise and will be launched end of 2017. 

The Importance of supporting Cloud Computing Professionals

These initiatives need a strong and robust cloud infrastructure and will also require cloud computing professionals to have the necessary tech skillsets. Working closely with the industry and the Singapore Computer Society (SCS), I applaud this timely push for the launch of the Body of Knowledge (Bok) for cloud computing. 

The BoK was developed through a professional development working group that consisted of experts in the cloud computing field from both local institutions of higher learning as well as private sector companies. For cloud computing professionals, the BoK will provide a strong foundation as it will form the basis for professional certification.

IMDA understands the importance in the development of talent for cloud computing. We are working with SkillsFuture Singapore to develop the Skills Framework for ICT, which will help both employers and individuals in identifying the skills required for different ICT jobs. This Framework will also provide training pathways to acquire essential skillsets according to job roles. 

IMDA’s Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus (CITREP+) also assists ICT professionals in funding support for training in various tech skillsets, which includes cloud computing. 

Cloud Ecosystem and Initiatives in Singapore

I am heartened to see continued growth in cloud adoption among businesses in Singapore. 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 cloud computing booklet edition. They include Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers, Cloud Technology companies as well as Cloud training providers.

As more businesses adopt the use of cloud-based services, IMDA will continue to work with the industry in areas such as cloud security and handling of cloud outages to foster a stable and resilient cloud environment. By focusing on these areas, this has led to the development of the Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) Singapore Standards (SS 584:2015) and the Cloud Outage Incident Response (COIR) guidelines. 

MTCS Singapore standard aims to provide businesses with greater clarity on the levels of security offered by different Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). 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. 

Looking at the 3 MTCS security tier levels, Level 1 being the base and Level 3 being the most stringent; we can see that 61 services are level 3 certified, 4 services have level 2 certification and 17 services have level 1 certification. With cloud services that are certified across all 3 tiers, cloud users have better choices in the use of cloud services that meet their security requirements.

COIR, exemplifies Singapore’s strong commitment to business continuity management (BCM) and disaster recovery (DR) in responding to outages in cloud. 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. 

Since then, an ITSC working group was formed to work on the draft standards. There were also 2 separate focus group dialogue sessions held with the CSPs and cloud users.


As we want to continue our efforts to help cloud professionals keep pace in the ever-changing landscape of emerging digital technologies, IMDA will continue to work closely with SCS and the industry to develop new guidelines for cloud computing. Having a strong, trusted cloud infrastructure will allow businesses embrace the use of technologies and also gain the ability to scale, improve its productivity and efficiency. 

With this rapid push towards digitization, companies have to transform with their cloud and BCM strategies in response to the rapid technological changes.

On that note I wish you all an enjoyable time at today’s inaugural Cloud & BCM conference 2017.  


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