Singapore plans support for SME digitisation

Out-Law News | 08 Mar 2021 | 2:38 am | 1 min. read

Singapore is putting funding and support measures in place to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) digitise their processes, products and services, according to Singapore’s communications and information minister S Iswaran.

SMEs will be able to use a 'chief technology officer (CTO) -as-a-service' resource to evaluate their digital needs and gaps. This will give them suggestions on digital solutions. SMEs that need more in-depth advice can use a shared pool of CTO- equivalents or digital experts in areas such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

The resources will be open to all registered SMEs including sole proprietorship home-based businesses.

A new digital leaders programme was announced that will help firms undergo digital transformation. The programme will pay up to 70% of the costs of building a digital team.

The programme initially will support 80 advanced digital firms. Firms in the programme will participate in a two year pilot and the programme will be launched in April.

The Better Data Driven Business (BDDB) programme will be launched by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The programme will provide free tools and guide to firms with their protecting clients’ personal data. The programme will provide a free business intelligence tool to help business convert raw data into visual dashboards.

Additionally, S$50 million will be invested in IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform to help firms to innovate. IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform is crowd-sourcing platform that pairs business challenges to technology solution providers.

Mark Tan of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “The opportunity being extended to local firms to tap into the resources available under the umbrella of these initiatives is a welcome boost for firms in their efforts to stay ahead in the digital race. It will assist them to continue to stay relevant in the modern marketplace, and to embrace the evolving trend of how businesses transact and communicate in the digital age.”

“For many firms, this would mean breaking away from traditional practices. However, the benefits of embracing digital connectivity will almost certainly provide them with a better platform to capture new growth opportunities in both local and global markets, which will in turn have the corresponding effect of benefitting the Singapore economy, ” he said.