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Industry partners to help realise Singapore’s Digital Enterprise Blueprint

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 5 min read
Industry partners to help realise Singapore’s Digital Enterprise Blueprint
Efforts are aimed at helping SMEs harness the power of digital technologies to ultimately drive Singapore’s digital economy. Photo: Pexels
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Earlier today, Singapore launched the Digital Enterprise Blueprint (DEB) to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) harness the power of digital technologies to ultimately drive digital economy.

The DEB is co-created by the Singapore government in consultation with various stakeholders including SMEs, solution providers, industry leaders and trade chambers. The ecosystem will be tapped on to make the blueprint a reality.

Operationalising DEB

To operationalise the proposal in the DEB, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has pledged to leverage its network of 30,000 enterprises to raise awareness of the initiatives and support outlined in this blueprint.

“SBF is committed to working together with ecosystem partners from the public sector, private sector, trade associations and chambers and institutes of higher learning, to operationalise the proposals in the DEB to help enterprises propel themselves towards a more sustainable and competitive future,” says Kok Ping Soon, CEO of the Singapore Business Federation.

Helping SMEs be digitally-ready

See also: Singapore's new Digital Enterprise Blueprint to benefit 50,000 SMEs

Tech giants like Microsoft, Salesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will help drive AI adoption through programmes targeted at SMEs, to support the DEB.

For instance, Salesforce and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have launched a Data+AI Boost SME programme to provide SMEs with the tools, knowledge, and support necessary to unlock the full potential of AI through customer relationship management (CRM) and data.

“The secret to great AI is great data and SMEs need to unlock their trapped business data in order to build a strong foundation for AI to be useful. [The new Data+AI Boost SME programme] aims to democratise access to this transformative technology for SMEs,” says Sujith Abraham, senior vice president and general manager for Salesforce Asean.

See also: Redefining Asean’s manufacturing landscape with deep learning

Besides that, SMEs can purchase licences for Microsoft’s Copilot at a subsidised rate and attend training workshops on harnessing Copilot for enhanced business productivity. This is part of a programme by Microsoft, AI Singapore and EnterpriseSG to drive the adoption of Microsoft’s Copilot among SMEs.

As for digitally mature SMEs, they can apply for IMDA’s Gen AI x Digital Leaders programme. It will help to deepen their understanding of generative AI and gain access to expertise and resources to develop and implement generative AI solutions with tech partners like Microsoft and AWS.

Enhancing pre-approved digital solutions

 To fortify the pre-approved solutions that can help SMEs digitalise, AWS has pledged its resources to enhance the capabilities of IMDA’s pre-approved Infocomm Media (ICM) solution providers.

“We’re proud to work with IMDA to empower ICM solution providers. Through programmes like the AWS Migration Acceleration Program, AWS Lift, and AWS Well-Architected Review Program, we hope to strengthen the offerings of ICM solution providers with our experience and best practices to drive transformation for themselves and the SMEs that they support,” says Priscilla Chong, country manager for Singapore at AWS.

As for Microsoft, it is partnering with IMDA to uplift existing ICM solution providers with GenAI capabilities to scale up the adoption of such solutions by SMEs.

Improving cyber resilience

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As part of the DEB, tech giants will also help improve Singapore’s cyber resilience as emerging technologies like AI may open doors to new cyber threats.

AWS, Google and Microsoft have pledged to build upon the foundation of their multi-year collaboration with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) on cloud security in Oct 2023, which took reference from CSA Cyber Essentials and Cyber Trust mark. They will expand on these existing collaborations to also cover AI security.

“Managing risks and challenges like hallucination and copyright protection are paramount and it’s important to ensure businesses of all sizes, from large corporations to SMEs, can leverage the full potential and power of generative AI in a safe, secure and responsible manner. Google Cloud is proud to pledge our support for the Digital Enterprise Blueprint, building on our longstanding partnership with the Singapore government on AI and cybersecurity,” says Serene Sia, Singapore country director at Google Cloud.

The people aspect

The success of AI projects depends on skills or talent apart from technology.

To help close the AI skills gap in Singapore, SGTech has launched a Tech Apprenticeship Programme (TAP) in collaboration with IMDA and the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) for ITE and Polytechnics (TIP) Alliance.

SGTech will work with its 1,400 corporate members (especially SMEs and start-ups) to create and aggregate opportunities that will help Polytechnic and ITE graduates get a headstart in their tech careers. At least 300 apprentices who are fresh or mid-career professionals from poly or ITE backgrounds are expected to benefit from this.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Computer Society pledges to expand the outreach of TeSA to more non-ICT sectors to upskill and reskill corporate functions to leverage AI. It will also continue to work with IMDA to support upskilling efforts in areas such as AI, under the I&C JTM Steering Committee by offering AI Ethics & Governance Body of Knowledge (BoK) for AI curriculum.

Additionally, SCS and SGTech will partner with IMDA to raise awareness and drive the adoption of skills-based hiring practices. They will do so by encouraging SMEs to commit to the Employers’ Pledge and implement hiring practices from the Handbook for Tech Roles. 

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