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Tech Connect fosters digital inclusivity

We all know that one person who can’t seem to connect with technology. “How do I download this app?” or “Where’s the on button to this thing?”

This demographic is not between far and few. Cognisant, the Singapore Government has launched Tech Connect. This is a new initiative to provide dedicated one-on-one tech assistance to individuals who may require help with their digital devices and services. Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S Isawaran, launched Tech Connect at the Digital Carnival @ West Coast.

Why Digital Inclusion is Important

The slew of technologies which constantly being pushed out have a myriad of benefits which anyone regardless of age can enjoy. Unfortunately, not everyone is confident in using the technology. This could be an issue of a lack of trust in the technology, or simply the lack of knowledge to fully embrace what the technology can offer.

If our society is becoming increasingly digital, then in tandem, a base level of tech-savviness must be instated.

In his opening remarks, Minister Iswaran said, “We know that technology is present in the work place, living and social environments. We want to make sure that our people, and especially those who may not be naturally exposed to technology such as our older Singaporeans, are able to get exposure and access.”

“We want to recognise that not everyone shares the same starting point, and we want to bring everyone up to speed so that, for example, you are able to watch Channel 8’s broadcast of the SPOP Grand Finals on Toggle, use e-Payment to order chicken rice at the hawker centre, and to log on to participate in the latest season of the National Steps Challenge.

In other words, for you to be able to use technology to have a more meaningful engagement with friends and family, and to benefit from the broad range of services available.”

Connecting Everyone with Tech

This is where Tech Connect comes in.

Citizens can reach out to their “Tech Connect Kakis” (Kaki means ‘buddy’ in Singlish; colloquial Singapore English) at any of the eight participating Community Centres during the pilot. These community centres will have a #ShowMeHow sign at their doors.

The sixty dedicated staff, trained by the Infocomm Media Development Authority, will provide personalised assistance to citizens. Kakis can teach citizens how to send videos using their mobile devices, how to make a QR code payments, or even more rudimentarily, how to connect to the WiFi.

Any and every query will be answered with quick responses. Should this segment of citizens want to explore and deepen their knowledge in areas such as coding, the Tech Connect Kakis will be able to recommend courses. For some of these courses, SkillsFuture credits can be used to offset the cost of the course.

The Tech Connect pilot is expected to run for a period of one year. Following which, a review shall assess room for improvement. However, to do more, the Minister urged that everyone should be engaged.

He emphasised, “All of us are ‘Tech Connect Kakis’ – a grandchild can help his or her grandparents, children can help their parents, and we can advise friends and family… So, do not be shy to ask your friend, grandchild or neighbour to “show me how” to use digital devices and services.”

“Ultimately, that is what Tech Connect is really about – it is about linking people, minds and hearts so that we can better connect with other through technology. It is only when we have such inclusivity in digital technology, and connection becomes part of our DNA, can we truly say that we have become a Smart Nation.”

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com