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Towards a Smarter Future: Singapore’s Digitalisation Journey

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Singapore’s government contends 99% of its services are fully digitalised from end to end. This achievement reflects its vision of a Digital Government that prioritises efficiency while remaining deeply dedicated to serving citizens embodying a commitment to the motto “digital to the core, and serves with heart”.

At the forefront of this vision lies the Digital Government Blueprint (DGB), a comprehensive strategy outlining Singapore’s digitalisation journey and its impact on citizen services and policymaking.

Image credits: Singapore Smart Nation

The DGB, encompassing 14 key performance indicators (KPIs), serves as a compass, guiding the government’s efforts to measure and enhance digitalisation progress. It reflects Singapore’s agility in adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of technology and global events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which catalysed rapid digital innovations for contact tracing and economic revitalisation.

Between 2018 and 2020, the DGB underwent significant refinements to deepen digital integration into policymaking processes and prioritise citizen-centric services. This evolution led to a renewed emphasis on tailoring policies to individual needs and leveraging emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance user experiences across various sectors.

Key updates included strategies to personalise policies based on user behaviour, emphasising citizen-centric approaches, and setting ambitious targets for digital transformation. For instance, one significant addition was the commitment to ensure that at least 70% of eligible government systems would be hosted on commercial cloud platforms by 2023, reflecting a strategic shift towards cloud adoption for enhanced scalability and flexibility.

Moreover, recognising the imperative to adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the DGB set forth a clear direction to strengthen digital resilience by accelerating digitalisation efforts and fostering a culture of innovation within government agencies. This involved not only technological enhancements but also organisational and cultural shifts to embrace digital-first practices.

Progress assessments conducted until 2023 underscored the success of Singapore’s digitalisation endeavours. Key milestones included significant strides in data analytics training, widespread digitalisation initiatives across ministries, and plans to bolster digital literacy among public officers. Additionally, ambitious targets were set for broader AI integration in service delivery and policymaking, highlighting Singapore’s commitment to harnessing emerging technologies for societal benefit.

Singapore can claim to be the smartest city in Asia!

Its impressive climb to third place in the 2023 IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking is a testament to the nation’s unwavering dedication to advancing digital technologies. This achievement not only highlights Singapore’s prowess in harnessing digital innovations but also showcases its strategic investments in digital infrastructure, the development of digital skills and talent, and the promotion of research and innovation initiatives.

Furthermore, Singapore’s elevation to fifth place in the Global Innovation Index (GII) reinforces its status as a frontrunner in fostering innovation and creativity on a global scale. Leading the Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania region, it continues to excel across key indicators such as government effectiveness, information and communications technology access and venture capital investment.

Moreover, Singapore’s recognition as the top Asian city in the 2023 IMD Smart City Index further underscores its pioneering efforts in leveraging technology to address urban challenges and enhance the overall quality of life for its citizens.

With its consistent ranking among the world’s smartest cities, Singapore’s commitment to innovation and sustainability serves as a beacon for cities worldwide striving to embrace the opportunities presented by the digital age.

Singapore aims to continue digital transformation, with a focus on further enhancing digital infrastructure, optimising data-sharing processes, and leveraging AI-driven insights to drive efficiency and effectiveness in governance. By staying agile and adaptive, Singapore continues to pave the way for empathetic and efficient governance in the digital age.

These achievements and commitment not only reflect Singapore’s relentless pursuit of excellence in digital competitiveness and innovation but also demonstrate its ambitions to shape a future that is both technologically advanced and socially inclusive.


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