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Singapore: Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service Update

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has recently updated its platform known as Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service (CTO-as-a-Service). The platform enables SMEs to self-assess their digital readiness and needs at any time and from any location, as well as access market-proven and cost-effective digital solutions and engage digital consultants for in-depth advisory and project management services.

This is for any business entity that wants to know how to start going digital, understand what type of solutions to adopt for its specific business challenge, or choose the solution that best meets its needs.

An enterprise can benefit from CTO-as-a-Service through:

  • Conduct a self-evaluation of its digital readiness and pinpoint its gaps and needs in terms of digitalisation;
  • Study other Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) that have carried out digitalisation projects successfully;
  • Receive digital solution suggestions based on the business’s needs and profile; and
  • Evaluate the features and costs of various digital solutions.

There are more than 450 subsidised digital solutions available for selection, including those that address industry-specific or general business needs, as well as those that serve to streamline operations, increase business sales revenue, or ensure business resiliency.

The business can also work with digital consultants from the designated operators through CTO-as-a-Service, for digital advisory to assist:

  • Seek a deeper comprehension of its business priorities and needs;
  • Create training plans and digital solutions specifically for its businesses;
  • Include fundamental data usage, protection, and cybersecurity risks in the digitalisation process.

The business may also ask digital consultants to assist with project managing the rollout of its digitalisation initiatives.

Eligible businesses can use digital advisory and project management services for free for the first time. Should the businesses want to keep using digital consultants, future usage or service enhancement will be based on commercial agreements.

Any company that satisfies the requirements below is qualified to use free project management and digital advisory services for the first time:

  • Licensed and active in Singapore;
  • A minimum of 30 per cent local shareholding;
  • Enterprise’s group employment size is no more than 200 employees, or the group’s annual sales turnover is no more than S$100 million;
  • Has never previously used CTO-as-a-Service digital consultants.

Meanwhile, SMEs are the backbone of Singapore’s economy. They employ two-thirds of the country’s workers and contribute almost half of Singapore’s GDP. Since digital technology is changing every part of Singapore’s economy, SMEs need to take advantage of digital technologies to grow and do well.

The SMEs Go Digital programme, which was started by the IMDA in April 2017, is meant to make going digital easy for SMEs. More than 80,000 SMEs have used the programme’s digital solutions.

Enterprises can also use advanced and integrated solutions to improve their capabilities, strengthen business continuity measures, and build longer-term resilience. Solutions that are supported by government agencies solve common problems at the enterprise level on a large scale, help enterprises adopt new technologies, and make it easier for enterprises to do business within or across sectors.

IMDA works with sector-led agencies and industry players to find advanced and integrated digital solutions that can be supported and are relevant to their sectors. Companies that want to use these solutions can check the IMDA website to find out when they can apply for each one.

Costs for hardware, software, infrastructure, connectivity, cybersecurity, integrations, development, improvement, and project management can be covered by funding support. With this, the agency has kept helping businesses, and the list of solutions that are supported will grow, with an emphasis on AI-enabled and cloud-based solutions.

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