Singapore's migration to cloud continues, and expect more SaaS once we secure it, says GovTech

Shifts strategy to work more closely with industry on digital projects


Singapore wants to change the role of industry to co-develop digital projects alongside government and leave behind the days of wholesale outsourcing, or so says GovTech, the city-state's digital services arm.

"It would be relevant to understand the changing role that industry plays in supporting the government in the digitalisation journey," said conversation moderator Shirley Wong in an online briefing today. "The government is not insourcing all projects with their engineering capabilities built up, as demand is very huge."

She added:

The role of the industry is changing from complete outsourcing to one of co-development with agencies leveraging collaboration available from GovTech's central platforms.

GovTech's director of procurement, Yu Ling Mah, encouraged companies interested in partnering to upskill their employees on cloud, data science, AI, ML, Agile, and secure cyber practices to win bids from the organisation.

Wong and Mah also emphasised that companies should not take on entire projects, but instead leverage central platforms built by GovTech to reduce overall effort.

In 2018, Singapore laid out a five-year plan [PDF] to migrate 70 per cent of its less sensitive government IT systems from on-premises infrastructure to the commercial cloud. A canned statement from GovTech last week said that close to 600 systems had been migrated to date.

Mah said the migration was on target.

As for SaaS, Mah said it was part of her workplan for 2021. "Beyond moving past applications to be hosted on the cloud, the next phase is a lot of adoption of the SaaS that agencies are looking at. We are reviewing some of our procurement approaches in terms of how best this can be done because the SaaS offerings out there may not be able to meet all our security requirements."

Mah is looking at aggregation of demand on common needs of SaaS, adding: "I think you'll probably see some things on this phase maybe this year, and the move toward SaaS is picking up too."

The government is expected to spend S$3.8bn (US$2.8bn) this year on ICT, up from S$3.5bn (US$2.6bn) in 2020. Of this amount, S$2.7bn (US$2bn) is earmarked for digital application services, with 44 per cent of the S$2.7bn going to cloud development. Over S$500m (US$372m) of the S$3.8bn will be spent to adopt and deploy public AI systems.

GovTech said SMEs will be eligible to participate in close to 83 per cent of the available contracts as it seeks to link up with industry and spend those earmarked billions.

A type of "crowdsourcing" of technology seems to be Singapore's modus operandi this week as the Monetary Authority of Singapore, in conjunction with global organisations, announced a competition to develop a retail Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) solution. Although there are cash prizes, tools, and mentorship involved, there's no promise they will actually adopt said currency at competition end. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be fooled by a new form of relay attack.

    Discovered and tested by researchers at NCC Group, the attack allows anyone with a tool similar to NCC's to relay the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signal from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, the hack lets the attacker start the car and drive away too.

    In its testing, NCC Group said it was able to perform a relay attack that allowed researchers to open a Tesla Model 3 from a home in which the vehicle's paired device was located (on the other side of the house), approximately 25 meters away.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022