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Singapore SMEs spend S$2.4m on pre-approved solutions aimed at boosting technology takeup

July 22nd, 2017 | by Alfred Siew

More than 100 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore have taken up solutions such as smart sensors and 3D visualisation that were part of a pre-approved list aimed at helping them take advantage of the latest technologies.

These SMEs have spent S$2.4 million on 24 such solutions okayed by an SME programme run by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) since April.

Announcing this at an industry event yesterday, IMDA chief executive Tan Kiat How said SMEs have benefited from the programme which enables them to easily find a solution to boost their businesses, amid a challenging economic landscape.

Standards will also be raised for new solutions coming onboard, he added, so that they will continue to be relevant to SMEs and enable them to grow in the years ahead.

New solutions may factor in elements of cyber security that help prevent SMEs from falling afoul of data protection laws. For example, data collected for a mobile app can be encrypted, so that an SME boss having access to it on his phone would lower the risk of exposing the data should he lose his phone.

SMEs hire 70 per cent of the workforce in Singapore, but only contribute about half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country.

As various industries face disruptive change with the advent of digital technologies, the government wants to raise productivity and boost the technology takeup among a group that has traditionally been slow to do so.

To further this, the IMDA yesterday called for ideas to build “digital platforms” for technologies such as artificial intelligence.

These online resources will enable SMEs to access the latest technologies without engaging each vendor individually. They can get up to speed without having to customise a solution from ground-up.

A new SME Digital Tech Hub will also be set up in the third quarter of this year to showcase technologies such as data analytics and cyber security to SMEs and advise them how to take up the technologies.

Announced in April, the new centre will be run by the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME). It focuses on advanced solutions such as data analytics and cyber security for SMEs that want to seek capabilities not offered by the pre-approved solutions.

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