Have a company with tech expertise? Always wanted to lend a hand in building the Smart Nation?
Then throw your hat into the ring to compete for a slice of the pie as the government is spending up to S$3.8 billion on info-communications technology (ICT) procurement in 2021, up 10 per cent from last year.
What’s more, you don’t have to be a tech giant to partner the government to sustain the momentum generated by past years’ investments and to lock in the digitalisation gains brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 80 per cent of the procurement opportunities are open to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), a continuation of last year’s practice when SMEs were awarded 75 per cent of ICT contracts.
Here’s a look at the different areas where contracts are available:
1. Transforming digital services
About 70 per cent of the S$3.8 billion — or S$2.7 billion — will be spent across 250 projects to transform, integrate and streamline more digital services across different sectors to create a more digitally empowered nation.
- The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s new Business Registry and Regulatory System (BR2S) will be an online filing and information retrieval system that simplifies administrative work for businesses.
- GovTech’s LifeSG app, which provide users with a personalised dashboard comprising key information, upcoming appointments with government agencies, and consolidated information on benefits and support; and the LifeSG Eligibility Checker, which helps users find eligible Government assistance or schemes without having to navigate through multiple government websites and information, will continue to be updated.
- Developed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, the GoBusiness platform will be expanded to be a go-to place for business-to-government interactions in Singapore and provide personalised assistance and recommendations for new and existing business. To date, it has helped more than 150 F&B establishments a month to register for their business licences, with time savings of between 10 and 14 days in turnaround time.
2. Cloud tech to re-engineer digital infrastructure
About S$1.2 billion – 44 per cent of the S$2.7 billion for transforming digital services – will go towards cloud adoption projects, as the government is on track to have 70 per cent of eligible systems on the cloud by 2023.
- The State Courts will streamline its processes through the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS) – an electronic online case filing and management system that enables court users to submit their claims and documents, make payments, select their court date, view documents submitted by the other party, and monitor their case developments entirely online. The CJTS also offers Alternative Dispute Resolution options such as e-Negotiation and e-Mediation that facilitate early resolution of disputes between parties.
- Sport Singapore and GovTech will collaborate to launch SmartGym, which will capture and consolidate workout data on ActiveSG apps and websites for citizens.
- The charity landscape is getting a digital makeover to make giving more convenient and enable non-profit organisations to expand their digital outreach. A SG Cares Digital Kampong platform will be built to serve as a centralised repository of API capabilities, the SG Cares app will be enhanced so it can become the go-to app for giving, and the Giving.sg site will be improved to provide comprehensive features connecting givers and receivers.
- Common platforms such as the Singapore Government Technology Stack (SG Tech Stack) will be used more to streamline and simplify the software development process, helping government agencies to accelerate their modernisation and digitalisation plans. The government will invest over S$100 million in SG Tech Stack in the next two years.
3. Artificial intelligence
Over S$500 million — 13 per cent of the S$3.8 billion — will be spent on accelerating the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) for the public sector. Video analytics, natural language processing, fraud analytics and personalised services are some areas which will see investment.
- The Ministry of Education is using AI to boost efficiency in the teaching process. The AI-Automated Marking System, an AI-enabled learning tool, will integrate with existing Internet-accessible systems such as the Student Learning Space. It will track students’ learning progress and personalise learning pathways for students to access MOE designed/curated learning resources, enabling them to take greater ownership towards self-directed learning. The integrated system will also provide learning analytics so students can monitor their own learning and teachers can keep track of their students’ progress.
- The ministry will also procure a Language Checker, in the form of a browser plugin or a standalone application, to meet students’ learning needs.
Do your part to help S’pore’s digitalisation journey
The increase in ICT procurement spending will create more opportunities for SMEs to support Singapore’s digitalisation.
One of the SMEs that has been part of this journey is Simple Solution Systems, an IT solutions provider that won the agile application development and user experience design bulk tender for the whole of government.
“Being an SME, we face very stiff competition in attracting top tech talent. The bulk tender has enabled us to better attract, nurture and retain local IT talent and provide a platform for career growth and widened exposure in the public sector, and levelled the playing field for SMEs,” said Anurax Lian, managing director of Simple Solution Systems.
Singapore firms, regardless of its company size, should not miss out on these business opportunities and work together with the government to help create a win-win scenario and use tech for the betterment of lives.
Featured Image Credit: Civil Service College