Singapore creates a CTOaaS to create a digital future for the country

They will help SMEs to identify and access resources they need to digitally transform.

As part of the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) goal of architecting Singapore’s Digital Future, IMDA will introduce a new Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service (CTOaaS) initiative under the SMEs Go Digital programme.

The CTOaaS will help SMEs identify and utilise digitalisation resources based on their business needs. It includes (i) quick access to digitalisation resources via a web application and a shared pool of skilled CTOs for SMEs that need more in-depth digital advisory.

Launched in April 2017, the SMEs Go Digital programme aims to make going digital simple for SMEs. It includes a broad range of differentiated support for SMEs at different stages of growth and digitalisation. More than 63,000 SMEs have adopted digital solutions with support from the SMEs Go Digital programme.

CTOaaS will help SMEs tap on the support available under the SMEs Go Digital programme more effectively. Many SMEs want to digitalise but do not know where to start or which government support is most useful for them. On their own, they may not have the scale and resources to build in-house digital teams or conduct extensive market research to find the digital solutions that best meet their needs.

CTOaaS will help the broad base of SMEs overcome this challenge by providing tailored recommendations on suitable digitalisation resources, while aggregating demand for professional digital consultancy for those SMEs which need it.

Web application for digitalisation resources

IMDA will develop a one-stop web application through which SMEs can assess their digital maturity and digitalisation needs.

Based on their identified needs, enterprise profile and business goals, SMEs will receive tailored recommendations on digital solutions they can adopt, including the relevant grant support available.

SMEs will also be able to compare solutions to make more informed decisions on which one best meets their needs, as well as request for sales quotations or meeting appointments with shortlisted solution vendors, all through the one-stop web application.

By simplifying the search for suitable solutions, CTOaaS will empower SMEs to speed up their digitalisation efforts and adapt to the changing business environment. SMEs will be able to access this web application on the desktop or on-the-go through their mobile devices, catering to SMEs’ convenience given their different business operating context. Shared pool of CTOs to provide in-depth digital advisory.

For SMEs that need more in-depth advice, CTOaaS will provide SMEs an opportunity to tap on a shared pool of CTO-equivalents, or Digital Consultants, who can help SMEs identify their digitalisation needs, select useful digital solutions and project manage the solution implementation, to digitally transform their business.

Managed by IT consultancy firm(s) appointed by IMDA, these Digital Consultants will be selected based on their digital skills and experience in the respective industries which SMEs belong to. Professional and experienced Digital Consultants are often out of reach for SMEs with limited resources.

Through CTOaaS, IMDA will help to aggregate SMEs’ demand for such digital consultancy so that SMEs can access them at no charge or at an affordable rate.

To ensure that SMEs maximise the benefits from the digital consultancy services, SMEs will conduct a preliminary self-assessment before meeting with the Digital Consultant they are assigned to.

This may include a review of their business objectives and digital maturity using a new DAI Tool1 . This ensures that SMEs are matched to Digital Consultants with the relevant expertise and who are best able to help them.



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