By Khoo Boo Leong | Jun 21, 2012
Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is issuing a S$21 million (US$16.6 million) call-for-collaboration (CFC) to develop software-as-a-service (SaaS) for small and medium size businesses in sectors such as education, services, maritime and logistics. Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore's Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts, announced this at the opening ceremony of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange, held in conjunction with CommunicaAsia2012 and EnterpriseIT2012 events.
"The CFC targets sectors where many small and medium enterprises are largely manual in their core operations," said Dr Ibrahim. "The adoption of SaaS solutions will help lower ICT expenditures, as enterprises can pay per use for software services hosted by SaaS solution providers."
Under the CFC, IDA will develop sector-specific SaaS in partnership with Spring Singapore, the enterprise development agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports; the Ministry of Education and e2i, a multi-agency initiative to create jobs, develop skills and improve productivity.
An IDA-led mobility solutions CFC announced last year resulted in 28 projects worth S$12 million. It also led to more than 150 companies from the retail, food and beverage, hotels and attractions sectors adopting smart mobile devices, wireless technology and mobile networks.
"Cloud computing is still the hot topic in the industry and we are seeing numerous cloud solutions being introduced," said Eddie Chau, chairman of the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation, in his opening speech. "As more people shift to the cloud, the recent case of LinkedIn's 6.5 million passwords that was hacked should give us strong alert on the need of security on the cloud."
Nonetheless, connectivity for cloud computing in Singapore has been boosted by the island republic's next-generation nationwide broadband network (NGNBN). There are 133,000 consumer, business and government agency NGNBN subscribers today served by more than 12 service providers.