Cloud Expo Asia 2019: Singapore keen for ICT SMEs to embrace the cloud

  • Emphasis on cloud-native architectures and data privacy
  • Help made available by both government and industry

The exhibition part of Cloud Expo Asia 2019 in Singapore.

Singapore's drive to getting ICT SMEs to adopt the cloud was further refined yesterday with an emphasis to both embrace it, by developing solutions using cloud-native architectures, while simultaneously respecting it, by making sure to abide by the country's data privacy laws.  

This was expressed by Philip Heah, IMDA assistant chief executive, technology and infrastructure group, during the launch of Cloud Expo Asia 2019. "Enterprises in Singapore are seeing the value of such services," he said. "We need to further educate our users in order to help them fully utilise (them)."

With the event attracting an estimated 18,000 attendees from the APAC region, Heah was keen that the message be conveyed that Singapore is serious about the cloud. 

This sentiment was echoed by Lim Soon Tien, SGTech chairman, who both noted the rising adoption rate of cloud by Singaporean companies, while putting forward an industry-led initiative to help more companies get on board.

"94% of Singaporean enterprises have identified the hybrid cloud as the top IT trend to have a positive influence on business," said Lim, sharing results of a survey conducted by SGTech. Meanwhile the number of Singaporean enterprises who prefer a traditional  deployment in the next 12-24 months has dropped from 42 percent to 17 percent, while the proportion who prefer hybrid cloud solutions have risen from 18 to 46 percent.

However, with this ambition comes concerns, principally the lack of skilled manpower, a lack of knowledge of how to make the transformation, and data privacy and legality issues regarding data breaches.


Go Cloud, Go

"Cloud-native (development) requires readapting the way cloud applications are developed, to make it more flexible and scalable in nature," said Heah, while also noting it requires "very strong partnerships to create a strong ecosystem of services."

Meanwhile, he also announced the recent amendments to the advisory guidelines issued by the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) on how data transferred across boundaries in a cloud environment should be protected, including when data leaves the country's borders.

"The new guidelines include the obligations of CSPs (content service providers) to protect customer data that is transferred overseas," he announced. He reminded the audience that the Go Cloud programme was launched in March 2019 to help ICT SMEs move to a cloud native microservices architecture. "Through Go Cloud, ICT SMEs will be equipped with development capabilities to unlock the full benefits of cloud computing," he said. To date, more than 50 IT SMEs have signed up for Go Cloud.

Meanwhile, Lim also announced an industry-led initiative to complement the efforts of Go Cloud. "SGTech will develop a cloud appreciation programme," he said, where companies will share knowledge and experience with newcomers. "(It) will be launched a month from now and will run bimonthly for the next ten months."

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