Friday, June 24, 2011

Sector Development 101

Singapore reclaimed a leadership role in e-government and ICT sector development with the announcement this week of eGov2015 and the third call for Cloud Computing Proposals.

Their approach to cloud computing is an outstanding example of sector development – both strategy and execution. Singapore decided to promote the City State as a cloud computing hub by encouraging vendors to establish cloud facilities in Singapore, and then issuing a series of calls for the use of these facilities. Different cloud vendors have participated in each of the three calls for cloud computing proposals.

To ensure the investment is a genuine stimulus to the sector, eligible applicants have to be Singapore-registered companies, and supportable types of projects include trials, proof-of-concepts and testing.  The government had previously identified specific verticals - digital media, life sciences, manufacturing, financial services, retail & tourism, and education. Organisations developing solutions in these areas were selected to take advantage of subsidised cloud computing resources.

The first call in May 2010 outlined the objective to establish Singapore as a Shared Services Hub, focus on the verticals, and enable local users, especially SMEs, and to exploit SaaS (software as a service) for HR, finance, IT & other admin functions. In November 2010, the second call was issued focused on the same verticals. Proposals that were selected include: video hosting and streaming, social media monitoring and analysis, document sharing loud services marketplace, asset traceability and management, Radio Frequency Identification (RFI) technology, commodity trading and investment risk assessment solutions, smart traffic and mobile phone data screening.

The third call, issued last week, continued a focus on “lighthouse projects” that illustrate and promote the use of the infrastructure in the verticals, and added a focus on transportation and construction. At the same time Singapore became the third Asian country to launch an open data portal with more than 5,000 datasets – providing developers with plenty of data to crunch in the cloud.

Other governments should watch and learn.

They are being assessed – also this week a "Cloud Readiness Index" was announced which will analyse 10 key attributes critical to the deployment and use of cloud computing technology across 14 different countries in the region - China, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.