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IMDA pilots Digital Project Management Services to help SMEs go digital

According to an announcement made by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SMEs are at the heart of Singapore’s economy, employing two thirds of the country’s workforce and contributing to nearly half of the country’s GDP. As such, it is essential to ensure that SMEs seize opportunities to capitalise on digital technologies.

Since April 2017, the SMEs Go Digital programme has been assisting SMEs in their digital transformation journeys through the sector-specific digital roadmaps or Industry Digital Plans for SMEs (IDPs) as a step-by-step guide on the use of digital technology at different stages of their growth Other than referring to the IDPs for the deployment of pre-approved digital solutions, SMEs can also consult principal consultants at the SME Digital Tech Hub.

To further build on the SMEs Go Digital programme, IMDA is looking to enhance its efforts to make going digital even simpler for SMEs. IMDA will partner the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Enterprise Singapore, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), and Workforce Singapore (WSG) to provide SMEs with in-house experts to drive a more holistic and sustainable implementation of digital technology.

The three-year pilot initiative acknowledges that for SMEs to reap full benefits from going digital, they need to change business processes, redesign jobs, and better manage the implementation of digital technology. Such process will require the expertise of digital project managers or consultants to oversee the entire transformation process.

Under the initiatives, SMEs looking to engage the digital project managers can receive funding support of up to 70% of the qualifying costs.

The digital project management services is the first collaboration that aims to help SMEs embark on digital projects by tapping on experienced Professionals, Managers, and Executives (PMEs). SMEs with similar digital projects can form groups and engage the service of a ready pool of digital project managers in areas such as business process re-engineering (BPR) and job redesign (JR) to maximise the value of digital projects implementation.

The Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) will be appointed at the first operator of the initiative. SMF will help to train, certify and mentor experiences PMEs, and match them individually as in-house digital project manager to the SMEs. It will also work with industry partners such as Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and other industry leaders to provide digital project management services to SMEs in industry-led projects.

According to Mr Douglas Foo, President of SMF, digital transformation is not all about technology, it will require the right project management to help drive effective transformation.

“Through this partnership, SMF will train and certify a pool of experienced digital project mangers to be assigned to a group of SMEs to support their implementation of digital projects,” said Mr Foo.

To kickstart the initiative, SMF is partnering One Kampong Gelam, the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) and Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), to deliver digital project management services to SMEs retail and food establishments, as well as law and accounting firms.

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