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Image credits: Twitter feed of The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (@IMDAsg)

Image credits: Twitter feed of The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (@IMDAsg)

Singapore’s new Security IDP initiative will leverage tech to help SMEs go digital

Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, recently announced the launch the Security Industry Digital Plan (IDP) at the Security Officers’ Day Award Ceremony organised by the Security Association of Singapore (SAS). Over 100 security officers received awards to recognise their excellent work performance over the past year.

The programme was jointly developed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), in consultation with industry associations, security agencies, and the labour movement.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is at the helm of Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. IMDA maintains its drive for innovation and tech by developing a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure.

IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

As part of this commitment to fostering a pro-business environment, IMDA has teamed up with MHA and Enterprise Singapore to develop the Security IDP, an easy-to-use, step-by-step guide designed to help small and medium enterprise (SME) security agencies adopt digital technologies at each stage of their growth.

It is a key initiative under the Security Industry Transformation Map and SMEs Go Digital programme to support technology and innovation in the industry. The Security IDP identifies a roadmap of technology solutions for security agencies at each stage of their development.

The first stage of this roadmap, “Getting Digital Economy Ready”, lists the elementary technology that every security agency needs to stay competitive in the future, by automating routine and manpower-intensive tasks. These include automated visitor management systems, mobile-enabled patrol and incident management systems, and surveillance cameras with analytics. The next two stages of the roadmap identify technology for more advanced security agencies, such as cluster guarding or robotics.

At least S$9.54 million will be set aside by Enterprise Singapore over the next few years to help local SME security agencies kick-start the adoption of pre-approved digital solutions identified in the digital roadmap. This support will be provided through the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG). IMDA and MHA will evaluate and pre-approve proven technology vendors and solutions which will be listed on the SME Portal.

The PSG will help local SME security agencies adopt these preapproved solutions by supporting 50% of qualifying costs, capped at roughly S$40,800 per security agency per year.

The Security IDP also includes a Digital Roadmap on training to prepare the security industry’s workforce with the necessary mindset and skills to adopt and benefit from technology. This training guide was developed with SkillsFuture Singapore and the Security Industry Institute and is aligned with the Skills Framework for Security.

IMDA and Enterprise Singapore will form two industry-led Working Groups to develop a Technical Reference for Video Analytics Systems. The Technical Reference, expected to be ready by the end of 2019, will provide requirements and specifications for the selection, installation, operation, maintenance and data interoperability of video analytics systems. This will give service buyers assurance of the quality, reliability, and effectiveness of video analytics systems.

For security agencies to innovate, service buyers must also be open to choosing solutions that integrate technology. Adopting contracts based on outcomes, as opposed to a fixed headcount, is a necessary first step. To support this effort, MHA has developed a Guide for Outcome-Based Security Contracts, in consultation with the labour movement and industry. This guide provides principles and templates for service buyers to adopt outcome-based contracts at every stage of the tender process. A training programme based on this Guide will also be available for procurement specialists by end 2018.

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