Industry Digital Plans to be progressively refreshed

Photo by Tim Douglas

Central to the SMEs Go Digital programme since its launch in 2017, sector-specific Industry Digital Plans (IDPs) will be progressively refreshed to introduce a greater breadth and depth of solutions.

This will ensure that the IDPs remain relevant to the evolving needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and deepen their digital capabilities. The Food Services sector is the first to benefit from the refreshed IDP model.

Contributed to the uplifting of more than 85,000 businesses in 20 sectors

Aligned with the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) for each sector, IDPs provide SMEs with a step-by-step guide to identify suitable digital solutions and corresponding training programmes to equip employees with the right skillsets at each stage of their digitalisation journey. 

To date, 20 IDPs have supported more than 85,000 businesses to benefit from the SMEs Go Digital programme.

A 2021 SME survey by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) showed that digital solutions recommended by the IDPs have brought about an improvement in overall efficiency in work processes, with around 85 percent of the respondents observing time savings.

75 percent shared that manpower-efficient digital solutions enabled them to be less dependent on manual labour, which in turn allowed them to retain and develop in-house talents for other functions. 

Refreshed IDPs aim to deepen digital capabilities and ensure relevance in a post-COVID-19 world

As Singapore works towards economic recovery, digital transformation remains imperative for continued business success and sustainability. To deepen digital capabilities at both the sector and enterprise levels and ensure that the IDPs continue to remain relevant to the needs of SMEs, IMDA will work with the sector lead agencies to progressively refresh existing IDPs. 

Building on the foundation established by the current IDPs, the next generation of IDPs will include: 

1.         Refreshed solution suite offered under the Digital Solution Roadmap

  • Digital solutions will be refreshed to ensure foundational sector-specific solutions for SMEs remain relevant and impactful. 
    Generic solutions targeting areas from management of documentation processes, resources and finances to human resources and payroll-related matters, will also be expanded to include more easy-to-deploy digital solutions for newly incorporated SMEs or those that have yet to digitalise to help them start their digitalisation journey.

2.         Integrated and advanced solutions to improve digital connectivity and deepen SMEs’ digital capabilities 

  • For SMEs that are ready to scale their digital efforts, the refreshed IDPs will enable them to benefit from integrated solutions. Apart from streamlining operations within the enterprise through the integration of component solutions, integrated solutions will allow enterprises to connect more easily with others across value chains and facilitate the use of data analytics to guide business decisions.

  • To encourage SMEs to leverage emerging technologies for their business needs and seize new opportunities, curated advanced sector-specific solutions will be progressively introduced, such as smart central kitchen management systems for the Food Services sector.

3.         A roadmap on Cybersecurity and Data Protection measures 

  • The new roadmap on Cybersecurity and Data Protection measures will help SMEs identify appropriate tools and practices that they can adopt at different stages of their digital growth to safeguard their systems and operations from cyberattacks and protect their customers’ personal data. 

4.         Expansion and updating of corresponding Digital Training Roadmap to be aligned with the refreshed solutions under the Digital Roadmap and cover Change Management

  • With the refreshed solutions offered under the Digital Roadmap, we will also update the corresponding Digital Training Roadmap so that companies can tailor their training programmes according to their employees’ needs and ensure that they are able to adapt and confidently use these technologies.

  • Employees are critical in making sure that business transformation takes place. To help SMEs overcome the barriers to digitalisation, the Digital Training Roadmap will be expanded to include Change Management. 

Food Services sector the first to benefit from the refreshed IDP model

The Food Services IDP is the first to be refreshed. Jointly developed by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) and IMDA, the refreshed IDP will address trends observed in the Food Services sector, such as the shift in consumer behaviour towards digital ordering, e-commerce and food delivery, as well as assist Food Services SMEs to overcome challenges, namely a tight labour market and increasing labour costs.In particular, four new solution categories unique to the Food Services sector were added to support Food Services SMEs in tapping more advanced solutions to further their digitalisation journey. They are:

  • Connected business suite ; 
  • Service robotics; 
  • Food waste management; and 
  • Smart central kitchen management system. 

The Food Services industry continues to play a vital role in Singapore’s economy, contributing S$4 billion to our economy and employing about 220,300 workers in 2021.

The refreshed Food Services IDP is aligned to the Food Services Industry Transformation Map 2025 rolled out in May this year, which includes grooming digital champions and strengthening competencies of enterprises. The IDP will continue to be updated as the industry progresses.