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What Is IMDA’s CTO-as-a-Service Initiative, And How Can It Make Digital Transformation Easier For Your SME?

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As an SME or even a startup, your business might not have the necessary in-house IT resources, or even appointed a Chief Technology Office (CTO) to plan and execute the digital transformation initiative it needs.

 

COVID-19 Will Influence Which Trends Will Dominate Digital Transformation Efforts Post-pandemic. Find Out What They Are Here.

 

To aid SMEs like yours in their digital transformation efforts, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has recently opened its Chief Technology Office as a Service (CTOaaS) initiative to all SMEs in Singapore.

With the CTOaaS initiative, your SME will be able to tap upon digitalisation resources and expertise that would otherwise not be available with its existing resources.

Let’s take a deeper look into what the CTOaaS initiative is, and what it brings to the table for your SME.

 

What Is CTOaaS?

CTOaaS_1500x500_webbanner (1) (1)Brief Overview of CTOaaS; Source: IMDA

Launched in late 2021 as part of the SMEs Go Digital programme, CTOaaS serves a key role in IMDA’s goal of building Singapore’s Digital Future, by supplementing SMEs Go Digital’s aims of making digitalisation easier for SMEs like yours.

It’s designed to answer two key pain points preventing SMEs like yours from successfully digitalising your operations:

  • Not knowing where to start when it comes to digitalising, nor what forms of government support are available which would be most useful to them.
  • Lack of scale and resources to build an in-house IT function, or to conduct the extensive market research needed to determine the digital solutions that best fit their specific business needs.

To that effect, CTOaaS is designed to help SMEs like yours utilise the support provided by the SMEs Go Digital programme more effectively.

 

What Does CTOaaS Offer For Your SME?

Self-assessment Of Your SME’s Digitalisation Needs

CTO as a service_IMDA screen capture pageScreen Capture of IMDA CTOaas webpage; Source: IMDA

IMDA has launched the CTOaaS webpage, through which you can assess the digitalisation needs of your SME, as well as any gaps in its digital maturity that can be filled with one of the digital solutions in SMEs Go Digital.

You can access it through either your PC or your mobile devices, and it’s designed to help you identify your business needs, enterprise profile and goals.

With this information, CTOaaS will then be able to provide tailored recommendations on the digital solutions that best fits your SME’s requirements can adopt, as well as the relevant government grants that are available to help fund the implementation of said solutions.

Alternatively, you could download our guide to Singapore's government grants if you want to know what might be available for your business, before deciding to go ahead with a digital transformation project. Click on the image below to do so.

 

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To make use of the website, you can start by checking the digital readiness of your SME by answering a few simple questions. Based on your responses, the CTOaaS website will give you an insight on the processes in your business needs to be optimised the most.

With this information, or if you already know what your SME’s most pressing business needs are, the CTOaaS website will then provide tailored recommendations of digital solutions that best fits those needs.

 

Subsidised Digital Consultancy Services

digital_advisory_CTOCTOaaS - Digital Consultancy Services ;Source: IMDA

Knowing what your SME needs to achieve a successful digital transformation, and the digital solutions it needs to implement to do so, is one thing.

However, if your SME doesn’t have the in-house IT expertise or resources to properly manage the implementation project for a digital solution, CTOaaS also provides you with the option to retain professional digital consultancy services for your SME as needed.

These services are provided by digital consultants from Accenture and Stone Forest IT, the operators appointed by IMDA. They can help you:

  • Obtain a deeper understanding of your business digitalisation needs and priorities
  • Tailor digital solutions and training roadmaps for your SME accordingly, and
  • Undertake the project management of the solution implementation into your SME, taking into account essential cybersecurity risks, basic data usage, and protection requirements.

If your SME is using these digital advisory and project management services for the first time, it’s eligible to do so at no cost. It must also meet the following requirements.:

  • Registered and operating in Singapore
  • Minimum of 30% local shareholding
  • Enterprise’s Group Annual Sales Turnover not more than S$100 million/annum, or
  • Enterprise Group’s Employment Size of not more than 200 employees.

If you’re like to continue engaging the digital consultants from Accenture or Stone Forest IT after the first time, you’ll have to negotiate commercial agreements with either operator accordingly.

To make use of these consultancy services, you must:

  • Request a callback from your preferred digital consultancy operator
  • Sign up for, and arrange a consultancy session
  • Meet the digital consultant from the operator to guide you towards the ideal digital solution for your SME
  • Procure said digital solution and apply for the relevant government grants, if applicable
  • Engage the digital consultant to help project manage the implementation of the digital solution.

 

What If You Already Know The Digital Solution Your SME Needs?

Compare_solutions_IMDACompanies can browse through different offerings via CTOaaS page; Source: IMDA

In that case, you can go directly to comparing the different packages each vendor offers on the CTOaaS page. You can find a quick description of the solution itself on each vendor entry, as well as the packages they're offering.

For example, we are one of the vendors under the SMEs Go Digital programme, and by extension part of the vendor listings on CTOaaS as well.

Under the name AFON Technologies Pte Ltd, we offer several tiered packages for SAP Business One.

 

IMDA CTO-as-a-Service AFON_SAP Business OneSAP Business One Offered by AFON; Source: IMDA

 

Our packages include the Business One ERP software implemented on SAP HANA Cloud, and comes with setup services for the InvoiceNOW PEPPOL e-invoicing solution.

 

Got Any Questions About InvoiceNow? Find Our Answers To The Most Common Questions About The E-invoicing Network Here.

 

We also offer several packages for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central under the name AFON Systems Pte Ltd.

 

IMDA CTO-as-a-Service AFON_Microsoft Business CentralMicrosoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offered by AFON; Source: IMDA 

 

Like with Business One, our Business Central packages comes with setup services for InvoiceNow as well.

We can also provide digital consultancy services for either ERP software as well. As both a 7-time Top SAP Business One Partner Award winner, as well as a winner of the Microsoft Dynamics Partner of the Year award. This means our consultants are more than equipped to advise you on how either SAP Business One or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can be the right fit for your SME.

 

Take A Look At What You Should Expect Going Into An ERP Software Implementation Project With Your ERP Vendor.

 

AFON is also a pre-approved PSG vendor for both Business One and Business Central, which means we’re also able to help you apply for and obtain the grant to help fund the implementation project of either ERP software for your SME.

 

IMDA's CTOaaS Enables Your SME's First Digital Transformation Initiative

Digital transformation can be a tall order for your SME, especially in the early days without significant in-house IT resources or a CTO.

But with IMDA's CTOaaS initiative, you get government support to help kickstart the digital transformation that will get your SME off to a good start.

With CTOaaS, you can more easily identify the software solution that best fit your SME's business needs, and acquire the digital consultancy services to manage the implementation project, free of charge.

And if you already know you want an ERP software like SAP Business One or Microsoft Dynamcis 365 Business Central, you can compare price packages for your solution of choice directly on CTOaaS, and also acquire consultancy services directly from their vendors (such as AFON Pte Ltd).

But how would you know whether either ERP software are indeed the right fit for your SME? Click on the image below to proceed to our Software Assessment, and let us help you determine which ERP software would best fit your business needs.

 

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