MCI Response to PQ on Tangible Outcomes of Grants Provided under SMEs Go Digital
Parliament Sitting on 4 July 2023
QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
11. Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what are the tangible outcomes of the grants provided under the SMEs Go Digital programme since it was introduced; (b) how has it helped SMEs in terms of value adding and improvements in productivity; and (c) whether there will be further improvements to enhance the effectiveness of the grants.
Over 88,000 SMEs have benefited from the SMEs Go Digital programme since it was launched in 2017. Between 2018 and 2022, the Annual Survey on Infocomm Usage by Enterprises found that firms which had adopted at least one digital technology increased from 78% to 93%.
Earlier this year, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (or IMDA), which administers SMEs Go Digital programme, worked with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to evaluate the scheme’s impact. The report found that SMEs Go Digital grants have added value to SMEs and improved their productivity. For instance, firms which adopted the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) saw overall increases in Value Add Per Worker and revenue.
In addition, IMDA‘s surveys showed that 85% of participating SMEs reported time savings, and 75% said digitalisation helped them to alleviate manpower challenges. MCI regularly reviews the SMEs Go Digital programme to ensure that it remains relevant to firms’ needs. In 2021, we launched the CTO-as-a-Service, which is a one-stop platform that helps SMEs tap on the available support under the SMEs Go Digital programme more effectively.
Besides a wide suite of digital solutions and subsidised digital consultancy for SMEs, the platform also brings together initiatives by SkillsFuture Singapore, the Cyber Security Agency, the Personal Data Protection Commission and other government agencies to help firms improve their capabilities.
MCI has also progressively refreshed our Industry Digital Plans (or IDPs), which help to curate the support provided under the SMEs Go Digital programme to meet specific needs in over twenty sectors. This year, we will be refreshing the Retail and Security IDPs, and launching the Legal IDP. These will feature a refreshed digital solution roadmap as well as updated roadmaps for digital skills, cybersecurity and data protection measures to better support our SMEs.
That said, we know that the digital landscape is fast evolving, and our work to help SMEs reap the benefits of digitalisation will have to continue. As shared at MCI’s Committee of Supply debate earlier this year, we will be developing the Digital Enterprise Blueprint over the coming months to identify new challenges faced by SMEs and outline the Government’s approach to help SMEs thrive in our growing digital economy.