SINGAPORE--The government will be opening up S$1.2 billion (US$936.7 million) worth of new infocommunications technology (ICT) tenders in this financial year.
It will cover areas such as government cloud (G-Cloud), data and analytics, agile software development and information security, according to James Kang, assistant chief executive of government chief information office for Singapore's ICT regulator Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
Speaking at a media briefing Thursday, Kang said these four areas were chosen because IDA sees strong growth and will be ongoing trends in the IT industry.
Cloud computing, in particular, is an area the government is focusing strongly on after establishing the G-Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) at the end of last year, he noted. SingTel was awarded the five-year tender in May 2012 to deploy cloud computing infrastructure on a whole-of-government basis by the end of last year.
For the next phase of G-Cloud development, the government will call for software-as-a-service tenders so that its agencies can benefit from the software choices offered on the cloud. It will also offer the government agility, scalability and utility pricing model which are benefits touted by cloud computing services, he said.
There is also greater focus on using actionable insights derived from data to improve operations, planning and policy-making this year, Kang said, adding the emphasis last year was on developing applications based on government data.
Already, there is a call-for-collaboration (CFC) to invite proposals for the development and deployment of social analytics for enterprises. This way, the private sector can develop and implement such software together with specialist vendors, he said.
A bulk tender on agile software development has also been opened up to provide government agencies access to a range of suppliers with expertise in this area, the executive pointed out. This will help speed up the time needed to enhance the usability of citizen-centric applications such as government e-services, Web sites and mobile applications, he said.
Within IT security, two bulk tenders will be offered to strengthen the government's ability to mitigate risks and detect threats early, Kang said. One of the tenders will centralize the provision of data encryption products and services, while the other will look to enhance the CyberWatch Center, he added.
The S$1.2 billion worth of tenders matches the budget set aside for last year, with the government awarding 577 ICT contracts during that period, Kang revealed.