IMDA, ESG unveil new digital solutions for businesses

THE Start Digital initiative has introduced digital collaboration and enhanced solutions in digital marketing and transactions to supplement its stable of existing digital tools, said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) in a webinar on Tuesday.

To keep pace with the evolving business environment, digital collaboration - a new category of solutions like Google Workplace - was added to enable employees to work remotely.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can also now use social media advertisement templates and manage their ads from one platform, for a more targeted digital marketing approach. InvoiceNow, which produces structured digital invoices, will also be integrated with e-payments for smoother digital transactions.

The Covid-19 pandemic has compounded pre-existing challenges and hastened the digitalisation of the economy, said ESG chairman Peter Ong, referencing the need for remote operations during the "circuit-breaker" period and the use of technology to implement safe-management measures.

"We will shift to a new world where digital is integrated into all aspects of our business operations for companies big and small," he said.

The scheme, part of IMDA and ESG's Go Digital programme, helps SMEs acquire the right foundational digital tools needed for their growth, resilience and productivity at competitive prices.

Launched in January 2019, the programme lets companies select two digital solutions from a list across six categories - accounting, human resource management, digital marketing, digital transactions, cybersecurity, and the newly added digital collaboration - with the costs waived for six months or more for a minimum 18-month contract period.

SMEs have recognised the importance of digital infrastructure and competency. To date, more than 30,000 SMEs have signed up for Start Digital, with the adoption rate in 2020 doubling from the previous year, according to Mr Ong.

Businesses are eligible for one Start Digital pack if they have at least 30 per cent local shareholding and an annual revenue of not more than S$100 million or fewer than 200 employees at the group level.

SMEs which are interested to be part of the programme can approach any of its partners - DBS, M1, Maybank, OCBC, Singtel and UOB - to apply.