A deeper look into how the Smart Nation initiative touches on how businesses get digitalised across Singapore
It’s no surprise that the third most innovative economy in the world adopts a vision of a Smart Nation through digital innovations to stay ahead of the evolving needs of a nation. The Smart Nation movement revolves around its people as technology will be used to build a community of smart people to improve the quality of their lives.
This year, as part of the movement, Singapore honed in on security agencies with the belief that security agencies should be digitalised and reevaluated on their competencies. With that, the current agencies are subjected to stringent regulatory standards that will test the true abilities of their expertise as opposed to mere documentation.
How does technology come into play in this industry with these revised criteria? The criteria include checking for established processes in training and developing human resources, reporting and managing incidents, as well as engaging service buyers for feedback using an IT system. This way, security agencies raise the bar of the security and service standards, to help consumers differentiate agencies that invest in training and technology to deliver high-quality services.
Security agencies were made known of the revised standards during the unveiling of the security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) on February 13 this year. It included assessing agencies’ processes to ensure training and developing human resources are in place. With these changes, it is crucial security agencies adopt a system to fulfil the criteria required as they will be graded on their ability to boost productivity and reduce reliance on headcount using IT systems.
Finding the right customised IT system for a security agency based on their needs would be the first step towards building security agencies that are able to deliver high-quality services. It would be a challenge as the revised standards have clear standards in processes, people and systems. The chosen IT system should be able to fulfil the criteria and fit seamlessly into the company’s work practices. That way, these new standards can be implemented across the board and analysed for improvement to help align the security agencies industry with Singapore’s vision as a Smart Nation.
However, there are certain concerns when out-sourcing a vendor to build a system. Here are the three most common challenges:
1. Vendors are not IT consultants to help a company pivot to weave in the digital transformation aspect in their processes.
As such, most of these systems built by vendors are generic, short-term and does not transform the company holistically. Most of these companies require consultations, guidance and experts’ help in identifying what is needed for their company before a system is built.
2. As the security agency industry is rather new on the path of digital transformation, vendors are not equipped to bring the company through the journey of it.
However, security agencies should look for IT consultants who are able to analyse their current process, streamline and digitalise these processes as well as design and implement a system that fulfils the new grading exercise.
3. Lastly, implementing a new digital solution across the board is a challenge for any organisation, most of all, in an industry that has just gotten on the path of digitalisation.
As such, a vendor’s solution would lack the help in implementation and integration to ensure all teams in the company are on board with the solution. To want to have on-site training on how to integrate a solution, companies should opt to have customised solutions by IT solution partners. An extra perk of having IT solution partners is that they also provide a hotline to troubleshoot if the solution goes awry. This way, IT solution partners ensure they start the digitalisation phase in a company and guide them throughout the whole process which lacks in vendor-based solution.
Digital transformation is inevitable in the security industry. The trick is in understanding the difference in finding a solution that will pivot their company to open up new opportunities versus finding a structured software that forces the company to conform to certain practices that may not be suitable in the long run as it does not fully integrate with the idea of digitalisation.
The author is Marketing Head FluidMojo, a business technology firm that aims to digitally transform companies by designing software tailor-made to suit one’s individual needs. We aim to digitalise, automate and integrate key business processes to enable businesses to function more efficiently – what we call SMART Business Solutions for SMART Businesses.
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