Smart Nation supercharged
Like a chrysalis, soon to emerge as a butterfly, Singapore’s infocomm media sector is undergoing its own transformation in a bid to support the drive to become a Smart Nation.
“Given the quickening pace of digital innovation worldwide, we need to accelerate our own digital transformation to prepare our people and our businesses for the future,” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information. “We need to develop strong digital industries in their own right, and we need to catalyse their transformation of other industries to spur productivity and yield new synergies.”
Dr Yaacob was speaking on 23 May 2017 at the opening of the Infocomm Media Business eXchange (imbX), held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
This year’s event was hosted by the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), and comprised the BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and EnterpriseIT events.
Digital building blocks
Dr Yaacob added that Singapore was now in the “building phase” of creating this digital economy, and has already rolled out enhanced nationwide wireless internet, digital skills training programmes for individuals, as well as initiatives to enhance the digital readiness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Beyond this, IMDA will also be developing four “frontier technology” areas of focus: artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, cybersecurity, immersive media and the Internet of Things (IoT), Dr Ibrahim announced.
“These are exciting fields with bright prospects in their own right, and they have great potential to transform other industries and enhance people’s lives,” he added.
After delivering his opening address, Dr Ibrahim and other VIPs toured some of the booths and exhibits at CommunicAsia.
GovTech was invited by IMDA to showcase at its booth on the CommunicAsia show floor, and GovTechies manned several exhibits to promote government digital services such as MyInfo, CorpPass and Hive Agile Testing Solutions (hats).
Fast form-filling featuring MyInfo
Thanks to MyInfo, manually filling out lengthy government e-forms is now a thing of the past. Once your MyInfo profile is created with your personal details, a click of the ‘Retrieve MyInfo’ button found on the forms will fill in your particulars and details in an instant.
“It’s a good initiative, because you don’t have to fill in the same details over and over again,” said Mr Anbarasu, an engineer who signed up for his MyInfo profile at the booth.
The public can register for a MyInfo profile using their SingPass accounts. The goal is to have most SingPass-authenticated e-services linked to the MyInfo platform by 2018.
Additionally, GovTech and the Ministry of Finance have partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to extend the service to the banking industry, so that the public can access more banking services online.
CorpPass in good company
While SingPass is used for personal transactions with government agencies, companies and business owners don’t necessarily want to use it for corporate transactions.
This is where CorpPass comes in.
CorpPass provides people with a corporate digital identity for businesses and other entities to transact with government agencies online.
As businesses move over to CorpPass to carry out corporate transactions, SingPass will be reserved for personal transactions such as applying for flats, checking Central Provident Fund (CPF) balances and filing personal taxes.
As a result, CorpPass ensures greater data privacy protection for individuals as SingPass is used only for personal transactions. At present, more than 100 government digital services can be accessed via CorpPass.
Mr Jess Sibel, a visitor from the Philippines, found the booths to be very informative and relevant. Authentication systems like CorpPass will ensure higher levels of security within the government and corporations, he said.
Hats off to automated testing
As more government services go online, there is a need to ensure that these digital services run smoothly for their users.
This means that software developers have to perform tests of quality assurance for the applications they write—a task that some do manually. But why do things by hand when they can be automated?
GovTech’s Government Digital Services (GDS) team has come up with a functional test automation tool called Hive Agile Testing Solutions (hats), which lets developers define test scenarios and implement test steps automatically.
The hats tests can be run simultaneously in different browsers and on different mobile device platforms. This saves time for the development team, and provides them with early feedback so that quick fixes can be made. Once a test is finished, hats will give you a HTML report, showing you all the test cases and where failures occur.
The GDS team is now working on incorporating more features into hats to make the tool easier to use.
In addition, given the importance of guarding against cybersecurity threats, the team is also looking to include a security assessment feature.
Fun fact: CommunicAsia 2017 saw more than 1000 exhibitors from the public and private sectors showcasing the latest digital technologies in business, communications, multimedia and entertainment.
Fun fact 2: Event organiser UBM SES has announced that CommunicAsia will return under the rebranded ConnecTechAsia umbrella next year.