Technology is becoming an ever increasing part of how our governments work, and as cities evolve towards smart cities, technology will only gain importance. From improving everything from productivity to traffic flow across the city, big data along with several other tools is well on its way to helping Singapore in its mission to become an intelligent city.
“This year, the Singapore government has set aside S$500 million to help businesses, particularly SMEs, to adopt technology to improve productivity. Part of this fund will be used to subsidise up to 70 per cent of ICT products and services costs,” Mohamad said. “Productivity, transformation, innovation and collaboration are major themes in the restructuring efforts of the Singapore government and I believe that technology will continue to play a major role in helping the government be more productive and provide better services for citizens and businesses,” Mohamad continued.
While the government has been lauded and landed among the best in terms of many international e-government rankings, this does not mean that there will be stagnation in the progress now. According to the government there should be consistent, qualitative, and pervasive connectivity to the internet, specifically that “there should be seamless data access over different wireless networks with HetNet so users do not have to constantly log in or change their network.” Further down the road towards becoming a smart city, management and services will be improved with A-G (Above-Ground) Boxes to enable intelligent services. Sensors will monitor traffic, speeding, junctions, street lighting, and pedestrians, environmental developments, and much more. But the ambitious progress does not end there; Singapore is also honing in on big data analytics. “By harnessing the value of data, we can transform our e-service delivery. Data is a powerful tool to better the lives of citizens, enhance policy decision making, and provide feedback for better programmes by understanding trends,” said Mohamad. He continues about the crucial nature of open data: “The data sets are now available so businesses and individuals can uncover opportunities to provide services to the people.” And while technology can underpin the improvement of government, Singapore has also opened its eyes to how its economy and industry can join the fun and reap the benefits too.
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(Image Credit: Jaymis Loveday)