Microsoft and IMDA to upskill 2,000 SMEs in Singapore by 2025 with data and AI capabilities

 |   Singapore News Center

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Image: Microsoft Singapore

Collaboration and in-demand skilling are key to fast-tracking SMEs in the digital economy.

Singapore – 28 November 2023 – In support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), seeking to stay competitive and keep pace with evolving business needs in the digital economy, Microsoft and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will be working together closely to accelerate the data and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities of the local workforce. Over the next two years, complimentary workshops will be provided to help 2,000 SMEs acquire foundational data use and protection skills.

A recent Infocomm Usage by Enterprises survey conducted by IMDA revealed that SMEs primarily lacked skilled workforce and budget to unlock the power of data analytics and AI to improve business performance. The Memorandum of Intent (MOI) between IMDA and Microsoft will set forth a one-of-a-kind collaboration to jointly develop a cohesive strategy engaging partners to educate, train, and drive the adoption of data use and protection technologies including, but not limited to, data analytics and AI amongst SMEs.

As Singapore embarks on its journey towards becoming a Smart Nation, the pivotal role of SMEs, comprising 99% of all local enterprises and supporting 71% of total employment, necessitates a concerted effort to scale a nationwide capability to harness the transformative potential of technology.

“It is mission-critical to create an ecosystem that supports the digital and skills transformation of our SMEs to help them succeed in the digital economy. This collaboration with IMDA will help to bring together all the industry partners to equip our SMEs in Singapore with data use and protection skills to deepen their digital technology capabilities,” said Lee Hui Li, Singapore Managing Director, Microsoft.

“As architects of Singapore’s digital future, IMDA is committed to driving greater digital inclusivity and data-driven progress nationally. This partnership with Microsoft digitally empowers SMEs to actively participate and thrive in a digital economy, by equipping SMEs with necessary data use and protection skills through training in areas such as AI and data analytics.” said Assistant Chief Executive (Data Innovation and Protection), Denise Wong.

As part of capacity building for a skilled workforce by 2030 in key sectors, Microsoft, through its national skilling initiatives (#GetReadySG and Let’s Skill Up Singapore) have uplifted skills capabilities since 2020. To ensure that all SMEs have access to resources to learn how to derive near-term value of data, IMDA’s Better Data Driven Business offers a free Business Intelligence tool (built on Microsoft Power BI) to help SMEs get started on data analytics to improve business upsides while SMEs with digitalisation needs may turn to CTO-as-a-Service for complimentary digital consultancy.

Starting from Nov 28, SMEs can register their interest for the complimentary workshops here.