Commercial Cloud: Singapore Government's Bold Revolution
In a rapidly digitizing world, governments worldwide are recognizing the importance of harnessing cloud technology to enhance efficiency, security and accessibility of public services. Among the trailblazers in this digital transformation journey is the Singapore Government, which has embraced the concept of the Government Commercial Cloud (GCC).
The emergence of GCC
GCC empowers Singapore government agencies to set up their digital services with commercial cloud software. It serves as a seamless integration platform, eliminating the need for custom cloud infrastructure or on-site hardware maintenance. With GCC, agencies can unlock the cutting-edge potential of commercial cloud platforms, even for less critical systems.
This platform also embodies a seismic shift in how governments wield cloud technology for public services. It is a bold testament to Singapore’s pledge to lead the innovation race, fortify cybersecurity and maximize resource allocation.
GCC's profound impact on the future of government services and digital governance
Here are five approaches Singapore has taken to showcase it’s steadfast dedication to staying at the forefront of technological advancements:
Data sovereignty and security: The Singapore Government has prioritized data sovereignty and security in the GCC initiative. By building state-of-the-art data centers and employing progressive cybersecurity protocols, Singapore ensures that sensitive government data is protected at the highest level.
Efficiency and cost savings: The adoption of GCC has streamlined government operations, leading to significant cost savings and improved resource allocation. By consolidating IT infrastructure and promoting shared services, Singapore demonstrates its commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Accessibility and citizen-centric services: The GCC’s architecture facilitates the creation of citizen-centric digital services accessible anytime and anywhere. Singapore’s government agencies have been quick to adopt cloud-based solutions, making it easier for citizens to interact with the government and access public services.
Innovation and collaboration: Singapore’s GCC initiative encourages collaboration between government agencies and the private sector. This open approach fosters innovation and the development of new solutions that benefit both the government and the broader community.
Scalability and sustainability: The GCC’s scalability ensures that Singapore can adapt to changing demands and technological advancements. This adaptability is crucial in an era where technology evolves rapidly and the demands on government services continue to grow.
Migrating to GCC with Energy Market Authority (EMA)
The Energy Market Authority (EMA) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Their main goals are to ensure a reliable and secure energy supply, promote effective competition in the energy market and develop a dynamic energy sector in Singapore. Through their work, EMA seeks to forge a progressive energy landscape for sustained growth.
As part of the Singapore government's five-year plan to embark on a cloud-first journey, EMA decided to onboard their Manpower Scholarship Portal to Microsoft Azure Cloud on GCC.
Wong Chee, Assistant Director of IT Infrastructure EMA, said, “By migrating to a cloud platform, EMA is able to optimize their workloads with flexibility to scale. The time saved from certain automatic functions such as backup and patching allows the company to spend more time in innovation. In addition to the enhanced security available on the platform, migration to Microsoft Azure Cloud on GCC allows EMA to further protect their data with leading ICT capabilities that are augmented by robust cybersecurity measures and systems.
"Being a statutory board, it is also important for EMA to ensure that compliance requirements are met in which Microsoft Azure Cloud have specialized offerings aligned with the regulations. The single screen also allows users to easily manage and monitor their IT infrastructure.”
The project unfolded in three distinct phases: deployment, testing and validation. The deployment phase, in turn, consisted of three stages: establishing the infrastructure foundation, deploying User Acceptance Testing and moving into production deployment. Once the deployment was completed, a series of tests and validations were conducted encompassing aspects like backup, recovery and performance testing. The project was then completed with transition to EMA’s managed services.
Singapore's enduring leadership
As Singapore continues to pave the way for GCC adoption, it serves as an inspiration for governments worldwide. Its dedication to harnessing the full potential of cloud technology, while also ensuring data security and privacy, showcases the nation’s commitment to responsible and forward-thinking governance.