Propelling SMEs Into Digital World Through Grants

Although digitalisation is the obvious prospect to adopt going forward, the progress has been slow for most organisations. According to recent reports from IDC, about 89% of all companies have plans for digital transformation. However, less than 30% have implemented the requisite means to carry it out.

Often, the delay is due to the lack of capital investments, an issue that has only compounded since the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, there are various measures that businesses can adopt to sustain their digital transformation strategy with the government’s help. If you operate in or deal with firms in Singapore, this guide will tell you about the digital transformation process and the government schemes to procure the necessary funding.

What Is Digitalisation?

A graphic illustration of digital transformation showing two cartoons in front of digital devices.

Digital transformation is a complex and long-drawn process, especially for enterprises that have not dealt with digital products and services. It comprises the below-mentioned steps.

  • Lay a firm foundation for digital success: The first stage mandates the presence of an environment where it is feasible to introduce contemporary digital technology that will suit most employees. It often starts by educating them about the solutions applicable within the organisation.
  • Balance legacies with new technology: Regardless of what measures you implement, you may need backward compatibility for recovery or data tracking purposes. Thus, it helps to balance your current tech and what you plan to install.
  • Focus on end-to-end initiatives: Digital transformation will streamline the data flow for your organisation. So, it is best to adopt end-to-end solutions that directly transfer all the information acquired at the front end to the back end. It gives you faster conversion rates and the ability to automate a few tedious processes.
  • Share responsibilities collectively: After they’re done with digital transformation consulting, many companies make the mistake of compartmentalising the implementation among various managers. It can create plenty of confusion, so it’s necessary to share the responsibilities collectively. You want your sales department to work on a platform usable by your manufacturing unit.
  • Manage the people dimension: When your digital transformation strategy progresses, your employees’ workloads will increase. For a smooth transition, it is best to ease them into it and divide the tasks, so they get familiar with the new systems before taking on projects at maximum capacity.
  • Mitigate new dimensions of digital risks: One of the most significant responsibilities when digitally transforming a firm is to ensure it remains protected from data loss and theft. There must be safeguards to back up all essential information on secure drives and updated firewalls with no backdoors into any terminals.
  • Integrate into an ecosystem-based world: Several companies manufacture economic solutions for a single aspect, but few focus on entire ecosystems. If you create solutions that remain practically compatible, you reduce the transfer times and save on long-term costs from constant upgrades.

Government Grants & Support Schemes for Businesses

The government of Singapore supports enterprises in developing capabilities, innovations and transformation of any business. It wants them to remain competitive and relevant in current and future markets. A few notable programs include the following.

A dice with government icons on top showing how it is connected to another.

Capability Development Grant

It’s the most convenient grant you can apply for if your business is registered in Singapore. If you have a robust digital transformation strategy, CDG will cover 70% of the estimated costs with a cap of SGD 30,000. Although, note that your company will qualify if the total number of employees is lower than 200 and the annual turnover is less than SGD 100 million.

Enterprise Development Grant

For businesses that grow bigger than the requirements under the CDG, EDG is the perfect alternative. It has basically the same requisites with none of the restrictions. It allows businesses to upgrade their core functional capabilities by covering 70% of the cost.

Productivity Solutions Grant

A program focusing specifically on IT upgrades is best for companies new to the digital transformation strategy. It grants a SGD 30,000 amount granted every financial year. With it, an organisation can adopt and test new methodologies and progress towards the most suitable system over time.

Early Stage Venture Fund

It is more of an investment scheme for venture capitalists. The Early Stage Venture Fund allows investments of anywhere between SGD 10 million to SGD 50 million. Typically, private investors fund this amount, which can go to select startups. The maximum investment cap is 15%. Yet, the potential starts at SGD 1.5 million, more than all the other government grants combined.

Concluding Thoughts

Government grants are excellent for SMBs who cannot fulfil their transformation obligations due to economic issues. Although this guide features the most lucrative programs, there are other viable options you can research. For the best digital transformation consulting, be sure to check out Qbasis.

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