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Singapore's government cloud saves country 50% in hosting costs

The country is developing new systems on its cloud which has helped it to improve the time it takes to complete projects as well as giving employees knowledge of the technology

The Singapore government has managed to save around 50% of its hosting costs after moving to the cloud, according to a recent cost-benefit study.

Around 60% of the government's eligible systems have been migrated the government commercial cloud (GCC), said Janil Puthucheary, senior minister of state at the ministry of communications and information, and minister-in-charge of GovTech, the nation’s digital transformation agency, after a continued effort to shift more reliance on cloud infrastructure over time.

New systems are now being developed directly on GCC by default, resulting in significantly shorter lead times, and ensuring the government’s engineers and partners become more experienced in cloud development and deployment, said the minister.

“Moving software development onto the cloud also allows developers to focus less on infrastructure and compliance, and more on developing application logic,” said Puthucheary. “This saves countless hours and reduces human errors.”

The minister underlined that the government hasn’t been able to grow its cloud capabilities or create a strong tech culture by itself. He said that partnerships are vital and the GCC wouldn’t have been possible without these links to cloud service providers.

One of the partnerships the government has established is with the Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex) which was developed in collaboration with seven participating banks. It gives individuals a consolidated view of their financial information held across different government agencies and financial institutions. 

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“It’s the world’s first public digital infrastructure to use a centrally managed online consent system, backed by a national digital identity,” said Puthucheary. “SGFinDex has expanded beyond government agencies and banks, to include insurance companies, and so enhancing the financial planning process for our users.”

The cloud has been a focus for the government recently after it chose Microsoft in February 2022 to develop a sovereign cloud to accelerate the digital transformation of the country’s Home Team Science and Technology agency (HTX).

It’s set to be built on the tech giant’s Azure platform and provide HTX with high-performance cloud computing and data storage capabilities. At the time, the agency was set to use the infrastructure to quickly adopt and produce new technologies.

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