Digitization and technology have become the hallmark of improving business activity across the world. This is popularly known as business integration. This realization has only become more evident in a post Covid afflicted economy. In Singapore, Business owners of all scopes and sizes enjoy access to IT infrastructure that is second to none. For instance, Singapore boasts the second highest internet bandwidth in the world, which has obvious advantages for the private sector. However, having a business conducive infrastructure and culture are one side of the coin. The other side is government support. This is where Singapore shines as well. Read on to see how.
What is the Deal with Business Integration?
Before we can tackle the role of the government in helping small to medium businesses thrive, we have to ask what exactly is business integration and why is it important? The idea behind this process is achieving maximized utility and efficiency for businesses. This utility maximisation is driven by successfully adopting and integrating information technology into the business process. For instance, it could be a software that helps the business carry out accounting, recruiting, marketing, data churning etc. In other words, this form of integration is the driving force for reducing costs while increasing output. Going by popular statistics, research has shown that business integration has increased the ability of businesses to meet consumer demands by 80% world over. It has also shown a formidable decrease in time taken for capital to flow between suppliers, producers and consumers. This has in turn increased profitability in 75 % of the cases that saw businesses employing IT integration.
The numbers speak for themselves. If businesses want a competitive edge in the present global economy, they need to employ modern solutions within their local context. IT integration is at the apex of this solution.
SO, how does the government come into the picture?
Whenever a new wave of innovation takes hold of an economy, two factors determine the success or failure for businesses. The first one, is the availability of a culture and will for the business community to employ that innovation. There needs to be a competitive advantage in doing so. This is definitely the case with Business integration, as proven. The second factor is the government. It is the role of the government to create an environment that makes employment of said innovation easier. This is done through introducing policies, tax reforms and supporting ‘subsidies’. Subsidizing the employment of innovative methods has proven to show promising results. The Singapore state understands this quite well. There are a plethora of grants that exist in Singapore to help businesses employ innovations that help them achieve a competitive edge whilst helping them grow.
Examples of these grants include:
Productivity solutions grant (PSG)
Enterprise Development grant (EDG)
Market Readiness Assistance (MRA)
There are plenty more. However, the one that applies the most to IT integration is PSG. It covers costs incurred in employing IT solutions and systems employed to maximize business effectiveness.
What is PSG?
PSG exists to help SME’s (small and medium enterprise) employ the benefit of IT to enhance their profitability and streamline business processes. The grant covers IT based solutions that help streamline existing business functions by making use of data based decision making, digitalization and automation. Examples include software application systems like CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning). These applications help make interaction and transaction with consumers easier whilst streamlining pre-existing business functions.
Major advantages of the grant include:
Access to Improved communication and data analysis:
The grant allows businesses to cheaply access employment of IT solutions that help integrate multiple business operations. This helps improve inter operational communication as well as data based decision making.
The grant allows the employment of centralized systems in small businesses at an affordable cost. This helps streamline processes whereby every aspect of the business process can be accessed through a single system. This helps save time and increase efficiency.
A lot of businesses suffer from mismanaged growth. Doing well isn’t enough. If growth isn’t managed it harms the business in the long run. The grant allows access to IT solutions that help manage growing business operations efficiently through centralized systems of operating.
In the end, the grants are an olive branch extended by the Singapore government to help SME’s have a fighting chance at competing and thriving in a very competitive business environment. They are an opportunity for business owners to make the necessary next step in the dynamic ever evolving world of business. Grant programs like the PSG have even been updated to compensate for changes incurred on the market due to Covid – 19. Now it is up to the business to make the necessary steps to meet the government half way and make the most of these opportunities!
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