SINGAPORE: Local security agency firms can tap on a new plan that outlines clear roadmaps to help them adopt digital technology in their work, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo announced at its launch on Wednesday (Jul 18).
The Security Industry Digital Plan (IDP), developed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs, identifies a list of technology solutions at different stages of their development. It is a part of the security Industry Transformation Map announced in February.
For instance, firms that have barely implemented any technological solutions will start in the first stage of the roadmap. It includes basic technology such as automated visitor management systems, mobile-enabled patrol and incident management systems, and surveillance cameras with analytics.
Mr Kenny Ng, a senior security supervisor at a condominium which has adopted technology into its security measures, said that his job has been made easier with surveillance cameras.
“It’s 12-hour [work] so, with this technology, it has made our job easier. We just monitor our cameras on the screen … Previously we have to chase [after] the vehicles and record the vehicles. Now our vehicle plate recognition camera will allow vehicles to enter and exit smoothly and records are automatically updated in the smart database,” said Mr Ng.
For security agencies that are more advanced in technology adoption, the roadmaps suggest cluster guarding, robotics, artificial intelligence and immersive media to beef up existing digital technology strategies.
SMEs can use an online self-assessment checklist to rate their digital readiness and identify digitalisation opportunities.
To encourage local security agencies to adopt pre-approved solutions identified in the roadmap, Enterprise Singapore will set aside S$7 million through the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG). There are seven pre-approved solution packages available, with more in the pipeline.
The pre-approved solutions, selected by MHA and IMDA, have been proven, market-tested and are cost-effective, said Mrs Teo. It will reduce the effort needed by firms to find their own solutions and give them a peace of mind that the vendor is reliable, she added.
PSG will help support 50 per cent of qualifying costs, capped at S$30,000 per security agency per year. A majority of security SMEs are eligible for the grant.
A guide for an “Outcome-Based Security Contract” as a “necessary first step” to guide service buyers in adopting contracts based on outcomes, as opposed to fixed headcount was also launched. The guide includes principles and templates for service buyers to adopt such contracts at every stage of the tender process.
Mrs Teo said that many security agencies in Singapore have not adopted any technology in their work, and about 30 per cent of firms have adopted one technological update in their work.
“With these pre-approved digital solutions and support available through PSG, we aim to double the number of security agencies that adopt at least one of these three pre-approved digital solutions by 2020 ... Certainly, by 2025, these basic building blocks should be the norm and no longer the exception,” she added.
TRAINING THE INDUSTRY’S WORKFORCE
The IDP also includes a roadmap on training to prepare the security industry’s workforce with the necessary mindset and skills to adopt and benefit from technology.
Developed with SkillsFuture Singapore and the Security Industry Institute, the training is aligned with the Skills Framework for Security.
Raj Joshua Thomas, president of Security Association of Singapore, said that the plan can help alleviate manpower issues in the industry.
“At any one point of time, we have a shortage of security officers so we are helping to right-size the industry with technology. If we have to deploy less people, the shortage will just become lower and lower, and negated. So, I think we should not worry about officers being replaced by technology because structurally there is already a shortage,” Mr Thomas told Channel NewsAsia.
“The image that people have of the industry will also change because previously, people think it’s a jaga (caretaker) job but it, in fact, has already moved up to something of a higher value,” he added.
SMEs that require more help in reviewing their business can approach the SME Digital Tech Hub for business advisors or specialists for more advance digital solutions. These consultancy services are provided free-of-charge.
A Technical Reference (TR) for video analytics systems was also announced at the launch. The TR sets requirements and specifications for the selection, installation, operation, maintenance and data interoperability of video analytics systems.
The TR, which will be ready by end of next year, will help buyers assess the effectiveness of systems.