Singapore’s Republic Polytechnic is revamping the way its students learn.
It plans to build a smart campus, using sensors and data analytics to provide students with information tailored to their needs. It is changing its online learning tools so that students can take courses offered by other polytechnics.
Its Chief Information Officer, Neo Yong Chiang tells GovInsider more.
What technology are you most excited about in 2016?
The Internet of Things (IoT), as it is the building block to many possibilities, including driving more intuitive services and improving work efficiency. It is the rethinking of how corporate IT works, and how we can deliver services to public users.
One example is to detect a student’s presence at a certain location and remind them to attend a seminar conducted nearby, or to submit their assignment work.
IoT is essentially just the touch point for users, because behind the whole setup are the analytics, cross system integration and interfaces that we need to design and build.
How does Smart Nation affect your agency?
Internally, we are reviewing how to make our campus “smarter”. A taskforce has been formed and discussions are is still ongoing. Leveraging IoT, we are also looking at the next generation of service delivery, not because others are doing so, but because we believe it has potential to be the next big thing.
What is the biggest challenge that you had to overcome in 2015?
We are trying to fill our positions in various IT roles which includes infrastructure management, security and policies management, ICT project management, developers in .net and MS sharepoint. So, the ability to get the right people to work on the IT projects remains an important issue to be addressed to ensure smooth project rollout.
What is your key priority in 2016?
This is unique to Republic Polytechnic – which is to upgrade our existing learning management systems. It is timely as we embark on the new generation of computing, levering on social media driven behaviour, cloud and hopefully IoT as well.
We are also reviewing our infrastructure to be prepared for the IoT era which will include video analytics. Polytechnics in Singapore are coming together to jointly implement a common learning environment for our students. In this way, our students will benefit from the curriculum of up to five polytechnics.
Where did you work before you joined your current agency?
I was with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), taking charge of government-wide programmes and initiatives. Prior to IDA, I was with the Economic Development Board (EDB) for a good 11 years. My other past working experience was in the banking and transport industry in the private sector.
As a lighter question, how do you like to unwind after a long week at work?
I enjoy having a glass of fine wine with my wife.
This is an ongoing series of interviews with Singapore CIOs, outlining their top priorities over the coming year.