"Innovation is the only way to stay relevant in this world." This is the mindset that prompted the creation of the SMART In-Camp Training (ICT) app. With a goal of improving and enhancing the NS experience for NSmen and NS Commanders during ICT, a team of individuals from Our Army and engineers from Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) devised The SMART ICT app. Designed to streamline ICT administrative matters, NSmen can now access the application on their personal devices and check ICT-related information conveniently. Recently awarded the Digital Innovation Award on 4 October, we took the opportunity to speak to the minds behind the application.
During the initial stages of the application, the team had one goal in mind: to put previously fragmented ICT-related information and services on a single and portable digital interface, to enhance NSmen and NS Commander's experience as well as improve administrative efficiency before, during and after ICT. Mr Chua Han Tiong, Operations Manager of the team, mentioned "We noticed that NSmen and NS Commanders experience several pain points when it comes to their NS ICT administration. For NSmen, there is often a lack of information on their ICT while for NS Commanders, there is often no access to real-time information and updates. This has prompted a need to improve on the current practices."
As with most new projects, the team faced many obstacles. Mr Chua shared that one hurdle the team faced was ensuring information security within the application. "As the application allows retrieval of information, there was a need to provide a secure way to store and yet still be able to gain access to the data." To ensure information security, classified information will not be shared on the application and information will be shared on a need-to-know basis only.
The team has come a long way since its inception. With the application now in its final stages of production, the team would like to express their heartfelt appreciation towards their partners and supervisors during the making of this application. Speaking on behalf of his team, Mr Chua said "We are extremely grateful to have been able to work with many exceptional people. Specifically, we would like to thank Chief Signal Officer, Commander Signal Institute, and 2nd In-Charge Army Command Systems Group for going out of their way to brief and introduce the application to the trial unit's NSmen." He also thanked members of the trial unit for providing constructive feedback to refine the application.
With the SMART ICT app, the team hopes to enhance the National Service digital experience, delivering services with greater efficiencies.
Written By: PTE Gordon Goh (Army News)
Photography By: REC Nicodemus Kee (Army News)