Empowering Officers with SaaS-tainable Solutions


As part of the public sector’s digital transformation effort to support the Smart Nation initiative, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has been at the forefront, spearheading a significant effort to reimagine government-to-business interactions. Central to this endeavour is MTI's strategic scaling of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) implementation, aiming to boost operational efficiency and spur innovation across multiple agencies. This initiative, which notably includes enhancing inter-agency collaboration and improving user experiences, leverages the proven success and momentum of leveraging Salesforce within the MTI ministry family. Recognising the substantial benefits, MTI is now poised to extend the Salesforce SaaS solution across the Whole-of-Government (WOG), marking a pivotal move in their digital journey. Read on to find out how Lena Lee prepared herself for this ambitious endeavour with the GovTech Digital Academy (DA).


MTI recognised the benefits of leveraging the SaaS platform as part of their digital strategy to deliver solutions tailored to their business needs at speed and scale. This stems from a strategic vision that sees SaaS solutions as key enablers for agencies to expand and adapt their operations efficiently, even within the constraints of limited resources and budget. 

What does it take to execute an implementation plan that reaches across the WOG? That was something that Lena, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) from MTI, wanted to find out. As a CIO, Lena is a change agent that bridges the gap between technology and business needs. This is a responsibility that she carries with diligence and passion. Lena aspires to be a visionary leader who brings about positive and impactful change across the public service. It is this same fire that led her to upskill at DA. 


Lena’s experience with pioneering SaaS solutions for MTI helped her appreciate the value of a WOG-wide implementation. Having attended the CIO Milestone Programme (CIO MP) at DA, she was further inspired to set her plan in motion. At the same time, she also recognised the value of familiarising users with Agile terminology to improve communication between the teams involved. This is when the knowledge she gained from upskilling proved to be beneficial.  




Whenever new systems are rolled out, requests for customisations are often quick to follow. When MTI brought in Salesforce, it was no different. Instead of going along with customisation requests, Lena took a step back to assess the situation. She realised that her team needed to be equipped with the relevant competencies to maximise the capabilities of Salesforce. They have since embarked on their upskilling journey, for not one, but three of their team’s Business Analysts! This success motivated them to replicate their results across the rest of the WOG.



Using her experience from MTI’s adoption of Salesforce, Lena came up with a two-part plan. First, her team needed to work closely with the GovTech Technology Management Office (TMO) and Government Digital Services (GDS) to achieve a seamless SaaS integration. Second, the team needed to work with DA to make programmes for Salesforce competencies available to WOG officers. 



Lena's learnings from the CIO MP refined her ability to create value, not only for MTI, but the WOG! At every stage of the programmes, she gained valuable insights that were applicable to her work. In the CIO Leadership in the Digital Age Programme, she explored how to identify the right stakeholders. On the other hand, the Digital Solutioning Programme recommended the use of prototyping instead of jumping right into a full-fledged project. As a whole, she developed the skills and confidence to lead her team closer and closer to a full WOG adoption of SaaS solutions. 



Lena hopes to bring MTI’s results to WOG. Within MTI, she was able to build up internal capabilities and shorten their go-to-market timeline to just three months. Had they decided to implement a customised solution, the deployment would have taken years! These changes have further enabled them to explore collaborations with the nine statutory boards under MTI’s purview, leading to them taking the Singapore Tourism Board and Enterprise Singapore onboard their SaaS journey.

While her journey of bringing Salesforce to WOG is far from complete, the fruits of Lena’s efforts can be observed from the Salesforce programmes offered by DA. To date, there are seven programmes available here!


“I liked the structure of the CIO Milestone programme. The sharing sessions by the speakers and guests from public and private sectors were really useful to relate back to the theory taught and to hear from industry players directly. I would definitely recommend this to others as the DA website showcases up-to-date programmes that are highly relevant to industry and most importantly curated to the needs of the public service officers.”

Lena Lee
Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Trade and Industry


Lena is eager to join programmes on leadership and coaching. In particular, she is considering programmes that focus on the strategy and leadership aspects of digital transformation to further value add to GovTech and Singapore Public Service. 


Lena’s upskilling journey has propelled her and her team closer to their goal of a WOG adoption of SaaS solutions.

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