IT firms expected to lead country’s digital transformation

Information and technology (IT) firms will lead the country’s digital transformation in all sectors, said Phan Tam, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications (MIC).

Digital transformation has caused the emergence of new business models such as Grab, Sendo and Shopee. — (Source:

Speaking at the Vietnam CEO Summit 2019 held in Hanoi on August 8, Tam said theFourth Industrial Revolution would create breakthroughs for countries whichtake advantage of its opportunities.

“The Vietnamese Government advocates fully tapping opportunities from Industry4.0 in service of national digital transformation, making it easier for Vietnamto escape the middle-income trap and become a modern industrialised nation by2045,” he said.

He added that developing the digital economy would be one of the key tasks topromote economic restructuring and renewal of the growth model. The digitaltransformation would increase information and data access to bring new businessopportunities and help local companies join regional and global value chains.

“The development strategy of the information and communications technology(ICT) sector for 2021–30 will focus on e-government, therefore Vietnam needs todevelop digital infrastructure and national data systems, thus laying thefoundations for the digital economy. Businesses should be considered the centrefor research and development, technology application and transfer,” he added.

The Government and MIC had taken measures to realise the targets, focusing ondeveloping some key ICT firms to be leaders in terms of technologyinfrastructure and foundations for the digital economy, encouraging thedevelopment of local private companies, especially in the areas ofmanufacturing, hi-tech and IT.

Keith Davies, director of Energy and Resources at Monitor Deloitte Singaporesaid digital technology had made changes to every business.

Accordingly, marketing activities, developing customer networks, improvingstaff capacity, sales and other business functions had been redefined.

A report on digital business by MIT SMR and Deloitte in 2018 showed that 90 percentof surveyed firms said they needed to update their skills at least once a yearwhile 22 percent in the first phase of digital renewal were gradually givingdecision-making power to low-level managers.

Economist Pham Tri Hung said economic performance had achieved high resultsthanks to the digital economy. Economic sectors had seen breakthroughs inbusiness models from e-commerce, online advertisement on social networks suchas Facebook, Instagram and Zalo to entertainment including Netflix, Pinterestor transport such as Uber, Grab and GoViet as well as wholesale and retail(Sendo, Lazada, Shopee).

“However, the readiness for application of Industry 4.0 in production andbusiness of industrial sectors has been low. Up to 61 percent of businesses arestill outside Industry 4.0 while 21 percent have undertaken initial preparationactivities,” he said.

Businesses in trade and services had been more ready to access digitaltechnologies. Those in finance, banking, logistics, tourism and insurance hadapplied digital technologies in modernising their business process.

He said the challenges for businesses in digital transformation were shortagesof human resources, technologies and finance as well as barriers in businessculture and leaders’ vision.

He suggested that firms should have overall transformation from business,products and traditional services to doing business on digital platforms.Meanwhile, the Government should help local enterprises resolve issues ofmarkets, regulations and business policies.

Experts also said that Vietnam should make use of every opportunity to step upinnovation, start-ups, and Internet of Things on the back of its young workforceand rapid expansion of ICT.

According to them, Vietnam is well-positioned to develop blockchain technology,which can be applied in finance-banking, retail, cargo transportation,manufacturing and telecommunications.

Over 400 corporate executives, economists, financial and technological expertsat home and abroad attended the event.

The event aimed to offer participants an overview of the digital transformationtrend, and update them on new products and services built on modern digitaltechnology. — VNS/VNA

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