Industry 4.0 brings businesses both opportunities, challenges: seminar

Saturday, Sep 23, 2017 08:40

At a booth showcasing IT solutions at the exhibition held on the sidelines of the Viet Nam Information and Communication Technology Outlook in HCM City on September 20. — VNS Photo

Industry 4.0 will bring both opportunities and challenges for businesses, and they need to study and choose the most appropriate and efficient technologies, a seminar heard in HCM City on Wednesday.

Speaking at Viet Nam Information and Communication Technology Outlook, Tran Anh Tuan, deputy chairman of the HCM City Computer Association (HCA), said the birth of new technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things, bio-technology and nano-technology are affecting many sectors from transportation, healthcare, education and security to the environment, agriculture and housing.

Businesses need to make appropriate changes to stay afloat, he said.

Ha Nhu Hai, deputy director of CMS Telecom’s southern office, said Industry 4.0 is an unavoidable factor and one which is changing all social facets, consumers’ habits and the global economy.

Enterprises who boldly transform would be able to seize business opportunities but would be left behind otherwise, even pushed out the market, he said.

Tuan said many businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones, still hesitate to invest in IT due to a concern about their efficiency.

“Other understand the importance of IT application but have difficulty in finding suitable models or lack resources,” he said.

Phi Anh Tuan, another deputy chairman of HCA, said SMEs have the opportunity to utilise advanced technologies to develop their businesses faster and to participate in the global value chain.

“The world has entered Industry 4.0 at a rapid speed, and businesses that know and utilise [its] strength will achieve great competitiveness.”

If businesses close the door to Industry 4.0, the possibility of them being eliminated from the market is very high, he said.

Hai said Industry 4.0 requires businesses to establish a comprehensive IT system, and sometimes to create new IT infrastructure.

With a large young population and high internet and smartphone growth rates, Viet Nam has the opportunity to access new emerging technologies to improve its competitiveness in the global market, delegates said.

But Industry 4.0 also has implicit potential risks for Vietnamese firms, they said.

Automation would eliminate many traditional jobs and change the way technology is deployed, creating a growth disparity between businesses, Tuan said.

Ha said the application of Industry 4.0 is a process, requiring businesses to spend time to study, invest long-term and gradually automate their production, payment and services.

If businesses merely run after trends without systematically building operation processes, they would get no competitive edge, he said.

Delegates said cyber security is a new risk in the Industry 4.0 era, so businesses must pay more attention on managing the risks at the outset.

To Thi Thu Huong, deputy head of the Ministry of Information and Communications’ IT department, said Industry 4.0 is still new in Viet Nam and so more research into technology trends should be done and businesses should study them carefully to come up with appropriate development strategies, she said.

The IT sector has achieved high growth rates, with exports reaching US$60.7 billion last year, she said.

At the seminar, which had the theme “Businesses and Industry 4.0: Opportunities and Challenge”, delegates also discussed Agriculture 4.0, IT application in human resource management and other topics.

Organised by the HCA, the event also featured an exhibition on IT solutions for businesses. — VNS

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