Firms urged to hasten digital transformation

Friday, Sep 21, 2018 08:05

A panel discussion on digital transformation during the Industry 4.0 era was held in HCM City on September 20 by the Association of Vietnam Scientists and Experts, the HCM City Institute for Development Studies and Quang Trung Software City. — VNS Photo

Digital transformation is a vital step for businesses to stay afloat in the Industry 4.0 era, a seminar heard in HCM City on Thursday.

Dao Trung Thanh, chief technology officer of Media Ventures Vietnam Group, said studies show that while 90 per cent of CEOs believe the digital economy would have a major impact on their industry, less than 15 per cent are funding and executing digital transformation plans.

Digital transformation is being driven by a set of technology mega trends like mobility, hyperconnectivity, super-computing and real-time big data analytics, and cloud computing.

“If we do not transform, our company may not exist after the next few years,” he said.

Media, telecom, finance, retail, and technology are the industries most affected by the digital transformation, he said.

Prof Ho Tu Bao, director of the John von Neumann Institute, said raising awareness of the importance of digital infrastructure and focusing on building digital infrastructure are priority tasks in digital transformation.

The components of digital infrastructure are devices (computers), connection (optical cable, wireless network), database, application (AI tools, Internet of Things and others), legal system, and a labour force with new skills that are able to use digital technologies, he listed.

Many agencies in Viet Nam are not yet aware of the importance of digital infrastructure, he said.

There is a lack of local, national and global data, and data quality, sharing and connectivity remains limited, he said.

Besides, there is a lack of a legal framework for a digital society and digital economy and human resources, he said.

Training programmes must be reformed to enable the country to have sufficient labour for the digital economy.

“The country needs to create a legal framework for digital infrastructure, especially data.”

Building digital infrastructure is a matter of “perseverance”, and involves many people in many sectors and localities, he said.

According to delegates, the fourth industrial revolution offers an opportunity for small- and medium-sized enterprises in the country to keep up with big ones and become the next generation of large companies.

It would also provide a chance for Viet Nam to catch up with other developed countries, they said.

The seminar, organised by the Association of Vietnam Scientists and Experts, the HCM City Institute for Development Studies and Quang Trung Software City, was a preliminary event of the 2018 Vietnam Digital Economy Forum (VDEF 2018) to be held in HCM City from October 31 to November 1.

Nguyen Ngoc Tu, chief innovation officer at SmartLog/Entropy JVN, said VDEF 2018 aims to provide an international platform for various stakeholders coming from national policy-making bodies, academia, corporates, and individuals/practitioners to present, share, and discuss global and local visions, challenges, initiatives, practices, and trends for fostering and sustainably developing SMEs.

The path to Industry 4.0 for Viet Nam, the impact of digital technology on the business strategies of SMEs, applying digital technology to improve the competitiveness of SMEs, and digitised services in supporting SMEs are among topics to be discussed at the forum, he said. — VNS

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