Boldly embarking on joint, digital journeys 

February 23, 2021 | 08:00
Digital transformation proves an important role in the changing world of technology, and gives the information and communications sector its biggest-ever mission. Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications, talks about the orientations to develop the sector throughout the year.
1532 p20 boldly embarking on joint digital journeys
Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications

The movement from the physical into the digital world is the greatest transformation in humankind’s history, and with this transformation, huge opportunities always come together with huge challenges.

Digital technology, digital transformation, and also the media play important roles in this move, and this is a rare chance for the sector to reassert itself. Understanding the challenges and defining correctly the new development space plays a decisive role in all developments.

For example there is the postal service: if it focuses only on mail and parcel delivery, the service will remain static. However, if the post is to ensure physical flow besides data flow, and is the platform to support all individuals and households in facilitating their business activities and access to global markets, it becomes a platform that helps people escape poverty, thus making the development space and new mission of the postal service much greater.

And in telecommunications – if this is the infrastructure of the digital economy, the infrastructure of data storage and processing, and the infrastructure providing technology as a service to everyone and all businesses, telecommunications becomes the driver of the digital economy.

In terms of IT application, if it continues to automate old operations only, nothing changes. However, if it is to use digital technology and change operational models, it can be a revolution helping humankind move from the analogue world into the digital one.

Digital transformation is the next development of IT application, and is the breakthrough development as it places all activities into the digital environment in a comprehensive manner. The breakthrough here is that instead of doing it gradually, part by part, it can be carried out immediately and comprehensively, setting higher goals. It changes the way we do our jobs and live our lives, and the more we use it, the cheaper it is and the higher skills we get – and the more technology develops.

The other breakthrough is that it can be more important to dare to change and apply a new model rather than simply develop technologically; those that follow can create applications in a stronger and faster manner with the potential to become frontrunners.

Digital transformation also creates opportunity for each individual, household, and small business to approach national and global markets, thus prompting more people to run businesses to make money. It does not force us to experience the stages of catching up with and then jumping over the competition – but instead leapfrog them and lead the charge.

Meanwhile, we need information security to focus on more than protection of IT systems. Information security needs to protect Vietnam’s prosperity in cyberspace, build safe industry and network security, own the product ecosystem, and become a powerhouse to protect the country in cyberspace.

If ICT simply focuses on assembling and outsourcing, this will not do. However, if ICT becomes Vietnamese-made and develops domestic digital technology businesses – mastering technology with design and innovation and production in Vietnam, focusing on dealing with the problems facing the country – it can develop Vietnam into a tech-led nation with a huge rise in GDP. It then becomes a driving force to develop Vietnam into a prosperous and developed country with high incomes by 2045.

This year marks the first of a 5-year period for Vietnam to realise its goal of becoming a developing country towards modernisation surpassing the low average income; by 2030 becoming a developing country with modern industries and high average income; and by 2045 becoming a developed country with high incomes. With that in mind, the Ministry of Information and Communications issued Directive No.01/CT-BTTTT in January on specific works to develop the sector in 2021 with the spirit and aspiration of strength and prosperity – with high goals, new approaches, and breakthrough solutions to realise the five-year job in just one year, thus enabling the country to develop fast and sustainably.

By Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications

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