Empowering Vietnam’s digital transformation

January 20, 2020 | 10:59
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Vietnam is experiencing rapid demographic and social change. The Vietnamese economy is expected to grow 7 per cent yearly with its internet economy also growing exponentially on a year-by-year basis. With a population reaching 96.2 million in 2019, a median age of 30 years, and internet penetration standing at 50 million – over half of the local population – Vietnam is a young and dynamic market with huge commercial opportunities.
empowering vietnams digital transformation
Tan Jee Toon - Country general manager IBM Vietnam

From a digital technology perspective, as Vietnam embraces the advanced technologies of Industry 4.0, it is becoming one of the more dynamic emerging countries in Southeast Asia. The acceleration of digital transformation in Vietnam will profoundly impact the way people communicate, connect, and work, as well as altering the structure of industry throughout the country.

Vietnamese businesses need to transform digitally to be able to accommodate growing client expectations across all channels. The minimum threshold for customer experience is the best one they had before. As the emerging technologies such as AI, automation, the Internet of Things and blockchain become pervasive, their combined impact will reshape standard business or technology architecture in the country.

There are three critical factors for businesses to successfully transform. Organisations must first understand their digital transformation needs and the business outcomes that they want to achieve by going digital. They need to switch their perspective from being a provider-focused to become more customer-centric by leveraging on technology.

The second factor is creating new business models. In every industry, business leaders have long used IT to improve productivity and efficiency, reach new markets, and optimise supply chains. With digital transformation, the business competitive advantage lies not just in being agile but also being a data-driven organisation.

The third factor involves digital talent readiness. It takes a combination of technology and talent to go through the digital transformation journey. Some of the key barriers slowing digital transformation in Vietnam are not about technology but rather the ability of enterprises to address the new required deep digital skillsets workers where machines and humans can work together.

In the World Economic Forum’s latest Future of Jobs Report on workforce trends in 20 economies, over 42 per cent of all jobs will change significantly by 2022 and require new skills such as analytics or design thinking and soft skills like complex problem solving.

To address this, both public and private sector partners need to collectively come together to provide students with the academic, technical, and professional skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration, required to compete in the digital economy.

Industry involvement fuels the opportunity to engage with learning in a significant, long-term manner that develops workforce talent. There is a growing category of jobs, in areas such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, and digital design that require more than a high school diploma but do not necessarily require a four-year degree.

IBM is advocating for workers to have the right skills and credentials they need for these jobs by revolutionising education, and training employees for the AI era through our new Collar and Skill Accelerator programme, partnering with the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST).

In the first year of implementing the programme, IBM will support the Data Science and AI Department to develop and finalise an AI curriculum using IBM’s available resources, coursework materials, and other resources of the IBM Academic Initiative. We aim to train 1,000 students in this academic year and will extend the programme further with the HUST and other institutional academies throughout the country.

Two industries facing high demand for more personalised customer experiences are banking and telecommunications. Our clients in these industries are well aware of the need to change and to win in the advanced competition. Banking clients in particular are experimenting with both public and private clouds, in which IBM extends our support and solutions to shape the appropriate transformation for each business’ requirement.

We also see that businesses in other industries like insurance, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing, aviation, and especially retail and e-commerce are transforming digitally. This will be the year that customer satisfaction is the key to success of business and by transforming themselves, businesses in these fields can definitely win.

By Tan Jee Toon

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