Building information infrastructure to develop digital space

June 10, 2024 | 09:26 am GMT+7

Nearly 30 years since Vietnam began connecting to the internet in November 1997, Vietnam now possesses a strong information technology (IT) foundation with speeds among the fastest in the world.

Building information infrastructure to develop digital space- Ảnh 1.

The proportion of internet users in Vietnam is relatively high at nearly 80% of the population. (Photo: VNA)

The proportion of internet users in Vietnam is relatively high at nearly 80% of the population, and a similar number are using mobile phones. The country has 64,000 enterprises operating in digital technology and 1,500 enterprises with overseas revenue streams. These are favourable foundations for the continued growth of the digital space.

However, Vietnam’s IT infrastructure remains limited as the development rate of telecommunications and IT infrastructure has not met the requirements for the internet of things, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and smart manufacturing. The national shared database is being implemented slowly.

It is worth noting that the foundational database for the digital economy remains scattered, deficient and non-standardised; the payment infrastructure is not consistent, not extensive and has yet to utilise shared infrastructure; and the power infrastructure to serve the information infrastructure has yet to meet requirements. The reasons behind those problems are the inconsistency and lack of connectivity and long-term vision in infrastructure planning and development.

To address the above-mentioned shortcomings, the Prime Minister issued a decision in January 2024 on the plan for information and communications infrastructure development during the 2021-2030 period, with a vision for 2050. The plan aims to optimise the use of resources, align development in the digital space with the traditional physical development space, open a new space for socio-economic development, create a favourable environment to produce new values for the country in the digital age, and enhance national competitiveness.

To create a safe and reliable environment for the development of the digital government, digital economy, and digital society, the plan has outlined the criteria for information and communications infrastructure development as a whole on the basis of linking the postal network, digital infrastructure, IT industry infrastructure, national digital transformation platforms cyberinformation safety, and cybersecurity systems. The plan also outlines directions for solving issues related to linkage and intra-sectoral and inter-sectoral synchronicity, thus promoting development in disadvantaged areas and tapping into regional advantages.

To implement the plan, ministries, agencies and localities need to proactively carry out overall measures to develop the information infrastructure from formulating and promulgating mechanisms and policies on capital and investment, with appropriate technological solutions and business models to attract investment in digital infrastructure, to mobilising social resources in building the information and communications infrastructure in the direction of enterprises jointly investing in and sharing the infrastructure.

It is especially necessary to soon build multi-purpose national and regional data centres as well as other data centres in accordance with national and international standards. This will create a foundation for a fundamental and comprehensive change in the government’s data collection, storage, management, provision, integration, sharing and analysis, thus ensuring the goals of social management while providing public services for the people and fostering socio-economic development.

The product must be an instrument to address the bottlenecks, create breakthroughs in developing the national database and other database systems to be formed in the future. The national data centre must become an important digital infrastructure component serving economic development and social management in line with Vietnam’s characteristics. It is necessary to train about 500,000 high-quality IT personnel to meet the demand until 2025.

The successful implementation of the plan will create motivation and development space for the information and communications sector to maximise the potential and advantages of the industry and the country for rapid, wide-ranging and sustainable socio-economic development.