Vietnam on the verge of digital transformation

May 2, 2019 | 09:56 am GMT+7

By bringing meaningful value in improving productivity, efficiency and competitiveness, digital transformation is becoming an inevitable trend, deeply affecting most of the development of businesses and organisations worldwide.


What strategy does Vietnam need in order to not miss the opportunity from the digital age?

Key survival issue
Currently, digital transformation is taking place worldwide. According to a recent survey by International Data Group, nearly 90% of businesses have started their conversion with different steps, from research to implementation. More than 30% of business leaders surveyed considered digital transformation a vital issue, confirming the immediate effectiveness brought about by digital transformation in many aspects: superiority in customer understanding, increased productivity, ensuring competitive prices and speeding up creativity.
If enterprises and organisations are slow in shifting, it will lead to consequences such as inferior labour productivity, decision-making delays, a lack of sensitivity to seize opportunities and not being closely associated with customers. In fact, there are large enterprises with a development history of hundreds of years but have not caught up with "digitalisation", or have the desire to transform but have not succeeded, have lagged behind, even at risk of going to bankruptcy like GE or Sears.
Meanwhile, many businesses, thanks to the rapid implementation of digital transformation, have achieved outstanding results, such as the case of Dupont, a pioneering model for using technologies to create business strengths. Dupont is at the forefront of using Office 365 to replace outdated Lotus Notes, and is also the first company to launch an e-commerce model that helps reduce costs and improve customer services in Brazil, Singapore and more than 20 other countries worldwide. With a clear and integrated digital conversion strategy, Dupont has saved over US$1.6 billion in IT costs, generated an 80% reduction in order processing time, and brought about billions of US dollars in benefits.
Vietnam ready for digital transformation
In the context of the strong development of digital transformation, the Government, organisations and enterprises in Vietnam have actively embraced and positively participated in activities so as not to miss the “train” of the fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0). The Government of Vietnam is promoting digital economic development through a series of policy mechanisms, and in particular these policies have recently been reinforced by the Prime Minister's Directive No. 16/CT-TTg on increasing strong access to the IR4.0.
Currently, digital transformation appears in all areas, from trade, finance - banking to health, education, tourism and transportation. Surveys of 180 agencies and enterprises attending the Vietnam ICT Summit 2018 showed that Vietnamese businesses have quickly grasped the issues related to digital transformation.
IT companies such as FPT, Viettel and VNPT have made strong investments to develop core technologies of digital transformation, including artificial intelligence, big data analytics and cloud computing. "We ready and confident to conquer the peak of digital transformation, looking to become the leading companies in digital transformation consultancy, such as Accenture or Deloitte DX, to once again bring Vietnam to the same level with global technology powers,” Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT's Board of Directors, announced at the 2019 FPT shareholders' meeting recently held in Hanoi.
Not only technology companies but also enterprises in many different fields have quickly taken the initial steps in digital transformation and gained positive initial results. Consumer finance company FE Credit is an example. In the context that consumer loans are still handled through a manual process with multiple steps, often taking 4-5 days, FE Credit has applied a digital loan platform named "$NAP", which is a fully automated programme providing a complete and closed lending process without human intervention. This platform helps shorten the entire loan process to only 10-15 minutes, making guests to be disbursed within a few hours. As a result, in just two months after deployment, the number of loan registrations and loans disbursed through the $NAP application increased by an average of 280%. In addition, thanks to artificial intelligence algorithms and in-depth data analysis in the customer verification process, FE Credit has succeeded in capturing the needs of customer segments that have not had access to banking services.
In the field of digital government, some localities have also experienced strong movements, of which Quang Ninh is a typical example. With the successful implementation of its e-government system, Quang Ninh has saved time and reduced administrative costs for State administrative agencies worth about VND50 billion. 100% of administrative procedures are received, solved and computerised on the network environment. The operation of 15 public administrative centres across the province have fundamentally changed the image, environment and the way public servants interact with local people and businesses, thus helping reduce more than 40% of the travelling time and the number of visits and transactions for them, saving average social costs of more than VND70 billion per year. In November 2018, Quang Ninh became the only representative of Vietnam to be honoured by the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation 2018 Awards in the Digital Government Award for its e-Government development. The immediate objective that Quang Ninh is aiming for is to digitise, focus and share data, thus saving time for its people.
With that rapid change, along with the great benefits, it can be seen that digital transformation is no one's story but an inevitable trend in the world, in which, if enterprises, organisations or individuals do not quickly grasp the opportunity, the possibility of being left behind will be inevitable.
To promote digital transformation and take advantage of IR4.0, experts recommend that each industry, sector and enterprise needs to focus on building digital transformation strategy, in which, in the immediate future, it is necessary to change the way of thinking and the appropriate approach to suit the new situation.
According to FPT, digital transformation in organisations and businesses is a process of changing from traditional models to digital, by applying new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, Internet of things and cloud computing. Digital transformation helps change the way of operation and management, thereby, the efficiency and competitiveness of organisations and businesses are enhanced.