It has been highlighted over the past few months that in cities, outbreaks or clusters of COVID-19 positive individuals can grow very fast in heavily populated built up areas.
Tracking how people move around urban areas can pinpoint where disease might transmit fastest and farthest.
Places where there have been large gatherings of people have seen high infection rates such as a few notable Church gatherings, outbreaks from people socialising in nightclubs and restaurants as well as outbreaks in residential blocks.
Governments have the task of predicting where are the places that have the highest probability of spreading the disease and governments need to be equipped with the tools and technology to help them do this.
Big-data studies of human mobility need to be combined with epidemiological models. And the demographic profiles of people coming into contact at any particular location need to be included.
In many cities, the details of everyday interactions in cities are not documented well enough to model risk factors accurately, as experiences with COVID-19 show. Resorts, conferences, religious gatherings and workplaces have all experienced notable outbreaks.
Groups living in close proximity are a very high risk risk. Almost 93% of Singapore’s COVID-19 cases in the first 48 days occurred in dormitories for migrant workers.
Each block houses hundreds or thousands of workers. Cases there increased rapidly in a very short space of time to more than 40,000, or more than 12% of that population, compared with fewer than 2,600 infections elsewhere in the city-state of 5.3 million people.
Mapping the Spread of COVID-19
A model of disease spread can be built and refined as data and knowledge improve on human flows on three levels. City-wide – a map which highlights the main flows of people throughout the city. Then by busiest locations and busiest timings should then be mapped and then thirdly record demographics and types of human interactions.
By combining all these insights, governments will be better able to anticipate superspreading locations and target precautionary measures, such as delaying reopening businesses, quarantining arrivals, tightening crowd control and intensifying cleaning and disinfection in particular places.
How Government can tap into pre-existing resources
All sources of data on human mobility need to be tapped. For example, ‘smart’ cities such as Singapore have networks of cameras on lamp posts to track traffic flows. These could be reconfigured to track the density and mixing of people anonymously.
Data from geolocation and contact-tracing apps can map where people go, who they interact with and for what length of time.
Funding agencies can help fund studies of human movement and interactions in key superspreading locations such as transport hubs.
Urban analysts and modellers need to study and document the types of face-to-face interactions, networks and crowd mixing.
Governments should use these data and models to target their public-health strategies. More effective targeting of measures will help to avoid ‘virus fatigue’ among the public and help education and the economy by allowing places to minimize the risks of some kinds of reopening.
The management of critical events is becoming an increasingly important and widespread practice. From significant weather events, natural disasters and global pandemics, critical events create operational disruptions and have an enormous financial impact.
The COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps the aptest example of this. Some nations have buckled under the pressure generated by the economic upheaval and setbacks the virus has caused. Other nations, like Malaysia, have risen to the challenge and have employed technology in innovative and efficient ways.
For example, in March 2020, the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) rolled out a digital tracking device to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state. The digital surveillance solution gave the state disaster management committee the “scalable capability” to monitor the disease at all points of entry in Sarawak.
Under the solution, all those entering Sarawak were issued a QR-coded wristband based on two categories: person under investigation (PUI) and 14-day stay home notice. Wearers were required to report their situation twice daily by scanning their wristband’s QR code to submit the information.
Data collated will allow the state disaster management committee to make informed decisions and to conduct random checks on the wearers. The wearers’ location enables the committee to establish hotspots, a key strategy to curb further spread of the disease, the SMA General Manager had said in a statement.
At the time, various tracker systems had been deployed in China, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong where the data collected was crucial in managing the shape and evolution of the virus’ spread.
The state disaster management committee had earlier enlisted SMA to develop a digital system to track persons undergoing self-quarantine for Covid-19. Ultimately, this solution will be integrated into the ‘Permission to Enter/Exit’ system to effectively monitor Sarawak’s entry points.
This move resulted in the state, and Malaysia, being lauded for its efforts in combating the virus. On 22 September 2020, the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) utilization of technology to curb the Covid-19 pandemic was recognised as the committee was awarded the Malaysian Technology Excellence Award (MTEA) by Singapore Business Review 2020 in Kuala Lumpur.
SDMC’s initiative for the development of two key applications, namely i-Alerts and enterSarawak, and the seamless integration of both systems was acknowledged by the judging committee from Deloitte Asia Pacific, KPMG Malaysia, BDO, Crowe Growth Consulting as well as Ernst & Young Advisory Services as riding the disruption wave and leading the technological revolution by leveraging on technology as a key catalyst to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sarawak.
The award was received by the General Manager of the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) on behalf of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee. He stated that the agency aims to be the leader in the Digitalisation of Malaysia; being at the forefront, realising The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak’s vision of a robust Digital Economy.
As strategised by SMA, the applications, which focus on data interoperability, allows for the harmonised approach of collecting and transmitting data between stakeholders, decision-makers and the public. This empowered the State to channel all relevant information via a single and globally interoperable information structure thus avoiding the unnecessary complexity in systems and improve overall efficiency.
The uniformity of these platform creates speed, systemization and standardization which improves overall efficiency across the entire disaster lifecycle thus allowing enterSarawak to be seamlessly applied across 33 Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security centres (ICQS) in Sarawak immediately during MCO creating touchless border security while i- Alerts acts as the Core Integrated Disaster Management Platform for SDMC.
The open standards for the system also ensure enhanced scaling and improved efficiency of the timeliness of the transfer of information. Furthermore, by making full use of existing data in the disaster management sector, i-Alerts can adopt mechanisms that ensure resource verification, findability, accessibility, interoperability, reuse and leverage the growth of existing Government Open Data initiatives.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority – IMDA implemented Singapore’s nationwide e-invoicing network, now called InvoiceNow, in 2019 to help businesses improve efficiency, reduce cost, receive payment faster, facilitate cross-border business transactions, and reduce our impact on the environment by using lesser paper invoices.
To help even more businesses digitalise, IMDA has partnered DBS, OCBC and UOB to develop solutions, leveraging the nationwide e-invoicing network, InvoiceNow, with the PayNow e-payment system.
InvoiceNow and PayNow both uses the Unique Entity Number to help businesses send or receive invoices and collect payments easily. By registering for both services, business can then enjoy business efficiency, cost reduction and seamless payments.
Ms Jane Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, IMDA, said: “Within the past three months, we have seen an exponential increase in businesses coming onboard e-invoicing. Today, there are about 25,000 companies on InvoiceNow, up from 1,000 at the beginning of the year.”
“Our aim is to drive further adoption to benefit more businesses, as IMDA leads Singapore’s digital transformation in this sector. We are excited to partner with DBS, OCBC and UOB, to co-create innovative solutions to strengthen for businesses that will fortify Singapore’s competitiveness in the global digital economy.”
Moving Towards a Unified e- Payments and Cashless Society
Mr John Laurens, Group Head of Global Transaction Services, DBS Bank, said, “Driving interoperability of our digital solutions is key to unlocking Singapore’s Smart Nation ambition, and this is where the integration of InvoiceNow with PayNow shows great potential as it dovetails with the nation’s push towards a unified e-payments system and cashless society.”
Digitalisation has become priority since Pandemic
Mr Melvyn Low, Head, Global Transaction Banking, OCBC Bank, said, “Before the pandemic, there might have been SMEs who put digitalisation on the backburner but now, there is no question that going digital is a necessity. InvoiceNow and PayNow in particular, are two initiatives that have seen strong take up from our business banking customers.”
E-invoicing – making payments quicker and businesses more efficient
Mr Mervyn Koh, Country Head of Business Banking Singapore, UOB, said, “Since the launch of the nationwide e-invoicing framework, we have been helping our customers realise the tangible benefits that e-invoicing can bring to their business, including greater cash flow certainty. With the expansion of the PayNow model to cover payments for e-invoices under InvoiceNow, businesses will be able to receive payments more quickly and thus, shorten the time taken from invoicing to receiving payment.”
Businesses that register for InvoiceNow on or before 31 December 2020 can receive an E-Invoicing Registration Grant of $200, which will be paid out through PayNow Corporate. The grant was announced in March 2020 as part of the Resilience Budget and $10 million has been set aside for the Grant.
Covid-19 has dominated 2020. It has been the top priority for almost every nation across the globe, and while dealing with the pandemic, many governments have also had to tackle national natural disasters and severe weather incidents.
In the first half of 2020, the world experienced many major natural disasters. And Asia has experienced at least ten of them in the first six months. The continent has faced everything from earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanoes, typhoons, bushfires, all while dealing with the pandemic.
This year really has kept governments on edge, waiting for what is to come next. And this is a key point – What will come next? And are governments prepared for all eventualities? Have they planned for what would happen if a natural disaster were to occur? And how would they deal with a severe weather event while also dealing with the ongoing global pandemic?
Major Natural Disasters that Occurred in the first 5 months of 2020 in Asia
At the end of 2019 and early 2020, the bushfires in Australia spread quickly across the country. A state of emergency was declared in Queensland and New South Wales in November 2019, and slowly all the other states followed as the fires continued to spread.
The Australian bushfires are considered one of the biggest natural disasters of the year. The extent of damage ranged from an estimated 18 million hectares burned, over 9000 buildings and homes destroyed, and 400 deaths directly or indirectly.
Flash Floods, Indonesia
Flash floods occurred throughout the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and its metropolitan area on the early hours of 1 January 2020, due to the overnight rain which experienced nearly 400 millimetres (15 in) of rainwater, causing the Ciliwung and Cisadane rivers to overflow. At least 66 people have been killed, and 60,000 displaced in the worst flooding in the area since 2007.
Volcano Eruption, Philippines
The second most active volcano in the Philippines, Taal Volcano erupted in January 2020. On 12th January. As a result, a large amount of ash dust was emitted and forced authorities to evacuate over 8,000 people close by and 3,00,000 people overall.
Cyclone Amphan, Bangladesh-India
Cyclone Amphan is classified as one of the most powerful, deadly tropical cyclones to ever impact Bangladesh and India. It was categorized as a category 5 hurricane and the havoc it wreaked was devastating. It caused landfalls, heavy rains and lightning causing major destruction and killing 12 people.
Forest Fires, Uttarakhand – India
In May, a forest fire that lasted for days caused Uttarakhand to burn. What may have started as a small fire has managed to engulf 51 hectares of forest land. 2 deaths and several others have been injured.
Assam Floods, India
Many parts of Assam have experienced heavy rains and as a result, have been negatively affected in the form of floods. 128 villages, 5 districts and many more have been affected.
Disaster and Emergency Management Agencies release figures showing the true extent of the cost of severe weather
As Governments throughout Asia release the figures relating to severe weather and natural disasters, it is evident how costly these events are in terms of lives, homes, economy and infrastructure.
Natural disasters continue to hit China, and the country lost 271 lives during the first half of 2020, an official report showed. Some 19,000 houses were destroyed and 785,000 houses damaged during the last six months across mainland China, causing an economic loss of $11.5 billion, Global Times quoted a report by the Ministry of Emergency Management.
Last month’s heavy floods in eight provinces and regions of southern and eastern China affected more than a million people. The June 8 floods affected at least 1.76 million people, with 120,000 evacuated, nine dying and five missing, according to the Centre of Disaster Reduction in China.
The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) released numbers this week, they recorded 2,059 natural disasters that struck Indonesia during the period from January to September 20, with the number of deaths reaching 282.
Indonesia was hit by 771 incidents of floods, 534 whirlwinds, and 377 landslides. The natural disasters had affected and displaced a total of 4.2 million people, claimed 282 lives, and rendered 25 people missing while causing injuries to 427 others.
Furthermore, natural disasters damaged 30,655 homes and 1,419 public facilities. The country also recorded a total of 302 forest and land fires as well as five volcanic eruptions.
Governments Urge For Better Response to Severe Weather and Natural Disasters
Governments are quickly realising the need to act now to prevent, or rather, manage the events that they already know could happen at any time. This week saw governments in Asia review emergency planning and funding strategies as well as call on their technology institutes to work on preventing future disasters.
The Royal Commission in Australia, heard this week that more frequent natural disasters in Australia will become ‘a major strategic problem in its own right’. The commission is in its final week of hearings and is due to deliver its final report to the federal government on 28 October.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) was called in to help the bushfire response this summer, and have been integrated into health and police departments as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told the Royal Commission on Tuesday this week that the ADF would not be able to continue support with its actual defence responsibility without additional funding.
Peter Jennings added that more frequent and more severe national disasters, exacerbated by the climate crisis, would become “a major strategic problem in its own right”. And that the Pacific region, and south-east Asia, would be “the epicentre of natural disaster risk going forward”.
One of the initiatives that the Australian government is using to help with crises is a public warning system. In combination with Australia’s major telecommunications companies, the Everbridge Public Warning solution will be used to power Emergency Alert Australia, providing population-wide alerting to help reach the country’s over 25 million residents and approximately 9 million annual visitors.
Anyone in an area where a sudden, critical event occurs such as fire, extreme weather or a terror attack, residents and visitors to Australia will receive location-based SMS notifications on their mobile phones, in addition to smartphone mobile app notifications and fixed-line voice alerts, among other modes of communication.
Also, this week, speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology, on Tuesday 22nd of September, Prime Minister Modi, India urged the IIT to use this experience in helping the state governments of the Northeastern region to tackle the various natural and other disasters which have been having a negative impact on the development prospects of the region.
He called for the IIT to form a centre for disaster management and risk reduction for the region. The Prime Minister said “The North East is full of possibilities. But it has problems of floods, earthquakes, life slam hand industrial disasters also, and the governments have to spend their time tackling these.”
The Missing Puzzle Piece: An Integrated CEM Platform
Many governments and national, regional and state authorities rely on multiple, separate systems for their critical event management (CEM).
According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, these silos can spell redundancies in information and processes, data contradictions, and, in worst-case scenarios, greater loss of life and damages.
Without an integrated CEM platform, command centres and security teams can’t respond as quickly and as thoroughly as situation warrants, which in turn negatively affects budgets, stakeholder confidence, and employee and customer trust.
With an integrated CEM platform, however, rapid, consolidated responses are more easily coordinated. Emergency response teams and command centres receive threat alerts ahead of time, so they can identify, assess, and locate the risks, affected assets, and appropriate responders.
A CEM platform can also automate communications and by using a public warning system, action plans, and SOPs, so your teams have immediate access to information and can act at lightning speed. Later, analytics pinpoint where bottlenecks and delays surfaced and where they might be avoided in the future.
As the pandemic looms over the world for the foreseeable future, planning responses to severe weather events will continue in tandem with coronavirus risk management. And, as natural disasters are occurring more frequently throughout the region – it’s more important than ever for governments to evaluate the processes, systems, tools, and platforms they have to respond to critical events.
APAC CEM WEBINAR: BUSINESS CONTINUITY DURING SEVERE WEATHER
September 30, 2020 | 9AM IST | 11:30AM SG/HKT | 1:30PM AEST
Download Everbridge’s Whitepaper: MANAGING SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS DURING OTHER CRISES
An American multinational developer of analytics software has committed to up-skill a minimum of 500 students in analytics across Malaysia by the end of 2020, in response to increased demand for data science expertise. Under the banner of the firm’s Software Certified Young Professionals (SCYP), the program will collaborate with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to help drive the adoption of emerging technologies across the country.
Central to such efforts will be enabling students to work towards the certification in programming, machine learning and visual analytics through e-learning courses, supported by access to online communities and webinars.
The Managing Director of Malaysia at the firm stated that the company has a deep-rooted history in academia. Launching a program to empower Malaysian students with the firm’s analytics knowledge and expertise helps in answering the rising demand for technology professionals in Southeast Asia.
Business organisations need people who can make sense of data, manage and analyse it, build models and determine what information delivers the most value. Students with an analytical skillset will be highly sought after.
Once students have completed the e-learning courses and attended the associated webinars, a certification exam will follow before connections with SAS customers seeking young data science professionals.
Within Southeast Asia, “free or heavily subsidised” online courses are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students who are enrolled at a university, business school or university college in Malaysia, Indonesia or Vietnam. There are currently three courses available for students in Malaysia and Vietnam, and five courses on offer in Indonesia, spanning data analytics, statistics, machine learning and virtualisation.
The CEO of MDEC stated that the agency’s strategic partnership with the software company aligns perfectly with its commitment to ensuring delivery of technology relevant programmes to Malaysian students and help Malaysians make the digital leap into the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The agency sees its public-private partnership initiatives such as the tech firm contributing to Malaysia’s overall growth of the data science skills required in the workforce to support the digitally-driven economy, which is also critical to meet the demand of the current and future job market.
Growing demand for tech professionals
OpenGov Asia earlier reported that Malaysians with niche skills in technology have far brighter prospects in 2020 as many sectors are hiring in their push forward with digitalisation. A Malaysia-based consultancy’s 2020 salary survey revealed that job opportunities and higher pay were expected for those in mid to high-level management positions in eight sectors.
Talents with niche skills who are changing jobs, on the other hand, are looking at an increment of up to 30 per cent due to demand outstripping supply, the firm’s Country Manager for Malaysia said in a statement accompanying the survey report.
The survey also encouraged as employers may be more open to hiring job seekers with the necessary tech skills but who may have less industry experience.
Moreover, as Malaysia invests more into its technological infrastructure, the more it will see tech talent flooding into the nation, thereby growing its digital economy and pushing forward its Industry 4.0 goals.
The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have officially renewed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) on 22 September 2020 to reaffirm both party’s continued commitment to help drive digital transformation across the Singapore business community, promote the adoption of digital technologies and position them to seize opportunities in the digital economy over the next three years.
Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive of IMDA said, “Digital transformation is necessary for businesses to grow and thrive in this new economic reality. Companies that can quickly move to adopt digital technologies and leverage digital platforms, stand to benefit not only from operational efficiencies, but importantly, the potential to scale and reach more partners and customers beyond Singapore. As IMDA leads Singapore’s digital transformation, the collaboration we have with SBF underscores the importance of supporting our businesses to catalyse growth in our Digital Economy.”
The areas of focus include:
Digital Transactions between Businesses – Help businesses understand and adopt digital B2B technologies such as e-invoicing and e-signatures, through outreach and awareness activities, and work with key industry partners to raise their level of adoption.
Digital Economy Agreements (DEA) and Cross Border Data Flows – Help businesses understand how they can leverage Singapore’s DEAs and initiatives such as the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules and ASEAN Cross Border Data Flows Mechanism to operate seamlessly across borders.
SMEs Go Digital Outreach – Support the development of digital platforms and outreach to SMEs to help them understand their current digital readiness and facilitate the adoption of suitable digital solutions.
Empowering People & Embracing Digitalisation for Resilience & Resurgence
Speaking at this year’s Future Economy Conference and Exhibition (FECE), Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chairman of SBF said, “The COVID-19 situation has highlighted the need for businesses to adopt digital transformation to remain relevant and competitive. This collaboration between SBF and IMDA seeks to provide relevant support to businesses in their digital transformation efforts, including efforts to push boundaries and explore new growth markets.”
FECE 2020, from 22 to 23 September, features 19 industry-leading speakers from businesses such as banking, logistics, e-payments and e-commerce.
Themed “Empowering People & Embracing Digitalisation for Resilience & Resurgence”, this year’s FECE is held online and more than 1,000 business owners and leaders have registered. The focus for FECE 2020 is on how businesses can optimise their digitalisation efforts and upskill their talent to reap sustainable business growth during this challenging period.
FECE 2020, now into its fourth annual edition, is organised by SBF in collaboration with five government agencies as strategic partners – Ministry of Trade and Industry, IMDA, SkillsFuture Singapore, Enterprise Singapore and Workforce Singapore – and 26 trade associations and chambers as supporting organisations.
Adoption and convergence of cloud, virtualisation, cybersecurity technologies, etc. have caused a dramatic change in the financial services industry significantly impacting its functioning. Further, most organisations were already on their digital journey when the pandemic hit – forcing a seismic shift in urgency and scope of the transformation.
The OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 22 September 2020 engaged delegates from the financial services industry across ASEAN to better understand the impact of digital disruption in this sector. The session witnessed overwhelming attendance and engagement from senior digital executives, keen on sharing and learning more about this timely and highly relevant topic.
The pressure to transform digitally should not out innovation on a back seat
The session was opened by Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia.
Mohit concurred that the financial sector industry was seriously hit during the pandemic and were, for the most part, reactive in their response.
Before COVID, organisations were working hard balancing different aspects of their business – regulations, stakeholders, customers, employees – in a F2F, physical context. With strict stay-at-home, remote working and quarantine measures in place, almost all fiscal and commercial transaction transitioned online. The need to go digital almost immediately, besides managing the regular aspects of business, has put the financial sector under immense pressure.
Under such pressure, Mohit cautioned delegates, organisations must not hold back on innovation. In fact, the industry should look at the pandemic as an opportunity to pivot – to ramp up digital transformation.
None the less, in this expedient endeavour, operational resilience must be maintained and security strategies must be reassessed. Existing protocols and processes must not only be maintained but need to be strongly augmented – adding new chapters as appropriate and necessary.
Mohit encouraged delegates to prioritise the well-being and happiness of employees as much as that of their customers. In urgent times like these, it is a well-trained, motivated and committed workforce that will help organisations stay afloat and thrive.
In closing, Mohit advised delegates to must partner with the right people who are experts in this field, it if they want to correctly balance the different aspects of their business efficiently and have a smooth transition into the digital world.
Empower and augment employees to achieve operational resilience
Elisha Harrington, Head of Financial Services Innovation, ServiceNow shared her insights with the delegates.
Elisha spoke about operational resilience as a driver of transformation and coordinated delivery of business outcomes. She echoed Mohit’s sentiments about financial institutions being under a lot of pressure as they were pivoting to paradigms that were unknown to them.
They had to deal with technological shortcomings, cybersecurity issues, connectivity gaps, compliance requirements, etc. along with adjusting to remote working. In such an environment, operating at scale necessitates that employees collaborate across teams and work with each other virtually.
Elisha opined that operational resilience comes down to an institution’s ability to absorb shock and set out risk tolerances for those parts of the business that are highly critical to its survival.
The strategy to survive she proposed, and indeed, thrive rests four main pillars: People, Technology, Facilities and Supplies. These pillars need to be in place and need to be consistently and continuously improved.
Additionally, technology and supplier resilience are critical in keeping organisations going. Elisha outlined three major components under this:
- Technology Supply Chain
- IT resilience and Outsource
- Cost of Resilience
Elisha concluded by highlighting the need to transform the risk and controls management across the organisations. To successfully transform, there needs to be integrated risk management which coupled with workflow optimisation will lead to better customer outcomes.
Digitisation is essential to serve customers effectively and efficiently
Kaspar Situmorang, Executive Vice President & Head, Digital Center for excellence at PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia spoke to the audience from a scale of operations perspective. For organisations serving a large number of customers more effectively and satisfactorily, Kasper felt, it is imperative to go digital.
To underscore his position, he then shared that his organisation’s digital transformation strategy that has two major focus points: First is digital business optimisation, that focuses on increasing efficiency and productivity by bringing in new business processes. The second is making the business digital, that includes creating new business models, generating new revenue streams and improving gross margins.
Kaspar stressed that good customer experience in both digitising and digital is their organisation’s top priority. To do that, they utilise AI as to both expand their customer base and better the customer experience.
He listed five critical competencies in which they invest heavily to grow: People with the right customer-centric mindset, Open Innovation Ecosystem, Data-driven organisation, Agile way of working and Scalable, reliable and secure technology
In conclusion, Kaspar shared the transformation framework of his organisation that comprises:
- Digitising core: Digitising their existing services. transactions and business processes
- Digital Ecosystem: Building an ecosystem to offer products and services beyond core business
- New Digital Propositions: Creating and launching an independent greenfield digital bank in Indonesia
He also shared various examples of the products and services under the above three categories to give delegates a better understanding of their work.
After Kaspar’s presentation, it was time for a more interactive and engaging session. The delegates were polled with a series of questions that was the foundation for discussion around the topic.
On the first question regarding major challenges faced by their organisation in operational resilience, a majority of delegates voted for lack of definition for ‘client business Services’ across organisations (30%).
A senior executive from Malaysia shared that it was imperative that the top management, (who grant the budget and the IT personnel in an organization), are aligned in one direction; if they are not aligned then there will be a lot of ambiguity around the business goals and objectives.
On the next question regarding the most important consideration for the future of their organisation, over half (52%) of delegates voted for data-driven decisions, i.e. using insights from big data and advanced analytics in workforce decision making.
A delegate from Singapore shared that he chose this option because he has observed that while there is a lot of data, it is not easy to assimilate and draw insights from it. So that is a journey they need to undertake.
On the final question about the need to do things differently in your organisation, the largest section voted for creating a better digital experience for customers (37%).
A delegate reflected that they chose the above option because it is a changing environment for the customers as well. Due to the pandemic, they want to go more and more digital. They want to avoid coming to the branch physically for things. So, the focus is on creating a better digital experience for customers.
After the polling session, Elisha addressed the audience with closing remarks. She thanked all delegates for their participation in the session.
Elisha concluded that if organisations have a good handle over their system, service health and necessary automation in place, they have the ability to start to innovate the core business services. This allows employees more time to add value to the core rather than spending time resolving simple/routine problems or getting lost in too many fragmented systems. This is the ultimate goal of service excellence.
She signed off by reminding delegates that ServiceNow solutions can assist and support them in attaining this goal and encouraged them to reach out to the ServiceNow team to explore ways they can collaborate.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Cuban Ministry for Communications held an online training course: “Designing and developing big data systems” for Cuba. It was officially opened at Hanoi and La Habana. The training course took place within a week with the coordination of the Embassy of Cuba in Vietnam and two of Vietnam’s leading ICT groups: VNPT and Viettel.
According to a press release, the objective of the course was to provide advanced knowledge about big data such as analysing, designing, and developing big data systems for IT application and e-government development in regulatory agencies.
The course will aid Cuba to solve challenges and tools for big data as well as related content. It attracted nearly 50 attendants from Cuba’s Ministry of Communications, ministries, sectors, corporations, and ICT enterprises.
Topics conveyed by Vietnamese lecturers and experts from the Authority of Information Technology Application (MIC), VNPT, and Viettel included: general knowledge about big data; big data processing; the storage and handling of big data; infrastructure requirements; how to manage big data using IPv6; analysis and presentation tools, models, methods and techniques math for analysing and integrating big data, etc.
The event is one of the activities in a series of activities celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Cuba and the Vietnam – Latin America Relationship Development Plan in 2020.
In the framework of cooperation between the two ministries, in July 2019, MIC coordinated with VNPT, Viettel, and Bkav to organise training courses on cybersecurity in Havana for Cuba. Furthermore, to promote the specialised ICT cooperation between the two, MIC undertook several activities like participating in the La Havana international book fair in Cuba, publishing two books in Spanish and copyright granting activities, exchanging radio and television programs, and promoting images and the relationship between the two countries.
In the coming time, MIC will host an investment promotion conference in the field of ICT with Latin American countries in October and continue to host a 01 information security training course for Cuba, scheduled for November.
Vietnam has also been providing support to Laos’ digital transformation. As OpenGov Asia earlier reported, thanks to a program under Viettel, all citizenship data has been uploaded to the system, improving the capacity to manage data and information about people, and helping reduce administrative procedures. This is the first time that Laos has implemented the management of electronic civil status instead of the registration of civil status as before.
The unit in Laos was the first licensed by the Central Bank of Laos to officially deploy mobile money and is also the only company developing this service in the country, offering a new secure and quick payment method for more than six million people. This field is expected to generate 30-50% of Unitel’s telecoms revenue in the future. Founded in October 2009, the Viettel subsidiary operates across all 17 provinces and cities in Laos and has led the market for eight consecutive years. It is also the Laos government’s partner in implementing the country’s key e-government systems.