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Digitalisation a Necessity in Taiwan

Local firms are speeding up their digitalisation process to boost business, as the domestic COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted most commercial activities. As face-to-face contact is limited, digitalisation has become crucial not only for businesses but also for schools.

The recent rapid adoption of digital technology by local businesses would have been unthinkable more than a year ago. At the time, Taiwan had been successful in mitigating COVID-19. Local corporations were prudent about revamping older information technology infrastructure to keep up with the global digitalisation trend, but most office employees still worked in front of desktop computers at their office.

Taiwan’s small businesses were slow to transform digitally, giving the nation a lower ranking in the “digital observer” category than other Asian countries, according to the Small Business Digitalisation and COVID-19 survey released. Most countries fell in the “digital observer” category, the second of the survey’s four categories. Asia-Pacific small businesses mostly lagged behind those from the U.S. and Europe.

Taiwanese firms sped up their digital transformation to improve workflow and efficiency in the second half of last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial laptop shipments in Taiwan last year grew 15.4% annually as local companies invested in hardware in preparation for potentially requiring staff to work from home. Before last year, the computer market was long considered to have reached its plateau. Corporate operators were expected to buy more hardware in the first quarter of this year, up about 2% from a year earlier.

Regarding schools, most students had occasionally taken virtual classes, using remote education platforms as a supplementary tool rather than a requirement. Some teachers found it difficult to switch to the online education model after schools shut due to COVID-19. A remote schooling system supported by the Taipei City government, crashed as soon as thousands of students came online on the first day that school was closed. Taiwan’s education system needs to be more ready for remote schooling.

The pandemic has changed people’s lifestyles and business models. Digitalisation is no longer an option, but it is a necessity. Taiwan’s government agencies and private businesses should keep progressing to address the increasing needs of their citizens and customers.

Digitalisation can also empower Taiwanese citizens including women to gain personal and economic benefits. As reported by OpenGov Asia, the Taiwan government has taken steps to improve gender inequality in Taiwan, but progress in increasing women’s participation is still slow. According to recent research entitled “Digital Media: Empowerment and Equality”, digital media empowers female users and fosters gender equality in Taiwan. The study investigated the use of digital media, specifically social media, in the workplace in Taiwan.

The data for this study were collected through an online survey. Participants both female and male employees responded to questions asking whether social technologies could be a source of empowerment, leading to equality. The research discovered that both genders use social media platforms for business support, experience benefits, and believe that these technologies could provide empowerment for success.

Moreover, the finding revealed that the differences between women and men using social media were significant. Women in Taiwan have a higher awareness of the benefits of social technologies for business support and empowerment. Digital technologies can support female empowerment for tasks such as creating awareness, marketing, or building relationships. Women experience huge benefits from using these digital technologies, however, education was deemed to be a key factor for success in this area.

The findings from this study apply to the Taiwanese respondents specifically, but can be used to help empower women across the world. Women must take responsibility to use the tools and information to find their voice, create a network, and help others enjoy empowerment, success, and economic equality. Achieving gender equality is a challenge around the world, but Taiwan’s efforts to close the gap between men and women push the country in the right direction while adapting to the digital world.

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