Around the world, government agencies are working hard to meet citizen needs and weather the impact of COVID-19. The new normal is driving the public sector to accelerate digital transformation initiatives to ensure that the citizens continue to avail of government services uninterrupted and seamlessly.
While this transformation encompasses people, processes and technology, it is the underlying technology that forms a foundation for a successful initiative. A big part of this shift is modernising the on-premises IT environments and applications that span data centres, edge locations, and public clouds.
In a fast-changing business environment, governments have displayed the value technology brings to enable a connected and innovative ecosystem. While organisations in 2020 were focused on responding and adapting to the pandemic to ensure business continuity, 2021 marks a turning point with innovation becoming a priority for future-ready agencies looking to accelerate their growth.
The Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) was announced earlier this year to boost the growth of the cloud industry by adopting a cloud-first strategy in the public sector and appointing Cloud Service Providers (CSP) and Manage Service Providers (MSP) to build Malaysia’s capabilities in this area. With this cloud-first strategy, the government can engage in more effective data collection and management, resulting in lower information management costs overall. In the first phase (2021-2022) of the blueprint, the government aims to move towards a paperless environment and migrate 80% of public data to hybrid cloud systems by the end of 2022.
With government agencies taking the lead on digital transformation the adoption of new cloud technologies, how would agencies and businesses on the ground implement these policies?
The prevailing challenge is to shift towards a comprehensive approach that enables organisations to deliver superior digital experiences across any cloud, any application, and any device, seamlessly and securely; this will become a critical success factor in Malaysia’s rapidly digitalising business environment.
This was the focal point of the OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 9 November 2021. This session aimed at imparting knowledge and strategies on how to unlock the multi-cloud future to accelerate digital transformation and deliver secured citizen-centric services with agility, scalability, and speed.
Translating government-led digital transformation plans into practice
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia, kicked off the session with his opening address.
“A document does not make a country smart,” he opines. “The key lies in the drive, learning, implementation and execution of policies on the ground.”
Cloud technology is transforming businesses across industries, forcing a paradigm shift by delivering hosted services through the internet with huge cost benefits and business innovation. It has changed the way data is accessed, stored, migrated and managed. Cloud provides high accessibility of information and enables the access of information remotely – a big plus in the context of the current global crisis.
Not to the left behind, the prevailing trend for governments is also a shift towards a hybrid cloud strategy to increase productivity. However, with this transformation, agencies will have to juggle hundreds or even thousands of applications – all of which are critical to business.
Against this backdrop, how can agencies modernise, re-platform, re-host and re-factor applications – transition from monolithic systems to agile, streamlined microservices? The answers involve small, scalable steps.
Two of the most significant trends in legacy app modernisation are multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. Modernisation helps software teams optimise existing applications for these more distributed computing paradigms, rather than requiring them to rebuild their critical applications from scratch.
At the same time, navigating this shifting terrain must be done securely – there is a need to bake security into the process and tools. This means that security is readily built into the infrastructure across workloads and applications. This is not an add-on product, tool, or bundle, but a concerted strategy for leveraging existing systems in new ways across applications, clouds, or devices. It is a unified approach to accelerate the identification, prevention, detection, and response to threats with the right context and insight.
Agencies are not only moving workloads between on-premise data centres and public cloud but are also making a change by uploading data instantly.
Ultimately, Mohit is convinced of the flexibility that the Cloud offers in responding to changes demanded by digital citizens. These services have proven to be responsive and have been able to operate remotely and serve their citizens, demonstrating agility, scalability, and speed even amid a pandemic. “Having happier citizens should be in our DNA,” Mohit asserted.
Challenges of implementing cloud technologies
Liang Chuen Woon, Staff Solutions Architect at VMware Malaysia, spoke next on the road ahead for governments in their transformation journeys. He opened with the question: What is a digital government?
The answer is one where citizens are placed at the centre. It involves digital citizen services, digital operations, and a digital workforce. With the cultural shift prompted by the pandemic, a digital government needs to provide a channel for citizens to engage with the government, automate policies and workload through digital operations, and transit to a digital workforce.
He identified 4 key challenges government agencies are currently facing:
- Increasing pressure to modernise
- Urgent need for mobile workplaces and services
- New citizen and new community expectations for digital services a
- Intensifying cyber threats
No doubt, other hurdles impeding the speed of digital transformation abound. He cited unsustainable legacy IT systems and apps, security concerns and the lack of time to market new services as some of the other factors affecting the transition to hybrid cloud.
The digital blueprint for the future is clear. Moreover, with the pandemic, the urgency for digital transformation has gained significant momentum. About 70% of Government IT Leaders believe their digital transformation plans have gained speed and will accelerate due to the pandemic. Based on a survey, more than half of the government agencies agreed that they would shift their workload to the public cloud.
This begs the question: With the increased complexity of government IT, how can agencies safely accelerate modernisation efforts to meet new citizen and mission demands?
VMware offers a Cloud-agnostic platform for digital transformation that provides the ability to easily move workload between different clouds and applications. This means that agencies do not need to be locked into a single public cloud. It is also a single, flexible platform that allows agencies to continue to leverage the agencies’ existing knowledge and process. Furthermore, VMware offers a simple path to acquisition through the breadth of partners and contracts.
Liang concludes by emphasising that a hybrid-cloud model offers the “power of choice” and “cloud freedom” because agencies would not need to lock themselves down to a particular cloud platform–there is consistency in infrastructure, operations, and developer experience.
The current mission requires a citizen-centred, digital government. Digital transformation must be powered by an intelligent digital foundation that is secure and flexible. This will require empowering the workforce, digitalising operations and enhancing the overall citizen experience.
Wellington’s case study: Utilising cloud technologies to improve disaster response
Sean Audain, City Innovation Lead, Wellington City Council, New Zealand shared on Wellington’s venture into harnessing the hybrid cloud model to develop “Wellington’s Digital Twin.”
The strategy is helping the city council operate in an “integrated, digital and human way to run.” It allows leaders to understand how the cloud gathers information on what is going on in the city, analyse what is happening and turn that information into actionable insights.
Sean elaborated on the management of data related to disaster response. In Wellington, people live on one of the world’s most active fault lines. Understanding how the city moves is frequent earthquakes and with the sense monitors, agencies can swiftly monitor and assess what happens and get alerts quickly.
With the multi-cloud architecture, data flows from sensors from private companies, data merchants from different local governments to the City Twin Cloud Instance and fused to provide insights. This management of data is applied to the collection of information from sense monitors. As a result, the time needed to inspect the large buildings have been reduced from 3 days to 1 day, saving billions that would have been lost per day.
The edge that hybrid-cloud systems offer is the ability to interact across technology types and organisations and being able to pass the information on to officials and citizens quickly. It provides an overall situational awareness of the city.
The shift to a hybrid cloud system was primarily for resilience, he pointed out. It stemmed from the realisation that while it is difficult to defend the data centre, it is easier to defend links to the internet and data centres in other jurisdictions.
During the pandemic, the city council was also able to run up dashboards efficiently and “combine information” across NGOs working on the ground. With the infrastructure, agencies can care more about data than needing to worry about the infrastructure.
He concludes that the hybrid cloud architecture puts the city council in the position to collaborate and interact with the citizen. While the city council was previously preoccupied with “developing a way to shout data,” they are currently “developing a way to listen more properly.” The speed, agility and seamlessness of the technology have allowed the city council to interact with their citizens in a “human” way rather than a “mechanical” way.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This activity is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences and facilitate discussions that impart professional learning and development for participants.
The first question asked delegates what their top IT priority over the next 12 months is. The majority (35%) indicated that security and governance is their top priority while about a quarter (23%) felt that modernising the data centre was their priority.
On the current state of public cloud adoption, more than half (57%) indicated that they are still evaluating, while 22% expressed that they have no current plans and 17% have some workloads in multiple clouds.
When asked about the driver of cloud adoption, 53% of the delegates indicated that data centre extension or the ability to scale capacity on demand was the focus. Votes were equally split among the delegates for the migration of apps to Cloud and disaster recovery. About 11% expressed that the regulatory mandate was the motivation.
The next poll inquired about delegates key concerns when considering the move to the Cloud. More than half (57%) indicated that Security and Governance is the main concern. The remaining delegates were divided between concerns about operational cost (23%), re-skilling talent (10%) and environment lock-in (10%).
For most of the delegates (42%), their ideal cloud environment is being able to migrate workloads to the cloud easily and seamlessly. Others were split between being able to manage applications consistently (21%) and keeping apps secure (21%). The remaining 16% expressed that being able to move apps from cloud to cloud easily would be ideal.
When asked about the current state of Kubernetes/Containers used in their organisations, 66% indicated that more information is needed. Deployment is still at its infancy, a session for another time for sure.
Closing the session, Devan Parinpanayagam, Country Manager of VMware Malaysia thanked everyone and expressed his gratitude for the robust participation.
To cope with the rapid demands of a changing world, governments are making headway into technologies that can enable innovation and productivity for a distributed workforce and remote working. He firmly believes that “we will not go back to the way we were before,” and that multi-cloud is the backbone that will allow agencies to capitalise on the speed, scale and flexibility that cloud-based infrastructure can provide to the anywhere workspace.
Devan acknowledges that there is apprehension about moving to a hybrid cloud model but urged delegates to take rest assured in the fact that transition to a hybrid cloud is “a journey and not a destination.” The decision to move to the cloud is not about moving everything at one go. It happens selectively and in parts. The cloud journey is “back-and-forth” and never-ending. Calling to mind the imagery of a cloud factory, the journey is continuous and always fluid – agencies are in full control of the data and operations that go on the cloud. While everything is changing, organisations need a constant – the infrastructure. The imperative is to invest in a solid, transparent dependant and flexible infrastructure.
Before bringing the session to a close, Devan encouraged the delegates to reach out to him and the team to explore ways VMware could assist them on their cloud journey.
Digital transformation made remarkable progress last year, with technology awareness among state agencies, businesses, and citizens significantly improving, according to the Deputy Minister of Information and Telecommunications, Nguyen Huy Dung. He stated that digital transformation has become a trend in the wake of COVID-19. It is a new engine driving the country’s socio-economic development and facilitating virus response and economic recovery. Digital technology has found its way into every governmental, economic, and social activity.
According to a news report, there has been a surge in digitisation across the country. In Da Nang, residents can register for electricity supply and pay power bills via their smartphones. Village chiefs in Lang Son are leading community-based technology groups that teach the villagers how to develop digital shops on e-commerce platforms, helping raise sales of agricultural products 174 times. In Quang Ninh, the chairman of the provincial People’s Committee has deployed a digital system to check the progress of public administrative services delivery.
An industry expert stated that at an early stage, the national digital transformation and the journey towards a digital economy and society still have a long way to go. Every person and business is increasingly aware of how digital technologies are profoundly changing the delivery of public administrative and healthcare services. The national portal for public administrative services has been operational for over a year, with nearly 3,000 services made available.
The remote medical consultation and support network Telehealth, which connects around 1,000 clinics nationwide, has bridged the gap in service quality among regions and reduced overloads at centralised hospitals. Many hospitals now provide digital health records, remote health services, and e-payments.
Do Cong Anh, the Director of the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications’ Information Technology Application, emphasised that it is not only about technology and equipment but also regulatory frameworks, policies, awareness, and personnel. Technology contributes some 20% to an organisation’s successful digital transformation while the remaining 80% depends on its awareness and how its personnel translates digital plans into reality, according to Anh.
By 2030, Vietnam sets to develop an e-government and digital economy which contributes around 30% to the GDP. The country also aims to be among the top 50 countries in e-government development and the third in ASEAN by the end of this decade. Vietnam is expected to be the fastest-growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia by 2026, with e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) reaching US$56 billion by 2026, 4.5 times the estimated value of 2021.
Vietnam is at the forefront of driving change and seizing opportunities to thrive based on digital transformation in a post-pandemic future. A study surveyed about 16,700 digital consumers and more than 20 C-level employees in six Southeast Asian countries, including 3,579 survey participants from Vietnam. The report described Southeast Asia as a leader of digital transformation in the Asia-Pacific region and Vietnam as one of the best performers.
OpenGov Asia attended MyFintech Week 2022 for the launch of the Financial Sector Blueprint for 2022 to 2026. In the opening statement, YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Finance Malaysia talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed various aspects, including the economy and technologies.
Spurred by COVID-19, technological advancements in the financial industry have also enabled consumers to enjoy digital solutions throughout the financial value chain. For example, in 2020, merchant registrations for QR acceptance increase 164% and online banking transaction volumes increase 49%, relative to pre-pandemic levels.
When it comes to the agenda of financial inclusivity, the government is aware that it is not just the availability of digital financial products that matter, but also access to those products. On that score, the digital inclusivity aspirations will remain unrealised without the appropriate infrastructure to support them. To that end, various measures under Budget 2022 will also pave the way for the rakyat and businesses to embrace digitalisation, and this policy is set to continue in future Budgets.
Under Budget 2022, measures include:
- 700 million ringgit allocation for our nationwide digital connectivity initiative, JENDELA;
- 0 billion ringgit under Bank Negara Malaysia’s SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility;
- 150 million ringgit for digital content creation for the creative industry;
- 200 million ringgit under the MSME Digitalisation Grant.
- MyDIGITAL Corporation has also been tasked to implement Malaysia’s Digital Blueprint with an emphasis on public sector digitalisation efforts and nurturing digital talent.
Moving forward, the Minister urges the financial sector to continue the inclusivity agenda while supporting the nation’s aspirations. As a key pillar of the economy, the financial sector will play a crucial role, with financial stability, inclusion, effective intermediation, digitalisation, and innovation being critical prerequisites moving forward.
Today’s launch of the Financial Sector Blueprint 2022 to 2026 will set the course for the development of the financial sector over the next five years. The strategies laid out in the Blueprint will be critical for the financial sector to navigate the oncoming challenges and opportunities – in turn, complementing the Twelfth Malaysia Plan.
There are also the upcoming entry of digital banks, digital insurers and takaful operators. Their impact to the development of the nation through the use of technology and the introduction of innovative financial solutions will improve the well-being of Malaysians, foster greater efficiency and contribute towards a more competitive financial landscape.
the pandemic has demonstrated the power and potential of finance to address the pressing problems of our time. The financial system has been resilient, with the ability to provide critical support to households and businesses during difficult times. Digital financial services like electronic payments have made it easy for people and businesses to continue making transactions in a low touch setting, with even greater ease.
The financial sector has also stepped up to provide various forms of relief to customers over the last two years, such as by giving borrowers breathing space and helping them get back on their feet while ensuring that depositors’ interests are not jeopardised. All this was made possible on account of efforts in recent decades to develop and strengthen the financial system
While producing the Blueprint has been a lot of hard work, the greater task is to turn its vision into reality. This requires everyone to work and think outside the box as the nation enters a new stage of development. The financial sector will continue to serve Malaysia well in the years ahead, doing its part to improve the well-being of people now and for the generations to come.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead digital economy agency, recently announced the campaign updates on the Ministry of Finance-led Belanjawan 2021 Go eCommerce Onboarding and Shop Malaysia Online initiatives. As of October 2021, the campaigns successfully onboarded more than 500,000 businesses and generated well over 85 million transactions with a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) worth over RM4.6 billion.
MDEC’s CEO stated that the agency is excited about the latest performance set by the Belanjawan 2021 Go eCommerce and Shop Malaysia Online campaigns. It serves as a clear testament that the incentives injected by the Government and participating partners onto eCommerce and ePayment partners have had their intended outcome of aiding economic recovery and we will continue to break targets set before the campaigns end on 31 December 2021.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Vu Duc Dam, has signed a decision on adjustments and supplements to several articles on a project to promote the transfer, mastering, and development of foreign technologies to Vietnam. The project focuses on prioritised industries and fields to 2025 with an orientation to 2030. Accordingly, by 2025, Vietnam expects to build a database on 4,000 dossiers of foreign technologies, receive the transfer of 400 technologies from abroad, and master 10 technologies. The respective figures are expected to reach 10,000, 1,000, and 30 by 2030.
As many as 4,000 technicians and administrators in businesses and organisations are expected to receive training on seeking, decoding, mastering, and transferring technologies through both direct and online formats by 2025, which will increase to 10,000 by 2030. Meanwhile, a network of 200 and 500 international technology partners is expected to be set up by 2025 and 2030, respectively. The number of FDI projects that include the transfer of technologies to local firms is hoped to increase 10% each year by 2025 and 15% per year by 2030. At the same time, 30% of businesses producing major products in prioritised areas are expected to build their own research and development facilities serving the transfer and absorption of technologies. According to reports, the percentage is expected to increase to 70% by 2030.
Under the new decision, greater attention will be paid to enhancing human resource quality through in-depth training at home and abroad and inviting foreign experts to work and give training in Vietnam. Along with receiving assistance to improve their capacity to seek, negotiate, evaluate, transfer, and absorb technologies, businesses and organisations will be supported to implement projects to transfer, decode, master, and develop technologies from abroad to Vietnam.
The country, which is pursuing a policy on the development of digital technologies, has set the goal of having ten technology firms with annual revenue of over $1 billion by 2025. As OpenGov Asia reported earlier, under a plan, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) will draft a Law on Digital Technology to institutionalise guidelines and policies of the Party and the State on digital technology development.
Other tasks for 2022 are building and protecting the growth space and developing a digital economy based on research, creation, production, supply, and indigenously-developed technology products and services. It’s expected that by 2025, the ICT industry will shift from outsourcing and assembling to designing and manufacturing technology products locally. The Ministry aims for the sector to master or invent technologies with local content of over 45%. Vietnam plans to have 100,000 digital technology firms by 2025 and have at least 10 firms compete in global markets with revenues of over US$1 billion. It also wants to have 10 localities with revenues of over US$1 billion from ICT and 10-12 IT zones.
Last year, the total revenue of Vietnam’s ICT segment was estimated at an all-time high of VND3,462 trillion (US$151 billion), growing 9% year on year. The ICT segment alone contributes over US$136 billion to the sum, increasing by some US$11.5 billion from last year, according to data from MIC.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is planning to release a “container as a service” product in the coming months that will help synchronise the Defense Department’s many cloud environments. The project aims to make data centres central to the Defense Department’s hybrid cloud environment by using commercial containers. The hybrid approach sometimes “raises an eyebrow” but there were a lot of benefits to a container-based approach.
A server is a server. So it is possible to do that on-premises. And where that becomes super powerful is when you have an on-prem container in the data centres, you have containers in the cloud. And now the nexus between the two is substantially easier and more standardised than it would have been previously
the container-as-a-service shift setup, which includes data centre personnel and those who came from the legacy Cloud Computing Program Office, could help develop new skill sets for the existing workforce. A minimum viable product of the service is expected this year.
One of the concepts is to take on both sides – both people that understand how to administer environments in the cloud, as well as people that understand how to administer environments in a traditional data centre – and create some overlap of experience and skillsets so that have a more organic cross-functional workforce.
The approach not only builds new skills for existing workers, which could help with retention but it also makes the agency more adaptable to changing mission needs. 2022 is a key year for DISA’s updated strategic approach to simplify and modernise the Defense Department’s IT infrastructure with more enterprise services and enhance cybersecurity.
Technology solutions, such as the cloud-based internet isolation (CBII) browser, that emerged from the pandemic response are now foundational to DISA’s strategy, which aims to provide a framework for what and how the agency acquires products and services in the coming years. CBII was DISA’s first taste of a successful other transaction authority acquisition that moved to production this year as it rolled out a tool that helps protect DOD’s network from cyber vulnerabilities that come from web-browsing.
In addition to cyber, the document also stresses the need for modernised infrastructure, including a plan to stand up a capability to improve endpoint security through user activity monitoring for Fourth Estate organisations in fiscal 2021.DISA is also working on “an infrastructure technical refresh” for its unclassified (NIPRnet) and secret (SIPRnet) networks in 2021 to improve computing abilities.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, A report titled “Government Cloud Platforms 2021–2022 RadarView” evaluated 15 providers based on product maturity, enterprise adaptability and future readiness. The report identifies four trends that are shaping the market. The first is the increasing compliance needs that are accelerating the shift to the cloud. The cloud helps agencies address sensitive workloads, such as those involving health care data while complying with requirements.
State and local governments are increasingly adopting cloud to lower IT and licensing costs. Cloud can help city councils manage and organise resources and foster communication and collaboration. It can help them securely store, analyse and process sensitive economic data, and they can more easily capture and process data from the internet of things and edge computing.
The second trend is the emergence of tailored cloud regions for communities such as defence and intelligence. Such regions can address the level of sensitive data that these communities work with, and these users can look to these isolated cloud resources to deploy workloads securely and compliantly.
The third trend is the fact that convergence with emerging technologies is driving change. Fourth, government cloud providers are expanding their influence by growing into new regions and helping the public sector shift to cloud while maintaining data governance and sovereignty. Moves toward modernisation, smart cities and a digital economy are driving governments to upgrade their IT infrastructure and cloud is the best way to ensure that data is securely and readily available.
President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo said that The G20 and advanced economies must work together to create a more resilient and responsive global health architecture to face future threats and pandemics. International Monetary Fund should be tasked to mobilise resources to revitalise global health architecture through technologies. This should include a global contingency fund for medical supplies, building capacity in developing countries to manufacture vaccines and the creation of global health protocols and standards.
Indonesia invited all global business leaders to contribute their ideas to the G20’s three key goals for 2022: creating a more resilient global health system; optimising digital technology to support societal transformation; and driving a fair and affordable transition to clean energy and a circular economy. The benefits must be felt by wider society.
Six of Indonesia’s sectors are wide open for foreign investment – export-oriented labour-intensive industries (including health), renewable energy, infrastructure, automotive (especially electric vehicles), tourism and value-added mining.
Developing countries need technology transfer and financial support from advanced economies to ensure the transition does not burden their citizens. Indonesia needs $50 billion for its renewable power sector and a further $37 billion for forestry, land use and marine sectors. Concrete outcomes can only be achieved through strong cooperation. Technology and financing will be key.
To finance the green transition, the President has initiated a carbon trading system that will deliver results-based payments for actions that reduce carbon emissions as well as a carbon tax on coal-fired power plants, due to start in April. The government also plans to raise capital by issuing environmental and social bonds, and through REDD+ projects that reduce deforestation and promote sustainable forest management.
Through its G20 Presidency in 2022, Indonesia is honoured to have the responsibility to chair the first Digital Economy Working Group. The elevation of the Digital Economy Task Force to the Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) in which platform provides greater credence and allows more comprehensive discussion on cross-cutting digital issues under G20,” said the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics of the Republic of Indonesia, and the Chair of DEWG.
Taking into consideration the strategic, dynamic, and multi-dimensional nature of the digital economy, Indonesia’s Presidency raises 3 (three) priority issues that will be conferred in the DEWG, namely:
- Post COVID-19 Recovery and Connectivity;
- Digital Skills and Digital Literacy; and
- Cross-Border Data Flow and Data Free Flow with Trust.
Through these three priority issues, Indonesia is seeking to bring forth a substantive and concrete discussion to the G20 table. The DEWG is expected to explore prospective solutions for the global and cross-sectoral digital economy challenges that are apparent in various countries. In some parts of the world, rapid innovation of digital technology has led to unprecedented challenges that we have never encountered before. The issue of the complex interplay between stakeholders in the digital landscape and the level of the playing field should be discussed and faced together.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, the Minister of Communications and Informatics Johnny G. Plate encourages everyone to continue to improve their quality of life in line with the projected number and types of new jobs due to technology adoption. It is projected that there will be 85 million old jobs that may be lost and 97 million new jobs that may appear, this is due to the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms. The new jobs require a high level of digital skills and soft skills.
A report shows that in 2025 there will be 43% of industry players who reduce or reduce the number of workers as a consequence of the application of technology integration. Increasing digital skills and soft skills in line with technological developments for the workforce, especially the younger generation of Indonesia, can be done through upskilling and reskilling.
The proliferation of public WiFi hotspots in rural and urban areas will lead to increased employment for micro and small entrepreneurs by providing them with additional sources of income, Department of Telecommunication (DoT) Secretary, K Rajaraman, recently stated. He was speaking at the 3rd WiFi India Virtual Summit 2022, organised by the BroadBand India Forum. Rajaraman said that telecom and Internet service providers would also benefit from the sale of Internet recharge vouchers to public data offices.
Developments under the scheme have been steady with already more than 56,000 access points deployed and there is still scope to further develop the WiFi ecosystem in the country. By a conservative estimate of each hotspot enabling 2-3 direct and indirect employment opportunities, the creation of ten million hotspots would potentially generate 20-30 million job opportunities in the small and medium scale sectors. Setting up these hotspots is in line with NDCP (National Digital Communications Policy) targets for 2022.
According to a news report by The Indian Express, in December 2020, the Union Cabinet had, in a bid to improve wireless Internet connectivity across the country, approved the setting up of public WiFi networks across the country. WiFi is provided through public data offices (PDOs) for which are no licence, registration, or any other fees are required. The scheme, the Prime Minister WiFi Access Network Interface (PM- WANI), envisaged the setting up of PDOs and PDO aggregators that look after the authorisation and accounting of PDOs. The idea of a PDO was first floated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in 2017. Six months later, it set up the initial pilot project for PDOs, in which private tech giants, as well as the government’s Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) had participated.
Like a PCO, the PDO allows users to connect to a public WiFi system for a limited session depending on the Internet pack chosen by the user. These internet packages can either be charged per minute or per hour by the PDOs. In the 2018 test model, Trai wanted users to be able to buy “sachet-sized” Internet plans, which varied between IN₹2 (US$0.027) and IN₹20 (US$0.27) and can be used anytime.
Recently, Trai announced that there will not be any safety issues to an aircraft flying over India due to the upcoming 5G mobile services. It emphasised that the new-age technology is safe for planes in the country. Recently, several flights to the US were cancelled or rescheduled as airlines feared that the 5G phone service could pose a risk to aircraft instruments. Assuring that 5G services won’t be a problem for planes in India, an official told reporters that prima facie, there are no problems for the aviation industry within India over 5G spectrum rollout.” The auctions for 5G spectrum in India are expected to happen later this year, following which the rollout will happen over the next two years.
The Minister of Communications and Informatics Johnny G. Plate encourages everyone to continue to improve their quality of life in line with the projected number and types of new jobs due to technology adoption. It is projected that there will be 85 million old jobs that may be lost and 97 million new jobs that may appear, this is due to the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms. The new jobs require a high level of digital skills and soft skills.
A report shows that in 2025 there will be 43% of industry players who reduce or reduce the number of workers as a consequence of the application of technology integration. Increasing digital skills and soft skills in line with technological developments for the workforce, especially the younger generation of Indonesia, can be done through upskilling and reskilling.
New types of jobs that are emerging and in increasing demand include data analyst and scientist, big data specialist, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning specialist, digital marketing and strategy specialist. Other types of work that will develop are renewable energy engineers, process automation specialists, Internet of Things (IoT) specialists, digital transformation specialists, business services and administration managers; and business development professionals.
– Johnny G. Plate, Minister of Communications and Informatics
The government will continue to encourage the private sectors in Indonesia from various fields to fulfil human resource needs that are in line with future needs. Therefore, the government certainly welcomes private sector initiatives in developing human resources.
The government under the leadership of President Joko Widodo for the 2019-2024 period has five important points, one of which is human resource development. Besides human resource development, the government also accelerates and continues infrastructure development, invites the widest possible investment to create jobs, reforms the bureaucracy.
Amid demands for improving the quality of human resources and talent management, the focus of human resource development is also directed at increasing the nation’s competitiveness. A great nation is a nation that has strong and great human resources.
Specifically, in improving superior human resources, the government continues to strengthen investment in education, among others through the expansion of scholarship programs, adoption of information and communication technology, cultural advancement, strengthening of world-class universities, as well as research and innovation development.
In addition, the Government has also carried out massive infrastructure development, especially in the first period of President Joko Widodo’s leadership. According to the Minister of Communication and Informatics, entering the current era of digital transformation, the development of digital infrastructure has been and is being accelerated by the Government and its partners and needs to be balanced with improving the quality of human resources.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, in the measurement of the Indonesia Digital Literacy Index 2021, Digital Culture has the highest score. The pillar of Digital Culture was recorded with a score of 3.90 on a scale of 5 or good. Furthermore, the pillars of Digital Ethics (digital ethics) with a score of 3.53 and Digital Skills with a score of 3.44. Meanwhile, the Digital Safety pillar got the lowest score (3.10) or slightly above average. The measurement of this digital literacy index is not only to find out the status of digital literacy in Indonesia but also to ensure that efforts to increase people’s digital literacy are more targeted.
The four pillars that form the Digital Literacy Index are measured annually by the Ministry of Communication and Informatics. This year the Indonesian Digital Literacy Index is at a score of 3.49 or at a moderate and close to a good stage. The use of the four pillars in this measurement refers to the 2020-2024 Indonesia Digital Literacy Roadmap compiled by the Ministry of Communication and Information, based on previous national research and refers to similar measurements held by UNESCO.