Digital transformation journeys in the past that spanned borders often have a range of guiding principles, delivering a variety of results. Nonetheless, to date, these digital transformation initiatives remain a strategic imperative for organisations to survive and adapt to the growing digital economy.
The pandemic has accelerated this process and makes digital transformation more pertinent; especially for governments and the public sector who are working incessantly to keep citizens safe and economies up and running. During these unprecedented times, the public sector’s key asset that helped them get a hold of the situation – and eventually resolve many of the challenges – is data.
Data is fittingly called the ‘new oil’ in today’s digital world. Chances of succeeding are directly correlated to an organisation’s ability to democratise and derive insights from large volumes of it. Data and analytics are considered the key accelerants of an organisation’s digitisation and transformation efforts, enhancing any organisation’s ability to compete in the emerging digital economy.
Another significant factor that directly impacts an agency’s digital transformation is the identification and automation of tedious, manual processes. This allows for the re-allocation of skilled human resources to more complex tasks such as high-level decision making, increasing organisational capacity and efficiency.
The third important pillar in digital transformation is an agency’s most prized possession – people. Upskilling and empowering the workforce with the latest technology and automation enables a more collaborative culture across the organisation, helps deliver quick wins and allows for transformative outcomes.
The question is: how can the public sector make the convergence of data, processes and people possible?
The answer is Analytic Process Automation (APA). APA enables easy data sharing, automates tedious processes and unlocks predictive insights that drive timely attainment of goals. It eliminates the need to use multiple discreet tools to manage data, processes and people, making it easier and faster for governments to take care of the citizens.
APA is an effective tool for the public sector industry to track and fight the pandemic outbreak, improve data accountability, increase transparency in procurement and facilitates effective disaster recovery and relief.
This was the focal point of the OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 04 June 2021 aimed at imparting knowledge on making digital transformation more effective and sustainable for the public sector in Malaysia through data analytics and workforce upskilling.
The session served as a great peer-to-peer learning platform to gain insights and practical solutions on the democratisation of data, automating processes and empowering the workforce to enhance service delivery to citizens.
Importance of Data in Digital Transformation Journeys
To kickstart the session, Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia delivered the opening address.
Mohit acknowledged that organisations came up with a slew of ad-hoc solutions and band-aid technologies to further their digital transformation journeys during the pandemic. Digital initiatives and tech platforms were launched left and right but COVID-19 taught us that there is room for change.
Research shows more data than ever before was collected in the COVID-19 era. But in and of itself, data can do nothing. Mohit emphasised users must fully understand what data can do for them. Most people do not know where to start – that is where problems come from.
Users need to investigate the depth and scale of data and not merely play on its surface. Governments and their agencies need to understand that data must be democratised and made accessible so more people can use it.
Arguably most decision-makers resort to ad-hoc solutions and band-aid measures in crises. The question, Mohit asked was: can governments run the way they have been running the past few months more efficiently and innovatively?
Understanding proper utilisation of data along with more personalised citizen services can help with that.
In closing, Mohit urged the delegates to find the right partners for their data and digital journey. If they want to stay ahead of the curve, it is vital to work with experts who can guide them along the right path.
The Convergence of Data, Process and People
After the opening address, the session heard from Philip Madgwick, Regional Director (ASEAN), Alteryx. who talked about the state of the analytics market and the journey to analytic process automation.
He believes that the process consists of building citizen trust, government agility and promoting sustainability.
Building citizen trust through multichannel citizen engagement is critical. The public sector must create a quality experience by offering citizens seamless access to public services via any channel that conforms to their stated preferences.
Citizen digital identity must also be prioritised. Governments must bridge multiple governances and commercial digital channels by supporting digital identities that protect the privacy of individuals and the security of their information.
Key, too, is adaptive security; the government must anticipate and mitigate constantly evolving cyberthreats by approaching risk, trust and security as a continuous and adaptive process.
Government agility can be improved by design. Agencies should develop agile systems and solutions by applying principles of modularity, interoperability and standards that support the current and target states of the enterprise architecture.
Digital product management must be complemented by speedy solution delivery using a product management approach to define, develop, deliver, monitor, refine and retire digital government services and offerings.
Agencies must act as the designated information and technology brokers by assembling and managing a complete portfolio of cloud-based services.
Finally, governments must digitally empower their workforce by building the competencies needed for cross-cutting, digital transformation initiatives by providing training, tools and autonomy that supports self-managing teams.
Governments can promote sustainability by utilising shared services 2.0, delivering high-value business capabilities such as enterprise-wide security, identity management, platforms or business analytics.
Analytics everywhere must be incorporated within the organisation. Inserting real-time, context-based analysis to support autonomous business processes while informing decision-making can go a long way. A digital government must also enhance its cognitive and organisational performance by establishing a human-centred model of people and intelligent technologies working in partnership.
Philip agreed that there are organisational challenges that stand in the way of achieving outcomes. A disconnected approach between data, process and people prevents these wanted outcomes. Challenges like the limitation of data, slow data curation, analytics and data science, processes which are manual and unoptimised, disjointed and unengaged people with no sign of upskilling.
To rise above these challenges, Philip emphasised that the three pillars -data, process and people – must converge into one priority. Data and analytics must be open to democratisation to allow easier access to data and automated machine learning for analysts and data scientists. Automating processes is key to minimise manual intervention, achieving high efficiency and minimal error.
Last but not least, is upskilling people. Governments must have a robust analytics community, enriched step by step with a classroom curriculum and by utilising intuitive and engaged platforms to help build confidence among the workforces.
Creating a Connected World Through Data
The delegates moved to a presentation from Peter Buckmaster, Director of Digital Experience Design, Department of Education New South Wales.
Peter began by introducing the NSW Department of Education (DOE) as the largest education department in the southern hemisphere. He shared how it is using digital platforms such as websites, apps and social channels with live streaming capabilities. NSW DOE makes it a mission to deliver and promote a connected world with the use of analytics and the cloud.
Peter shared that their organisation is continuously looking to identify their customers/citizens to deliver the right content or services in the right context. This was key, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He shared their organisation’s digital dashboard that helps increase the student assessment’s efficiency and effectiveness with the use of data. He touched on the NSW DOE’s Staff Portal that aims to provide improved mobility to assist staff in the management of day-to-day administration needs at schools, whilst on the go. While functionality is aimed at principals currently, access to the portal is available for all NSW DOE staff. New features are continuously being worked on and any suggestions by staff are encouraged.
Key features include:
- SchoolBiznews: Optional push notifications. Find, save and share SchoolBiz articles and editions.
- My Essentials: Quick, easy access to essential shortcuts
- Contact Directory search: Access to school contact lists
He conceded that part of a true digital transformation is moving to a more personalised world. The transformation journey horizons are:
- Horizon 1: Know Me (Incremental Innovation), Archetype based experience
- Horizon 2: Understand Me (Progressive Innovation), Personalisation experience based on User ID
- Horizon 3: Give Me What I Need (Transformational Innovation) Mass Customer Personalisation based on contextual ID
Peter noted that personalisation initiatives must come from multiple disconnected websites, services that are not brand-compliant, not widely accessible and not created for an audience. Personalisation must go to a single view of truth organised around goals/tasks.
At the end of his presentation, Peter emphasised that fact everyone lives in a connected world. Human-centred design and product development have evolved, so data is key to creating better customer experiences. Data must be used to inform and improve customer/citizen-related decision-making and continue to drive transformation. The data used to create personalisation is the key to future relationships.
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 impart professional learning and development for participants.
The opening poll asked how delegates would rate their organisation’s use of data and data analytic tools for decision-making. Close to two-thirds (65%) of the delegates said that it is fair and they use data in their decision-making process. However, they acknowledge that the analysis is primarily a manual process as they don’t have enough data analysts/scientists.
About a quarter (23%) said it is good and they have some tools in place but are still learning how to optimise them fully. Just over a tenth (11%) agreed that it needs improvement and they need better tools to analyse and are currently relying mainly on Excel.
The delegates were asked how much progress their organisations have made in establishing an upskilling programme that develops a mix of soft, technical and digital skills.
An overwhelming majority (82%) indicated they are starting to make progress, 14% said they are making moderate progress while 5% conceded that no progress has been made.
The next poll was about the delegates’ main reason for automating their analytics and boosting their digital transformation initiatives. About 43% said that automated manual and repetitive processes are the main drivers. A quarter (24%) acceded that upskilling people to increase individual productivity is their main reason while 19% said that centralised governance and security using a trusted environment is the key factor.
Asked why they are trying to leverage data and what the key attributes for these efforts are, 44% said they are trying to leverage data for better visualisation, 22% said they are using data to upskill data workers, 17% said data democratisation is vital while 11% said that AI and ML capabilities without coding can be achieved by fully utilising datasets.
The session concluded with a closing address from Philip. He reminded the delegates who were just starting their digital transformation journeys to remember that there are people well down the road already. Knowing this, he advised the delegates to be open in partnership, not just with Alteryx, but with other service providers and organisations as well. They should also study available use cases to give them ideas and food for thought on the path to a true digital transformation.
He conceded that everyone should start embracing data and analytics within day-to-day tasks. Philip noted that this is a team sport and once people are aligned with what the organisation as a whole is trying to achieve, the possibilities are wide open.
The Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics and Science (IDMxS), which aims to promote the science of analysing biological molecules (biomolecules) using information technology and data science, was recently established by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). This could pave the way for real-time environmental or health data monitoring and analysis, like how real-time traffic data can be obtained on mobile devices.
IDMxS, NTU’s newest national Research Centre of Excellence (RCE), is funded with a total investment of over S$160 million over 10 years, with the majority coming from NTU and the National University of Singapore and S$94 million coming from the Singapore Ministry of Education.
Digital molecular analytics, a novel scientific discipline that analyses individual molecules to discover, identify, and measure biomolecules with extraordinary accuracy, is at the core of the work done at IDMxS.
Such a science will open many new areas of research, such as the creation of diagnostic testing capabilities that may then inspire the creation of new technologies and commercial spinoffs, including blood testing kits that can generate findings instantly using nothing more than a smartphone camera.
The interdisciplinary centre is anticipated to house 100 full-time researchers and employees with backgrounds ranging throughout the spectrum of engineering and science, from optics, computer science, and artificial intelligence (AI) to biology, medical technology, and chemistry.
Postgraduate students from NTU will have exceptional chances for interdisciplinary education and training that spans the molecular sciences and information technology through the graduate programme of IDMxS. More than 30 PhD students will receive support from the Centre, four of whom have already begun their studies. As clinical diagnostics become more digital, IDMxS will also create continuing education programmes aimed at developing and modernising the healthcare workforce.
By fusing the fields of biology and information technology – which have each recently undergone revolutionary changes – IDMxS will create the new science of digital molecular analytics. The objective is to develop tools that can track environmental data, such as air and water quality, and health information, like viral infections or molecular signatures that signal the existence of a disease, in real-time. To develop innovative solutions for issues with health, sickness, and environmental monitoring, this process begins with the development of fundamental science.
The ability to simultaneously gather a variety of data types from a biological sample and use tools like AI and machine learning algorithms to analyse and interpret the enormous volume of data that would otherwise be impossible for humans to make sense of is at the core of IDMxS’ digital molecular analytical strategies. The research centre intends to someday spin out solutions like widely used software using digital molecular analytics.
Moreover, making blood sample test kits is one potential use for digital molecular analytics that IDMxS is investigating. The goal of this research is to create a tool that can recognise the various chemicals responsible for illnesses, infections, and diseases.
This suggests that a physician might someday be able to take a blood sample, analyse it with a smartphone camera, and obtain an accurate, real-time reading next to the patient at the doctor’s table. A similar idea might do away with the necessity for additional time-consuming laboratory tests.
The extensive surveillance of illnesses spread by insects like dengue and malaria is another project that is now under development. Researchers can one day create an imaging system that can swiftly detect and monitor dengue among the mosquito population by recognising and analysing the chemicals that make up the dengue virus. Such studies might also be used to track other airborne infections and infectious diseases, in addition to insect-borne diseases that affect urban health.
The Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, has said the government of the union territory of Ladakh and the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), a unit of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will develop a spatial data infrastructure geoportal, called Geo-Ladakh.
In a written reply to a question in Parliament, Singh explained that the project includes spatial database generation (water resources, vegetation, and energy potential) using remote sensing, geospatial techniques, and the development of a geo-portal to host the database.
Furthermore, under the project, Ladakh officials will be trained in geospatial techniques and applications. The portal will provide geospatial data visualisation and analytics for the union territory, consisting of the spatial viewer, carbon neutrality, geospatial utility mapping, and geo-tourism. To carry out the work, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between IIRS (ISRO) and the Ladakh union territory administration at the beginning of the year.
The potential of space technology could be used to generate a spatial database for time series of snow cover, freshwater availability, sites for renewable energy potential (solar and wind), availability of alpine pastures/grazing lands for natural resource management, and periodic change assessment. Presently, ISRO is setting up an optical telescope at Hanle, a village in Ladakh, to track spacecraft and space objects.
OpenGov Asia reported last month that ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launched nine satellites, including eight nanosatellites, into space for earth observation. The 44-metre-long rocket’s primary payload was the Earth Observation Satellite-6 (EOS-6) or Oceansat-3, a third-generation satellite to monitor oceans. It is a follow up to OceanSat-1 or IRS-P4 and OceanSat-2 launched in 1999 and 2009, respectively. Oceansat-3 will provide data about ocean colour, sea surface temperature, and wind vector data for oceanography, climatology, and meteorological applications.
More recently, ISRO signed an MoU with a private player to launch the SpaceTech Innovation Network (SpIN), India’s first dedicated platform for innovation curation and venture development for the burgeoning space entrepreneurial ecosystem. SpIN will focus on facilitating space tech entrepreneurs in three areas: geospatial technologies and downstream applications; enabling technologies for space and mobility; and aerospace materials, sensors, and avionics.
In a statement, ISRO said that the partnership is a significant step forward in boosting space reform policies. The two organisations will work to identify and tap into the market potential of the most promising space tech innovators and entrepreneurs in the country.
Reports have shown that there are now over 100 active space start-ups in India – the number of start-ups in this sector has more than doubled in the last year alone. Through this partnership, ISRO will support the creation of an open innovation and scale-up platform for all space ecosystem stakeholders and promote active collaboration to make early-stage space start-ups successful.
As part of the partnership, SpIN launched its first innovation challenge. It is looking for solutions from early-stage start-ups in areas of maritime and land transportation, urbanisation, mapping and surveying, disaster management, food security, sustainable agriculture, environmental monitoring, and natural resources management.
The selected start-ups and innovators will be able to access the two organisation’s infrastructure and resources as per the prevailing guidelines. They will be guided in critical areas, including access to product design, testing and validation infrastructure, intellectual property management, go-to-market strategy, and access to long-term patient capital.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics conducted a familiarisation workshop for health workers and non-medical staff about Electronic Medical Records (RME). According to Health Ministry regulations, health facilities in Indonesia are required to use RME. Indonesia Social Security Administrator (Health BPJS) now offers an integrated RME computing system. Some digitally based hospitals have used the system for RME.
“Through this workshop and seminar, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics introduces Electronic Medical Records (RME) so that participants can understand what RME is and how the supporting technology works,” said I Nyoman Adhiarna, Director of Digital Economy at the Ministry of Communication and Information.
Essentially, health facilities must use the electronic record for patient registration activities, clinical information filling, storage and transfer of medical records, ownership and contents of patient medical records, security, and data protection.
Meanwhile, Setiaji, the Chief of the Ministry of Health’s Digital Transformation Officer (CTO), emphasises the importance of information technology as the backbone of the ongoing transformation of the national health system. “One of the major agenda items is the implementation of electronic medical records, which has begun with the launch of the SATU SEHAT platform.” “This platform connects sixty thousand health services across Indonesia,” he said.
The seminar also covered several topics, such as the role of medical recorders and health information (PMIK) in the success of RME adoption, RME integration with cyber security, change management in RME adoption, and RME adoption and its implications for hospital services.
Director Nyoman acknowledged challenges in implementing RME in hospitals, such as internet network connectivity and cyber security. However, adequate digital infrastructure would make digital transformation in health care more accessible. As a result, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics is currently focusing on developing digital infrastructure in remote areas, known as the 3T acronyms for frontier, outermost, and lagging.
A multifunctional satellite, Satellite Indonesia Raya (SATRIA) 1, will provide support for remote internet access. The broadband satellite will launch in 2023 to reach 150,000 public service points.
As the health sector becomes increasingly digitalised, cyber and data security has become a significant concern. According to Director Nyoman, all PSEs, both public and private, that manage personal data are urged to pay close attention to the feasibility and dependability of personal processing data, particularly those related to technology, governance, and human resources.
He is also concerned about the role of the Data Protection Officer (DPO) following the implementation of the government’s data protection law. Each electronic system operator must legally have a person in charge of data protection.
“Later,” he said, “a Personal Data Protection Agency will be formed, which will most likely be under the Ministry of Communication and Informatics.”
Director Nyoman also emphasised the Ministry of Communication and Informatics’ role in assisting the Ministry of Health in becoming the leading sector in the health sector to accelerate digital transformation in the health sector.
The Ministry of Communication and Information welcomed the One Healthy Indonesia Health Service (IHS) platform, launched in July 2021 by the Ministry of Health as a digital transformation programme based on an integrated and standardised health data system.
Communication remains the backbone of organisational operations and has been bolstered by cutting-edge technology. Many organisations have migrated from Public Switched Telephone Networks (PTSNs) to cloud communications, which resulted in faster and more efficient communications with vastly increased reach.
Cloud communications remain the primary solution for meeting the growing demand for effective organisational communications in the hybrid workplace. It is agile enough to adapt to ever-changing business environments while keeping mission-critical business functions unified on all levels.
Organisations can place and receive phone calls using cloud calling from phones and any internet-connected device, including computers and tablets, from any location with an internet connection.
Cloud communications’ inherent capacity enables organisations to expand as needed without regard to geographical boundaries quickly. It makes it simple for organisations to scale up to accommodate changing needs. Less capital expenditure means expansion can be undertaken and completed more quickly, resulting in increased
These possibilities make businesses more accessible and responsive to customers. Having scalability and flexibility in communications regardless is a vast advantage irrespective of a company’s geographical spread.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight with the Philippines’ top public sector leaders on 6 December 2022 at the Dusit Thani Manila provided the current information on the benefits of the most recent cloud communications technology that can greatly empower the nation’s public, education, financial services and healthcare sectors.
Intensifying the Cloud’s Role in Fostering Digital Transformation
The adoption and implementation of cloud-based strategies are currently used by businesses of all sizes to boost growth and profits, says Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia. Moreover, cloud technology has drastically changed how businesses communicate.
Cloud technology is bringing massive change to how various sectors of modern-day digital communities interact with each other. Cloud communications vendors allow businesses to delegate management of their IT infrastructure by taking on provisioning, switching, data storage and security responsibilities. The cloud’s cutting-edge features and functionality facilitate unprecedented staff collaboration and communication across time and space.
These changes have transformed the way people work where employees experience increased levels of productivity. With the cloud, people have the option to follow the traditional work model, a hybrid one, or a purely remote work model. Such possibilities for workers also translate to added advantages for employers with geographical boundaries; hiring only locally has become passé.
A hybrid or remote work setting makes cloud communications a necessity. Collaborative technology like cloud communications allows employees to transition or shift from one work model to another without losing productivity, effectiveness or efficiency. However, Mohit cautions, remote and hybrid models can still fail if they are not built on the right technology.
As shared by one of the attendees, their company did not experience any downturn when the pandemic hit because they were prepared for remote work. The experience of this company highlights that preparedness with the right technology enables an organisation to weather a black swan event.
Having workers functional in various locations amid an unexpected situation will prevent work disruptions. Moreover, a company gets empowered to collaborate with other groups and individuals regardless of their geographical location. Globalisation is further strengthened with cloud communications technology.
Cloud communications allow businesses to maximise resources by facilitating rapid deployment, enhanced adaptability and unlimited high-volume data sharing. Additionally, the safety measures built into cloud communication ensure compliance with privacy regulations.
Cloud security refers to the set of tools, protocols, and best practices used to keep cloud-based servers, apps and data safe. The first step in protecting cloud services is gaining an awareness of what must be protected and what parts of the system must be managed.
The development of the backend to guard against security flaws is the responsibility of cloud service providers, in general. Customers’ primary focus should be on establishing a secure service configuration, developing secure routines for using the service, and choosing a service provider who takes security seriously.
“Nonetheless, clients should also confirm that any end-user networks and hardware are properly secured,” Mohit advises.
Cloud security goals include protecting against malicious data theft on networks and storage, preventing data leaks caused by human error or carelessness, facilitating data recovery in the event of data loss, and limiting the impact of any data or system compromise.
Since the advent of cloud computing, conventional methods of protecting digital assets have undergone extensive development. Although cloud models improve efficiency, constant online access requires innovative safety safeguards. Compared to traditional IT models, a few key features set cloud security apart as a cutting-edge cyber protection option.
There have been major shifts in the macro business environment, says Nathan Guy, Zoom’s Phone Leader for Asia Pacific. There is a lot of pressure on businesses to improve productivity, to be flexible in the face of intensifying competition, and to be more productive to keep up with the ever-quickening pace of technological innovation and advancement.
With the global economy in shambles, the urgency has only increased. It will be impossible to solve these problems if customers, prospects and employees cannot communicate effectively.
Nathan pointed out that a generational shift is also occurring in the labour force. Remote work is becoming increasingly popular. They have also requested state-of-the-art tools and communication infrastructure to carry out their duties better.
When a new app or device is released, it adds another layer of complexity to a complicated process. Stakeholders, including employees, clients, and potential customers, have individual preferences and expectations regarding the manner, frequency, and location of business interactions.
Therefore, according to Nathan, many companies are selective in the ways they invest in improving internal communication.
They might do this in several ways, including staying up to date with systems already in use that is judged to be adequate, using built-in communication tools that are part of other software packages or investigating a variety of potential solutions. These plans aim to improve the company’s ability to spread the word.
Although these approaches provide more leeway, they also alter the dynamics between businesses and their prospective clients, employees and customers. Depending on their predicament, people are forced to switch between several potential answers.
In the event of a communication breakdown, the firm will inevitably fail. An essential trait of effective leaders is the capacity to chart a course for their people, providing a sense of purpose and direction even when difficult situations arise.
In Nathan’s opinion, organisations need to expand their communication strategies beyond the bare minimum and into the global scope. An enormous advantage in today’s unstable business climate will go to the company that can always make seamless connections to all stakeholders, regardless of location, device, or business activity.
To achieve this, as Nathan puts it, “You deliver a consistent and quality experience for all participants, making human connection effortless, and enabling rapid innovation to maintain relevance by combining the connection needs of the individual and organisation.”
By taking these measures, businesses may be able to better respond to their customers’ wants and needs, free up internal resources that were previously spent on communications management and expand their capabilities and agility.
The credibility of a company rises or falls with its communication strategies. Since employees, clients, and customers can do their jobs from anywhere, the channels through which the message is sent must be fit for the times, the resources, and the ever-changing need of organisations.
The failure of a session owing to dropped participants or bad audio and video is now considered unacceptable. Businesses must adapt to a more complex hybrid environment and ensure that all clients, regardless of location or condition, receive the same high level of service.
Nathan recognises that “business transactions become impossible” when communications are disrupted in today’s world. In solving communications needs amid disruptive situations, an unpredictable risk that has the potential to impede productivity for businesses also gets removed. The result is a continuance of operations and avoidance of deterioration or decline of productivity.
Zoom will shield businesses from communications breakdowns because its top-notch infrastructure was explicitly designed to prevent failures. Examining the root cause of problems is essential in giving lasting and effective solutions. In the case of communications strategy and technology for organisations, addressing various approaches made by organisations and guiding them to dig up the root cause will allow them to focus on the now without overly worrying about the future.
However, some users may be unable to fully participate due to severe audio and video quality degradation due to differences in network performance and bandwidth. This is a reality in the Philippines, where many areas still lack fast internet speed.
Zoom allows businesses to host effective meetings even in the face of significant packet loss. If you’re doing business on a global scale, having this kind of consistent network and infrastructure in every country is a must.
The complexity of communications is increasing. Now, besides travelling or working from home, “you have workers returning to the office, frequently in a hotel setting,” acknowledges Nathan.
During the pandemic, people are often left trying to balance ad hoc, piecemeal solutions developed as the crisis unfolded. As a result, three significant environments have emerged: at-home/in-the-office and on the go. A personal mobile phone, a videoconferencing method for in-person gatherings of a few people, and something else for more momentous occasions all fall under this category.
Nathan believes that both staff and customers will need to adjust to a new user interface. “Communication platforms are undeniably crucial to the success of hybrid teams.” A cutting-edge communications platform like Zoom could help increase output, expand possibilities, and reveal levels of employee engagement.
Fireside Chat: How to Prepare for the Transition to the “Cloud Culture”
According to Dr Jennalyn Raviz, Director, Management Information Service, Department of Transportation, when it comes to promoting, developing, and regulating a dependable and coordinated network of transportation and communications systems, the Department of Transportation (DoT) is the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity within the executive branch of the Philippines. “Transport by air, sea, rail, and highway are all included.”
Since multiple parties are involved and a hybrid structure has been established, maintaining consistency may prove difficult.
“The pandemic has become a motivator for us, and we seek secure communication across many platforms, which is why we use cloud communication,” says Dr Jennalyn.
Despite some reservations, cloud communications are the preferred method of meeting the growing demand for efficient organisational communications in today’s hybrid workplaces. With cloud computing and communications, businesses can quickly expand or contract to meet fluctuating demand.
Cloud computing allows workers to do their jobs from any Internet-connected device; it has the dual benefits of increased productivity and expanding the geographical scope of their operations.
Since the cloud facilitates remote work, organisations will gradually reduce their reliance on outsourcing. As a result of the use of the cloud’s effect of reducing in-office and staff expenses, businesses are now able to hire more full-time workers across the globe.
Dr Jennalyn highlighted that getting cloud is cost-effective. Additionally, cloud computing can be particularly cost-effective for organisations due to the improvement in workforce efficiency in addition to direct labour savings. “Cloud software deployment is far quicker than a traditional installation.”
Because of this, more employment possibilities can be made available to people in the area who possess the necessary skills. As the popularity of self-sufficiency rises, organisations can select from a greater pool of eligible candidates for a wider variety of positions.
More efficient teamwork is one of the main advantages of cloud computing. The advent of the cloud has had a profound effect on teamwork, and this transformation will continue so long as the cloud undergoes progress and improvement.
Improved communications, cheaper technology, and the ability for smaller organisations to cooperate with worldwide partners and expand their reach in the global arena are all possible because of the cloud’s ability to provide capabilities that were previously only available to major companies.
Dr Jennalyn believes that to have the greatest possible effect, digital transformation must occur in tandem with a thoughtful cultural shift.
As most businesses are already utilising cloud computing in some form, Nathan emphasised the importance of cloud security. While cloud storage has many advantages, “organisations are still hesitant to move more data and applications to the cloud due to security, governance, and compliance concerns.”
Collaborating with Zoom could streamline human connection while also adding safety measures. Businesses can benefit from workers’ improved routines and skill sets over the past two years. They also guarantee uniformity in a wide variety of applications.
“The key to progress is providing the appropriate value in each solution,” Nathan asserts.
Businesses can stay competitive through Zoom’s partnership with rapid innovation, Zoom allows clients to have access to a continuous stream of new capabilities that reflect actual user requirements.
Mohit stressed the importance of communication in fostering collaboration. He concurred with an attendee that when their partners offer a secure platform for cloud communications, organisations become more powerful. Mohit believes that rather than just being providers, vendors are also the transformation partners of every organisation.
An important aspect of cloud security, in Mohit’s opinion, is making sure sensitive information like customer orders, confidential design documents and financial records are safe. Maintaining customer confidence and protecting strategic assets necessitates a solid data security programme. “Cloud security’s ability to safeguard data and assets makes it essential for businesses moving to the cloud.”
Through collaboration with development partners, businesses can better serve a diverse set of customers and expand their customer base. Therefore, it is important to incorporate platform or integration capabilities and a partner strategy when creating cloud-based applications.
It is important to consider business potential, engineering prowess, and platform marketing when formulating a strategy for your cloud partners. Mohit concludes that a well-rounded approach will allow for an expansion of the partner ecosystem, the delivery of more comprehensive customer solutions, and higher earnings potential.
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, recently revealed details of an AU$15 million project to develop a national soil information system, aimed at improving the sustainable management of one of the nation’s most precious assets.
Supporting the National Soil Strategy, and funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Australian National Soil Information System (ANSIS) project is a collaboration between the government, research organisations, industry, the private sector and the community.
Using innovative processes and technologies, ANSIS will allow improved sharing of nationally consistent soil data and information through online access for users. This will help Australians to better understand their nation’s diverse range of soils and make better decisions about managing our important soil resources. Currently, soil data is collected using different methods, by different organisations, and at a range of depths in the soil. This makes it hard to access, compare and use data from diverse sources.
The Project Lead at CSIRO stated that improving access to the best soil data and information can help promote digital agriculture innovation and is key to sustainably managing Australia’s soils. By using ANSIS, farmers and agricultural advisors will have access to more soil data and be better placed to more sustainably manage the soil on which they rely.
Soil is vital to agricultural production and natural environments, as well as health and well-being. This information system will help everyone care for this important natural resource. Productive, healthy, and resilient soil means more economic, environmental, and social benefits to Australia. Monitoring soil also helps scientific understanding of how the natural world is changing.
This work will provide insight into biodiversity, water resources, landscapes and coastlines, fauna, climate, and geology. By harmonising Australia’s soil data, we can make it accessible across many fields of science and exploration. The project is being delivered under the Federal Government’s National Soil Strategy, which is about prioritising soil health, empowering soil innovation and stewards, and strengthening soil knowledge and capability. The new ANSIS system will be available for use in 2023.
ANSIS will provide improved access to nationally consistent soil data and information needed to help sustainably manage Australian soil. ANSIS will provide:
- More soil data
- More data sets are available that in other soil systems
- Enables more certainty in products developed
- Opportunity to develop new products
- Improved access
- Multiple data sets are now discoverable and accessible
- National coverage
- Most up-to-date data available
- Efficient provision
- Organised and standardised data for immediate use
- Can feed into many users’ requirements
- Consistent delivery
- Substantial reduction in time to prepare information products
- Trusted location
- Certainty that data is from an authoritative source, verified and satisfies standards.
Indonesia has great ambitions for its digital economy and has deployed strategies to achieve its ambitions with a goal to reach USD315 billion by 2030. The 2021-2024 Indonesia Digital Roadmap is set on 4 pillars, namely digital infrastructure, digital government, digital economy and digital society.
As part of its strategy, the government is promoting four important digital skills to accelerate its digital economy. The government believes that the future demand for digital skills will be focused on four areas Artificial Intelligence, Bitcoin, Cloud Computing, and Data Analytics (ABCD). The ABCD skills are projected to help the national economy hit its US$315 billion by 2030 target.
Therefore, the Indonesian government is encouraging young people to start businesses through a variety of free programs such as Beta School, 1,000 Startup Movement, Startup Studio, HUB.ID and IGDX.
“Aside from university disciplines, the ABCD is becoming increasingly important for everyone. I believe that all young people require ABCD,” stated Dedy Permadi, Expert Staff of the Minister of Communication and Informatics, in a discussion forum.
Mastering ABCD technical hard skills apart, Indonesian digital talents are also expected to be proficient in non-technical or soft skills known as the 4C’s, which are Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Communication.
The Director of SDPPI Kominfo, Ismail, expressed his hope that the young generation in Indonesia would capture the golden opportunity for digitalisation. Digitalisation will transform Indonesia from a consumer country to a prominent player in the new normal.
The government recognises the importance of good infrastructure support in boosting the digital economy. As a result, the government is working to ensure an equitable distribution of internet connection networks across Indonesia, particularly in frontier, remote, and underdeveloped (3T) areas.
According to Ismail, the development of ICT infrastructure must meet three criteria: broad coverage, the deployment of a fibre-optic cable network on the backbone, and affordability, which means that the price is reasonable for the community.
Private operators focus on developing infrastructure in high-demand urban areas and, as a result, the digital divide between cities and towns has grown wider. Consequently, the government is beginning to develop 3T telecommunications in rural, underserved areas.
“We cannot rely solely on private-sector investment. To speed up and accelerate digital transformation, the government must invest in infrastructure,” Ismail said emphatically.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Agency and Telecommunications and Information Accessibility (BAKTI) have also worked to improve and expand internet access for public services throughout Indonesia. BAKTI is working with telecommunications companies to build Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in remote areas of Indonesia.
“We hope to finish building BTS in all remote areas by 2023 and connect them to the 4G network,” Deddy stated.
Indonesia is a vast archipelagic country. So, relying solely on fibre optic cable networks will make it difficult to provide connectivity. As a result, the government is combining the fibre optic cable network constructed with the 150 Gbps SATRIA 1 satellite.
This multifunctional satellite can provide internet access to 150,000 public service locations in Indonesia, including educational institutions, local governments, defence and security administration, and health facilities. This satellite is scheduled to launch in 2023.
The government has begun construction of the first National Data Centre in the Delta Mas Region, GIIC, Cikarang District, Bekasi Regency, West Java Province, in connection with its digital strategy. It will then gradually expand data centres in Nongsa Digital Park in Batam, Riau Archipelago, the new National Capital City (IKN) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, and Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara.
The creation of this government data centre is intended to promote efficiency, effectiveness, state data sovereignty, and national data consolidation as part of the One Data Indonesia initiative. “This (data centre) is critical because government data management is critical to developing society’s transformation into a digital society,” Deddy said.
The Indonesian government disclosed four potential uses of Big Data and AI to improve its e-government programmes. These two technologies, they feel, have the potential to support disaster identification and preventive action, prevention of illegal activities and cyber-attacks and increase workforce effectiveness.
The Director General of Informatics Applications, Semuel A. Pangerapan, explained several scenarios for Big Data. According to him, the government can use Big Data to improve critical event management and the quality of the response by identifying problem points through Big Data Analytics. For example, the agencies can be better prepared to prevent and mitigate natural disasters such as drought, epidemics or massive accidents occur.
In addition, Big Data can also enhance the government’s ability to prevent money laundering and fraud through better surveillance to detect such illegal activities.
Furthermore, Big Data significantly reduces the possibility of cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks can come from external parties, data leaks or internally for a variety of reasons. An analysis of patterns and unusual activities can help in preventing or managing such cyber issues.
Big Data and analytics can contribute to workforce effectiveness by increasing monitoring. In addition, it can be used for policy design, decision-making and gaining insights.
Semuel stressed the importance of data analysis after collecting all data in the right fashion. Data is only valuable if it is collected correctly and then analysed – data will only provide benefits if processed in the right way. “In its implementation, AI helps analyse existing Big Data, providing data understanding or insight to help make decisions,” he explained.
Another advantage of AI is the ability to speed up new implementation services and corrections in real-time. At the evaluation stage, AI can also provide suggestions for adjustments and improvements to subsequent policies.
Currently, the encourages the improvement of the quality of Big Data and AI innovation through the development of e-government. The Indonesian government is also open to third parties to accelerate Big Data and AI use.
E-government has made progress in recent years and received appreciation from the United Nations in 2020. The UN said that Indonesia’s e-government development index rose to rank 88 from previously ranked 107 in 2018. Indonesia’s e-participation index has also increased from rank 92 in 2018 to 57 in 2022.
“The two rankings show an increase in the quality of Indonesia’s e-government and the level of community activity in using e-government services,” said Semuel.
However, the government faced challenges in implementing these two technologies. Overlapping and data replication is one of the main problems. “Regulatory obstacles in the procurement of government Big Data infrastructure also need to be overcome. Then compliance with international standards for the national Big Data ecosystem is also still the government’s homework.”
To optimise AI use, Semuel emphasised the need for a skilled workforce, regulations governing the ethics of using AI, infrastructure, and industrial and public sector adoption of AI innovations.
The government is implementing several solutions to overcome challenges. First, they have provided suitable facilities in the form of National Data Centres (NDCs) in four separate locations. The NDCs will accommodate Government Cloud and contain national data across sectors.
Optimisation of data centre utilisation needs to be supported by staff with qualified expertise. For this reason, the government is holding digital skills training on AI and Big Data through the Digital Talent Scholarship (DTS) and Digital Leadership Academy (DLA) programs.
Apart from facilities and upskilling, Indonesia is looking to develop a business ecosystem that utilises AI and Big Data. Support for this comes from the National Movement of 1000 Digital Startups, Startup Studio Indonesia (SSI) and HUB.ID.