The role of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) has moved beyond traditional financial and accounting supervision. They now operate in the centre of the organisation delivering relevant insights on business performances that underpin and guide the entire company functioning. CFOs are increasingly becoming key advisers to business, making near real-time, data-enabled decisions.
As data becomes more distributed, dynamic and diverse, data no longer resides in a single enterprise repository. Instead, it is likely to be housed and processed in multiple parallel operating locations, such as ERP systems, billing systems or commerce platforms.
It is imperative to develop advanced forecasting capabilities and new finance management technique which provides the opportunity to take analytics capability and data beyond the finance function to support the enterprise holistically.
Along with developing new talent and skillsets, and through investment in technology, using analytics in finance enables CFOs and finance teams to generate a competitive advantage and growth for the entire enterprise.
Analytic Process Automation (APA) is the key. 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.
By intelligently automating the hundreds of repetitive and complex analytic processes, the finance team can save hours of manual work and be able to spend more time on delivering vital outcomes. On top of that, the accuracy and flow of data would significantly be improved in its operation as APA streamlines entire data-driven processes in a preferred consumption format.
The full visibility of data across key financial management systems enables every function in the finance team to take advantage of data and easily collaborate across departments, where the analytic effort can be shared and reused.
Knowing this, the core question remains: how can CFOs and the finance team leverage Analytic Process Automation without dependencies on the IT department?
This was the focal point of the OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 09 June 2021. The event aimed to impart knowledge on the democratisation of data and analytics in the office of finance and explore best practices to achieve a culture of analytics, upskilling of employees and service efficiency.
The session served as a great peer-to-peer learning platform to gain insights and practical to implement Analytic Process Automation to enable more efficient data processing while reducing the complexity and cost.
Digital Transformation Within the Office of Finance
Mohit acknowledged that life in financial organisations is filled with challenges. Financial officers juggle many roles, responsibilities and requirements. Not only do they need to understand the numbers, but they are supposed to make sense out of those numbers.
At the same time, technology is moving so fast and comes at a significant cost. Previously considered a somewhat unnecessary expense, tech has now become the backbone of every business. In these current times, organisations welcome technology as an investment.
Along with the rise in technologies, more data than ever before is being collected. But in and of itself, data can do nothing. Mohit emphasised users must fully understand what data can do for them. Data must be unlocked to achieve better business outcomes.
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. Data must be democratised through three mega pillars: comfort, tools and culture. Financial offices need to understand that data must be democratised and made accessible so more people can use it.
Organisations from all over the world 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.
Mohit emphasised that this is the time to recognise what organisations can automate and this is the perfect time for comprehensive digital transformation.
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 of utilising data is built on three key pillars. First is the idea of data democratisation which means making data accessible for anyone in the organisation to drive digital transformation initiatives. The second is process automation that ensures that the organisation can automate repetitive processes, increasing overall efficiency and decision-making. Thirdly is upskilling that promotes the improvement and capabilities of people handling the data within the organisation.
For Philip, CFOs have a unique vantage point that ensures investments are aligned to outcomes and growth. The process starts with purchasing, spending on analysis and vendor management. Next are business units, margin erosion analysis, pricing analytics, service level and customer profitability alignment.
Sales and marketing also come into play. Price-point, revenue leakage, revenue driver, demand/price elasticity, customer retention and churn analyses are vital in the process. Another one is the supply chain. Sales and finance-linked forecasting, new product introduction, profitability and dollarisation effect. Lastly, is IT or the organisation’s technological investment planning and prioritisation.
With these steps, financial offices can ensure an efficient operational execution from operational decision-making, strategic decision-making and driving profit lost in operational execution.
There are, of course, organisational challenges that stand in the way of achieving these desired outcomes. A disconnected approach between data, process and people prevents ideal outcomes. Challenges also include limitation of data, slow data curation, analytics and data science, processes that 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.
To end his presentation, Philip shared how Alteryx automates an Office of the CFO. It starts with tax automation, risk, audit and compliance monitoring and optimising accounting and operations. By automating these processes, the office of finance saved on resources like manpower hours and allowed them to focus on tasks that require more human intervention.
Philip is positive that the automation procedure helps organisations in advancing their digital transformation journey. He conceded that the office of finance must continuously embrace the innovation of the three key pillars of digital transformation moving forward.
Analytic Process Automation for Finance Functions
The delegates moved to a presentation from Rinrat Pasavekin, Partner, PwC Thailand. She discussed the process of delivering actionable insights with Analytic Process Automation in the office of finance.
Rinrat is firm in her conviction that the office of finance needs to transform its processes. She emphasised that finance is perversely impacted by several global trends creating an urgent need for finance to transform to better support the business.
Typical triggers for transformation are:
- Workforce Skills Gap (Source and retain new skills, Managing an ageing workforce)
- Emerging Technologies (Siloed information systems, Increasing data volumes)
- Investor / Cost pressures (Decrease costs to serve, Business enablement)
- Reporting and Analytics (Integrated information, Improved decision making)
Typically, the office of finance responds to these triggers by exploding data volumes, changing regulations, radical automation, industry convergence, settling with unstructured data and building B2B to B2C business models.
Rinrat believes that the office of finance’s digital transformation is enabled by a seven-point Modern Finance Agenda. She underlined that this agenda requires a strategic shift in the operating model to be digitally enabled:
- Finance Workforce of Future
- Finance Organisation and Structures
- Process Excellence and Automation
- Cloud ERP and Digital Platforms
- Automated and Predictive Controls
- Advanced Analytics, Insights and Action and,
- Insightful Finance Business Partnering
In her experience, clients have a proclivity driven by their culture, values and objectives which drives their focus on what key aspect to start their digital transformation on. Ideally, finance offices must start leading with people, leading with the process and ultimately leading with performance.
Leading with people involves a digital finance workforce. Upskilling finance workforces to be digitally savvy and supplemented with new human and machine-based roles. It also deals with modern finance workplaces. Re-thinking collaboration spaces and structures for finance employees and external parties (e.g., suppliers).
Leading with process means utilising intelligent automation. Finance organisations must learn to apply automation to simplify, accelerate, or re-design processes. The capability to predict enterprise risks is also key. Applying automation to rationalise and re-design control structures to shift from detective to predictive controls must be focused on. Lastly, is utilising a pre-configured Cloud ERP, shifting and upgrading the existing ERP to deliver new finance capabilities in public/private clouds.
Leading with performance on the other hand is by using a connected, self-service data, enabling the enterprise’s digital core by connecting ERP/EPM tools, data lakes and self-service, voice-activated information supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Assisted insights and performance must also be looked upon. Applying analytics and machine-based models to deliver business function insights and financial planning and analysis improvements will help a finance office in any organisation in a big way.
She acknowledged that there are certain challenges in trying to implement digital transformation within the office of finance. One is identifying and consolidating data, which takes a lot of time and resources. Another issue is that data owners may be hesitant and/or unable to provide quality data.
Rinrat advised the delegates to always evaluate the integrity and organisation of current data for them to recommend the accurate timeline and they must look to reach out to required data resources as quickly as possible. With leadership support, they can further the office of finance’s digital and data journey.
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. Half of the delegates (50%) 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 do not have enough data analysts/scientists. About 28% said it is good and they have some tools in place but are still learning how to optimise them fully. Just over a fifth (22%) indicated that it needs improvement and they need better tools to analyse and are currently relying mainly on Excel.
The delegates were asked what they consider the greatest barrier to integrating more data and analytics into their day-to-day decision-making? A third (32%) indicated that the lack of trained people to do actual analysis is the greatest barrier. Around 29% conceded that they have limited access to data because they are kept in silos or disparate locations while 21% said that the available data are not accurate or updated.
The next poll was about the delegates’ top drivers of data and analytics usage in their respective organisations. About 43% acceded that removing inefficiency in processes and speeding up decision-making is their desired outcome, 39% said that achieving better organisational decisions and outcomes are the main drivers, while 11% said that ensuring compliance with laws, rules and policies is their main priority.
On being asked what their biggest barrier to progress in their organisations’ data journeys was, more than half of the delegates (54%) said that the disconnect between IT & business / organisational requirements is the biggest hindrance. Just over a fifth (21%) said that poor quality and availability of data causes them to further their data journeys, while 11% said that a non-data-literate workforce is the biggest barrier.
The delegates voted on four strategies that they are thinking of implementing or interested in. A significant 43% are interested in reviewing existing processes and identifying which ones can be automated and can be made more efficient. A shade over a third (35%) are contemplating upskilling thei workforce to scale use of data analytics on their own, while 11% are interested in consolidating current analytic tools to simplify adoption across the entire organisation.
In terms of their strength in the use of data analytics, about 31% of the delegates said that understanding, support and commitment from top management remains their biggest strengths. A quarter (26%) voted for the deployment of powerful tools and efficient process to facilitate good data analytics projects, while another 26% of the delegates said that deriving meaningful insights through data analytics is their biggest asset.
The session concluded with closing remarks from Philip and Rinrat.
Philip reminded the delegates to always focus on the three key aspects- data, people and processes – in their digital transformation journeys. He further advised the delegates who were just starting their digital transformation journeys to remember that they can always reach out for partnerships; not just to Alteryx, but to other service providers. Organisations who were well on the path to a true digital transformation would also make great advisers.
Rinrat thanked the delegates for attending and the wonderful time of discussion. She stressed that true digital transformation involves partnerships that ensure an organisation’s desired outcomes. She invited delegates to contact PWC for any concerns, especially those regarding finance offices’ data and digital journeys.
Taiwan government has taken steps to improve gender inequality in Taiwan, but progress in increasing women’s participation is still slow. According to recent research entitled “Digital Media: Empowerment and Equality”, digital media empowers female users and fosters gender equality in Taiwan. The study investigated the use of digital media, specifically social media, in the workplace in Taiwan.
The data for this study were collected through an online survey. Participants both female and male employees responded to questions asking whether social technologies could be a source of empowerment, leading to equality. The research discovered that both genders use social media platforms for business support, experience benefits, and believe that these technologies could provide empowerment for success.
Moreover, the finding revealed that the differences between women and men using social media were significant. Women in Taiwan have a higher awareness of the benefits of social technologies for business support and empowerment. Digital technologies can support female empowerment for tasks such as creating awareness, marketing, or building relationships. Women experience huge benefits from using these digital technologies, however, education was deemed to be a key factor for success in this area.
While digital platforms offer huge opportunities and benefits, women would benefit even more if they have access to education to help them be successful on social media. For example, the Taiwan Women Up program has helped middle-aged and older women learn information and communication technology to support their organisations and empower themselves.
Furthermore, social media has the power to increase female empowerment through political involvement. Hashtag activism gives women the ability to make a public issue a global issue and pressure lawmakers. Social media also offers a platform for gendered violence stories and holds communities in multiple countries accountable for gender equality. Unfortunately, women sometimes have barriers to using this powerful tool, including limited access to technology, language barriers and censorship.
Digital fluency helps countries grow closer to equality in the workplace. The digital fluency model reveals that countries with better digital fluency rates among women have higher rates of gender equality in the workplace. Women with better digital fluency also have more employment opportunities and flexibility. They can work from home and use technology to access more job opportunities.
The findings from this study apply to the Taiwanese respondents specifically, but can be used to help empower women across the world. Women must take responsibility to use the tools and information to find their voice, create a network, and help others enjoy empowerment, success, and economic equality. Achieving gender equality is a challenge around the world, but Taiwan’s efforts to close the gap between men and women push the country in the right direction while adapting to the digital world.
Taiwan has also created an environment for female entrepreneurship as the number of female entrepreneurs continues to rise. Increased access to technology, education and disposable income are the main factors that have led women to lead more independent, empowered lives. Taiwan launched a programme that aligns with calls for diversity in technology and opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership expertise by supporting female technology entrepreneurship worldwide.
According to an article, the new models of working from home, and greater access to technology and the internet may point to how the gender divide can be bridged. Technological advances are helping level the playing field for young women. More and more young women and men are looking into e-participation and co-creation across sectors to create their own initiatives.
As global society will face new norms after the pandemic, there will be an opportunity to build different economic models through the internet or community models and create new ways for women to participate equally.
Researchers at the University of South Australia have designed a digital tool to help the police, defence industry – and now child protection services – translate complex data into a visual story, saving hundreds of hours of time.
The narrative visualisation tool, developed by Dr Andrew Cunningham, Dr James Walsh, and Prof Bruce Thomas, has already allowed the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to create snapshots of crime by distilling mountains of case notes and briefs into image-based stories. The software helps prosecutors, lawyers and juries get up to speed in the courtroom so they can more easily understand complex facts, saving hours of admin and time.
Dr Walsh, a postdoctoral researcher at UniSA STEM, says the software identifies key events of a criminal case, selecting the most relevant data from case notes and presenting it in an easy-to-grasp snapshot, whilst still being able to dig into the details.
Another domain that has expressed interest is child protection. For each child coming into foster and emergency care, government departments are having to plough through years of their history. The tool can help to build a narrative of each child by identifying key dates, events, and an overall summary of their life.
The narrative combines text with images, video, scans, and voiceovers to present a snapshot that filters out the most critical information. It was noted that the tool is a marriage of computer science, statistics, graphs, artificial intelligence, artistic design and storytelling. For digital systems, the team is collecting more data, whether that’s from notes, automated sensors, spreadsheets, video, audio and even x-rays. The researchers have worked on the tool to integrate with data from different domains.
A new project with BAE Systems is also examining other narrative visualisation concepts to map the life cycles of defence machinery, tracking the operational and service histories of warships, combat vehicles and aircraft. The tool is useful wherever there is huge complexity – in logistics, transport, healthcare, and finance, for example – and need to summarise the most important elements.
“The beauty of it is that we can create specific models for each domain. For criminal cases, we can focus on pulling out information that relates to charges. For loan applications, we can identify a person’s financial history. Basically, we can rank the material to prioritise the information we care about and then present it in a visual form,” Dr Walsh says.
Dynamic graphics and interactive news stories have been part of the online media landscape for several years now, as a response to waning attention spans, the slow death of print, and a global embrace of digital media.
This trend is now spreading beyond the confines of newsrooms and becoming part of the fabric of many industries, the researchers say. The tool has been acquired by a Melbourne-based software company for commercialisation.
According to recent market research, the global data visualisation tools market is projected to grow from US$5.9 billion in 2021 to US$10.2 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.6% during the forecast period.
Various factors such as the growing demand for an interactive view of data for faster business decisions and increasing developments in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to enable the interaction of companies with data in 3D formats are expected to drive the demand for data visualisation tools.
The data visualisation tools market has witnessed several advancements in terms of tools offered by the industry players. Verticals such as manufacturing, retail, and energy and utilities have witnessed a moderate slowdown, whereas BFSI, government, and healthcare and life sciences verticals have witnessed a minimal impact.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to the increased use of line charts, bar charts, and choropleth maps in the news. Simple data visualisations have become the key to communicating vital information about the coronavirus pandemic to the public.
While these terms might not be familiar to all, the visualisations themselves certainly are. One of the most interesting developments due to the current COVID-19 crisis is that organisations that excel at the developments of dashboards centralise analytics and decision-making approaches and scale them exponentially across all connected channels.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a new competition for awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing technology roadmaps. The roadmaps must address high-priority research challenges to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in the U.S.
NIST’s Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmaps (MfgTech) program anticipates awarding up to eight awards with a period of performance of up to 18 months each, with individual awards of up to $300,000 and no cost-share requirement. The competition is open to all nonfederal U.S. entities, including accredited institutions of higher education; nonprofit organisations; for-profit organisations incorporated in the U.S. (including U.S. territories); and state, local, territorial and tribal governments.
Technology roadmaps are proven, strategic tools to identify barriers and related development steps to achieve grand challenges. Prior roadmap activities have been instrumental in establishing productive consortia and initiatives, including foundational planning for future Manufacturing USA institutes. Benefits of technology roadmaps include:
- Addressing major technological barriers that inhibit the growth of advanced manufacturing in the U.S. that no single organisation could tackle on its own;
- Identifying and prioritising research projects supporting long-term industrial research needs including but not limited to those identified in the Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing;
- Creating new or updating broadly available industry-driven, shared-vision technology roadmaps to support strategic and long-range planning; and
- Catalysing development and supporting the maintenance of technology infrastructure and American excellence in advanced manufacturing, including identifying technology areas appropriate for potential new Manufacturing USA institutes.
The Manufacturing USA institutes have demonstrated that consortia can play a key role in developing and transitioning new manufacturing technologies critical to America’s future competitiveness. These roadmaps can help ensure that they have a clear vision of what challenges are before us to ensure U.S. manufacturing is competitive.
Organisations that submit MfgTech proposals are encouraged to develop partnerships across an industry ecosystem to bring together expertise in facilities, supply chain, or specialised goods and services to produce a valuable roadmap that takes all of these elements into consideration. Proposals are due by Aug. 16, 2021. Details about the competition, including eligibility, selection criteria, legal requirements and the mechanism for submitting proposals are found in the Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity posted at Grants.gov
The Manufacturing USA institutes and their sponsors — the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense or Energy — connect more than 2,000 organisations across hundreds of major projects to quickly move technology from laboratory prototypes to industrial capabilities and provide thousands of people with advanced manufacturing knowledge and skills. NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life
Developing technology roadmaps is important to pinpoint the direction of sci-tech development. As reported by OpenGov Asia, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) created Task Force to write the roadmap for Artificial Intelligence (AI). The roadmap aims to expand access to critical resources and educational tools that will spur AI innovation and economic prosperity nationwide.
As directed by Congress in the National AI Initiative Act of 2020, the Task Force will serve as a Federal advisory committee to help create and implement a blueprint for the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) – a shared research infrastructure providing AI researchers and students across all scientific disciplines with access to computational resources, high-quality data, educational tools, and user support.
America’s economic prosperity hinges on foundational investments in technological leadership. NAIRR will expand access to the resources and tools that fuel AI research and development, opening opportunities for bright minds from across America to pursue the next breakthroughs in science and technology.
To provide an understanding of the patent landscape of artificial intelligence in India, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) Research and INDIAai unveiled a special report titled ‘AI Patents – Driving Emergence of India as an AI Innovation Hub’.
The report provided a broad outlook of the techno-legal field of AI patents and included the key trends across several patents, assignees, and application areas. The report uncovered insights about the active AI patent landscape driven by the growing awareness to protect intellectual property.
From a vertical perspective, consumer electronics, personal computing devices, and healthcare lead the AI patent filings in India, as per the report. With a 93% share, machine learning is the most popular AI technique while computer vision is the leading functional area with a share of 36%. Moreover, 63% of all granted patents belong to multinational corporations.
According to the report, India is ranked 8th in the world for AI patent filing and 4th in terms of AI research papers. AI patent filing in India will maintain an upward trajectory as the country is emerging as a key destination for AI innovation. The government has identified AI identified as one of the most potent weapons to fight against the multiple challenges that the country is facing. Some of the noticeable examples are tools like the MyGov Corona Helpdesk, Aarogya Setu, and CoWin that the government is leveraging to combat the ongoing pandemic.
However, to stay ahead and build a strong AI-ready future, innovation must be fostered, the report said. Patents are considered as one of the primary ways of measuring innovation and efforts must be channelised to encourage and empower AI innovators in the country. In 2020, the government increased the outlay for Digital India to US$477 million to boost AI, IoT, big data, cybersecurity, machine learning, and robotics. India’s flagship digital initiative aims to make the internet more accessible, promoting e-governance, e-banking, e-education, and e-health.
More than 70% of the technology patents filed in India relate to one or more emerging technology domains. At an international level, patent filing grew by 4% in the year 2020. Interestingly, AI accounts for 6% of all emerging tech patents in India. Further, over 5,000 AI patents were filed over the last decade in India, out of which 94% of them were filed in the last five years.
The report also highlighted some of the successful AI patents in India that have been applied to the industries. The most notable ones being Niramai Health Analytx and Grahaa Space. Niramai Health Analytx has been granted four patents in India and ten in the United States.
The major patent NIRAMAI was developed based on technology for detecting early-stage breast cancer in a radiation-free manner through an AI-based analysis of thermal images. Grahaa Space has done a provisional filing of its system and method to stream high-resolution videos from low earth orbit. The proposed system consists of a cluster of earth observation nanosatellites that is capable of streaming high-resolution videos of client-defined areas of interest.
NASSCOM Research is the in-house research and analytics arm of NASSCOM – the industry association for the IT-BPM sector in India. INDIAai is the national artificial intelligence portal of India set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Information technology firms are ready to complete e-commerce platforms for farmers, according to the Minister of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Manh Hung, at a teleconference on digital transformation in agriculture and rural development. Businesses’ capacity and infrastructure are also qualified to bring farm produce to each household nationwide, the Minister added.
As per a news report, said e-commerce platforms can help connect farmers with consumers and trusted suppliers to ensure quality, origin, and competitive prices. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Le Minh Hoan, said unclear market information is negatively affecting supply and demand in the sector, hence there is a need for data transparency. He added that it is also necessary for the agricultural sector to start building a database and master it, serving information analysis and production planning.
Chu Quang Hao from the council of members of the Vietnam Post Corporation (Vietnam Post) took the occasion to talk about the selling of lychees from Bac Giang province on e-commerce platforms Voso (run by Viettel Post) and Postmart (run by VnPost). According to him, since the beginning of June, more than 4.5 million people have purchased the fruit from these sites. Participants from different localities said they are looking for digital transformation in a series of matters, including pest management, disaster warning, brand protection, and trade promotion.
Earlier in March, the Digital Transformation Alliance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (DTS) and the MCV Group signed a cooperation agreement to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to promote digital transformation. A digital transformation department to support SMEs in the fields of communications and TV was also established.
DTS and the MCV Group also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) to begin a chain of activities this year. The first cooperation programme will be a reality TV show to promote online business and e-commerce, which will be consulted on by DTS and VECOM and produced by the MCV Group. It is scheduled to debut at the end of the second quarter, according to a news report.
The Chairman of the MCV Group Pham Tu Liem said cooperation to support digital transformation in SMEs is an important step for all parties in their upcoming operational strategies. Based on building a sustainable relationship, the three sides will jointly coordinate to promote the development of a diverse range of solutions in the field of complete digital transformation for the TV industry and SMEs in Vietnam, he said. The DTS Chairman Leon Truong noted that the internet and social networks are thriving, and TV digitalisation is key for businesses operating in the field.
DTS, therefore, wants to promote its strengths as a collector of digital transformation ecosystems to support Vietnamese businesses, helping them improve their competitiveness in domestic and international markets. DTS will provide technology platforms, VECOM will provide supply chains and online-offline support ecosystems, while the MCV Group, with its digital TV, will create visual images, thus improving consumer confidence in products and promoting purchasing decisions.
According to a study by Google, Vietnam’s digital economy is forecast to grow to US$52 billion by 2025, an annual 29% increase from 2020. With the gross merchandise value (GMV) of its Internet economy accounting for over 5% of the country’s GDP in 2019, Vietnam is emerging as the most digital of all economies in the region. The Vietnamese government hopes that online shopping would account for 10% of Vietnam’s retail sales, and as much as 50% in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by 2025. To create a more transparent modern economy, authorities want to increase cashless payment for public services and improve the regulatory framework for e-payments.
The emergence of cloud services in the digital era is progressing at an incredible pace. Businesses have begun to use cloud services to improve their operations, and other businesses will soon follow suit. A research report indicated that cloud computing is expected to account for 13% of the Philippine IT services market by 2020, driven by government agencies and SMEs.
In a country prone to national disasters, coupled with the current pandemic, and with MSMEs serving as the backbone of the economy, it only makes sense that cloud computing is a key solution to achieving not just business continuity, but a better recovery for the economy in the Philippines. Medium and SME enterprises have reiterated the importance of adopting cloud technology to minimise operational disruptions and ensure data safety amidst uncertain times for businesses in the financial services industry.
Recently experts were brought together from the central bank of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines (BCMAP) and other SMEs enterprise to introduce other businesses the fundamentals of building an organisation’s business continuity program and harnessing the power of cloud technology, to back up crucial data and enable swift recovery from any disaster.
The Philippines, along with the rest of the world, have fallen into recession, as mobility restrictions due to the pandemic and the lockdowns have slowed down, if not stopped, business operations. In fact, research published in Q4 of 2020 shows that 71% of MSMEs surveyed in the country were forced to halt operations, while the Department of Trade and Industry reported that an estimated 90,000 MSMEs remained closed.
The pandemic emphasised the importance of strengthening financial institutions under the supervision of the BSP in order to meet the increased demands of both customers and employees. BSP-supervised financial institutions augmented their technological capacities by migrating to cloud-based platforms and solutions, in order to address the increased digital demands of their customers and support remote work from home arrangements of their employees.
If the Philippines adopted a cloud computing model, there are numerous potential opportunities. As this cost of new technology would be shifted to service providers, IT users would no longer have to bear it. The country would be able to harness the power of the internet to democratise its access to new technology while making significant economic strides.
With cloud computing, businesses can store and access files and software, especially large ones, without necessarily buying a physical server, saving them office space and cost. Office personnel can also work from home or anywhere else other than their usual workplaces.
Businesses can continue to perform their tasks from any location and conveniently access necessary data as long as an internet connection is available. In addition, cloud tech enables employees to better manage their workflows through improved communication and team collaboration while accessing data from a centralised location. This can prevent organisations from halting operations even in challenging situations such as work suspension and calamity.
The Philippines is a country that believes in IT. Filipinos have a high interest in technology and are eager to learn new computing systems. This positive attitude gives a lot of hope to the future of cloud computing. It also helps that the country already has a talented IT workforce that is comfortable with the predominately English language that dominates the internet.
High-speed internet access has become a necessity for working and learning from home especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many American households lack a decent broadband connection. To tackle this problem, U.S. researchers have developed a new tool to smooth the collection of federal broadband access data that helps pinpoint coverage gaps across the U.S. The research reveals that nearly 21% of students in urban areas are without at-home broadband, while 25% and 37% lack at-home broadband in suburban and rural areas.
As more of day-to-day activities continue to move online, including education, commerce and health care, understanding the gaps in digital infrastructure is essential. Understanding the gaps is important to address disparities in access related to demographics, socioeconomic status, and educational attainment.
When the U.S. Congress first passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the goal was to encourage competition in the telecommunications industry while improving the quality of service and lowering customer prices. To determine the act’s effectiveness, the Federal Communications Commission created a standardised form (Form 477) where twice a year, internet service providers need to report where they provide service to residential and business customers.
Form 477 data remains the best publicly available data source regarding broadband deployment. Unfortunately, there are a lot of nuances to these data which to this point have prevented the researchers from conducting useful analyses over time. One of these nuances is that the data collected from 2008 to 2018 spans the two census reporting periods of 2000 and 2010. This has made it difficult to look at the data overall and align it with the shifting census geographies, which do change each census year.
Several other U.S. researchers worked together to produce a new dataset that resolves some of these issues by linking the breaks in the Form 477 data into a continuous timeline and aligning the data to the 2010 census. They developed a procedure for using the data to produce an integrated broadband time series. The team has labelled the dataset a Broadband Integrated Time Series (BITS).
The researchers hope that these BITS data will be a tool to diagnosing gaps in broadband availability to help close the digital divide and enhance the participation of all people in online activities. With shrinking public budgets and a need to pinpoint locations suffering from a chronic shortage of broadband, it is critical for policymakers to efficiently allocate the human, infrastructural and policy resources required to improve local conditions.
As digital transformation is inevitable, data has become critical for public sectors. As reported by OpenGov Asia, federal agencies must follow the Federal Data Strategy framework which focuses on building a culture that values data, governing, managing, and protecting data, as well as promoting efficient and appropriate data use. Similarly, many states have enacted, or are currently enacting, data privacy laws. To help adhere to these policies, agencies must examine whether the data they gather and store is at risk of exposure. Backing up SaaS data can help them meet data governance and privacy regulations.
The vast majority of organisations backup their on-premise application data. They know how crippling it could be if the data they rely upon to run their missions and perform their services is lost or corrupted. However, it is not the case with SaaS application data. when the vendor is keeping an agency’s SaaS app running, it does not automatically mean it is protecting the data.
By centralising backed-up SaaS data in a cloud data lake that they own, agencies can create pools of data for authorised users. IT teams can then use cloud-native tools that plug into the lake, automatically streaming data into applications and systems that can be tracked. Backing up SaaS data is extremely important. By capturing data at high frequencies in a cloud data lake they own, federal, local and state governments can better protect their data while maximising the value they get from it.