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Vietnamese Software Industry Grows Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Enterprises based in Ho Chi Minh City’s Quang Trung Software City (QTSC) reported they continued to add new customers and markets despite the COVID-19 crisis in the country. In the first six months of the year, their combined revenues increased by 5.8% to an estimated VNĐ4,945 billion (US$217 million), and their total exports rose 3.4% to US$175.9 million, according to a press release by the Ministry of Information Communications (MIC).

Industry analysts have said that though the pandemic has been devastating for economies around the world, it has created new opportunities for some sectors, with many companies in the country doing well. While stay-at-home restrictions and business closures have affected industries that rely on physical services and in-person customers (like hospitality, arts, and tourism), technology businesses appear to be relatively unscathed, the release stated. The pandemic increased people’s daily screen time by a third and sped up businesses’ adoption of digital technologies by several years. This has led some facets of the software industry to perform better than previously.

The release noted that the digital transformation of processes has been the most important factor that accelerated software development. Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, which fundamentally changes the way it operates. The four primary areas of digital transformation include technology, data, process, and organisational change. Each domain relies on the other to help businesses establish themselves within the digital economy.

Meanwhile, stay-at-home measures being applied widely around the world have reinforced the importance of technical infrastructure. Many tech-focused industries support the rise of digital mediation, which could not be possible without software development. The release also pointed out other reasons why the pandemic could accelerate the development of the software industry, one of which was that the market had a greater demand for technology services because of it.

While the demand had dropped significantly for most key services, there was an increased requirement for data and software, and this is expected to continue growing. The economic slowdown has forced companies in various sectors to focus on what jobs and skills they need, and how these roles can be carried out safely. Technology plays a critical part in ensuring their workforce can work efficiently and productively from home.

The release further added that the outbreak radically changed people’s consumer behaviour, making online shopping a near necessity. Consumers now often rely on e-commerce websites and click-and-collect services. As a result, retailers and service providers have had to set up online platforms or use apps if they want to advertise their business and want their products and services to reach customers. Retailers have also had to rely on technology to support no-contact shopping when stringent social distancing measures were in force. Manufacturers relied on apps and digital services to ensure communication with suppliers and sellers to supply chains at home and abroad remain stable.

Furthermore, the software industry was boosted by the increased role of digital technology in the healthcare sector. Digital solutions supported the healthcare system in a number of ways since the pandemic began. Hospitals have been using software to provide contactless healthcare services for patients and create artificial intelligence (AI) applications for managing staff and patients to relieve the work burden, which has been increasing at a tremendous rate as the crisis goes on.

Government healthcare management agencies use tracking technologies to control the transmission of the virus, and apps to alert people about their exposure to people infected. Edge technologies have facilitated healthcare solutions. The pandemic has significantly pushed up digital spending at most enterprises and other entities to accelerate digital transformation even though overall business spending has fallen.

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