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Digitalization to reshape the future of business

Released at: 16:23, 04/04/2019

Digitalization to reshape the future of business

Photo: Oracle

Mr. Pham Hong Phong, Managing Director of Oracle Vietnam, shares his views with VET on the technology landscape in Vietnam.

by Hong Nhung

A host of breakthrough technologies are expected in 2019 that will accelerate and change many industries, reshaping the future of business. How do you view these changes in terms of the way leading enterprises in Vietnam will do business?

Southeast Asia in general and Vietnam in particular are fast becoming hubs of Industry 4.0. Companies of all shapes and sizes are working to incorporate digital and analytical technologies into their systems and processes. Changes in business processes will mainly come from emerging tech trends such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud-based integration, and enterprises in Vietnam should take this as more of an opportunity than a threat.

AI can resolve many challenges faced by businesses today. Using AI solutions in day-to-day business operations can help increase sales, improve the customer experience, and minimize labor-intensive operating expenses. In the future, leading companies will be systematically deploying rapidly maturing technologies - ML, natural language processing, robot process automation (RPA), and cognitive - not just in every core business process but into products and services.

With the real-time insights gained from using ML, businesses will have a better chance of identifying profitable opportunities and avoiding unknown risks, thus gaining an advantage over the competition. ML will have a major impact on an organization’s efficiency and profitability, and will enable businesses to predict customer behavior, make product recommendations, automate business processes, and detect fraud.

IoT, meanwhile, can provide businesses with real-time control over business processes, predictive maintenance capabilities, improvements to customer service, and increases in employee productivity, while giving them an unprecedented level of insight to make better business decisions.

Cloud computing in particular has changed how businesses go about developing their IT systems. It used to be complicated, requiring an enterprise recruit IT specialists and invest in equipment and software to deploy and operate such systems. This was costly and time-consuming. Now, with cloud computing, these issues are all solved by simply signing up with a cloud provider that equips them with the necessary services and software. Enterprises can ultimately focus on their core business, with resources that used to be spent on IT infrastructure available to invest in innovation and bringing their products to the market more quickly.

What sectors will be affected most by digital technologies and how?

The trend towards digitalization has been seen in all sectors, from trade and payments to healthcare, education, tourism, and transport. Businesses have to take advantage while preparing for the digital transformation of their operations. In particular, digital transformation is changing the finance industry in many ways.

Until recently, customer acquisition, engagement, and retention strategies were mostly built based on historical information or gut instinct. Now, more and more companies are realizing that data can be harnessed to personalize marketing efforts tailored to customers’ interests, adjust product strategies based on usage patterns, and pre-emptively predict which customers are likely to leave.

The challenge for banks is that customers are generating massive amounts of data like purchase history, profile data, browsing history, product usage patterns, and social media behavior every single day.

What strategies and new business models should enterprises adopt to optimize their opportunities in the process of digitalization in Vietnam?

Before taking on any form of transformation, it is crucial that enterprises have a deep understanding of the connection between its technology portfolio, operational processes, and supported business units, and plan an innovation roadmap to ensure desired outcomes are achieved while mitigating risks.

There are many different directions enterprises can take in digital transformation. No matter which one you choose, however, it has to surround three fundamental features: your target customers, the value proposition for these customers, and the value chain architecture, and data plays a crucial role in this. Nowadays, data-driven value propositions offer a great advantage over traditional ones: the more they are used, the more valuable they become, or, in other words, they are self-propelling.

Businesses have to identify their new role in the ecosystem and identify unmet needs within that ecosystem. They must then dig deep to understand and capture the right data set to deliver on those needs and work out how sources and channels of income evolve over time.

What challenges from technology must businesses address in order to ensure they do not get left behind?

The first challenge is probably the main reason why enterprises fail to adapt to digitalization: the organization itself is resistant to change. Whenever we talk about digitalization or automation, people question their role, identity, and the possibility of job losses. However, not changing may be far riskier than taking the leap.

If a business wants to succeed on the digital journey, they need a clear vision of how they will meet their customers’ digital needs, set objectives, and then execute them, which often takes several years. Without a specific plan, organizations will basically be walking in the dark.

Legacy enterprise IT is also one of the biggest barriers. But they need not be replaced to achieve transformation - they need to be factored into execution. Legacy IT and modern cloud-based solutions can co-exist and ignite the transformation journey. Digital transformation is only truly effective when an organization embraces it completely and reshapes the way it thinks and acts. Digital transformation is the perfect opportunity for IT to step up and take control of the strategic agenda, but for this to be an effective approach, all parts of the business need to be engaged before any technology is adopted.

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