The Napotec Company, Quang Trung Software City, HCM City. — VNA Photo Văn Khánh
HÀ NỘI — As information technology plays an ever more decisive role in the development of a country’s economy, Việt Nam’s software sector has made significant advances in the global outsourcing market, but has not yet managed to cement a “Made in Việt Nam” trademark.
The Vietnam News Agency quoted Lâm Nguyễn Hải Long, director of Quang Trung Software City (QTSC), as saying that Vietnamese businesses are not creating their own products. “The outsourcing market is big, businesses still have ‘space’ to grow over the next 15-20 years, however, each business should be aware of the need to build its own products. At the moment they are still ‘learning’.”
Prof. Dr. Trương Nguyện Thành, Vice President of Hoa Sen University, said that domestic enterprises were mainly doing outsourcing. “In fact, local companies also create software but only products like games, which face obstacles competing in international markets.”
For many years, HCM City in particular has been a national bright spot in luring investment in the field of information technology (IT). The City is an attractive destination for IT investment, especially software outsourcing.
According to experts, Việt Nam is among highly competitive countries in the field of IT, especially software technology.
The global auditing and consultancy firm KPMG rated QTSC as one of the top seven software development parks in Asia.
QTSC in HCM City is a centre boasting the most complete infrastructure in the country. At the time of its establishment, there were only 21 micro- and small enterprises with 250 experts and engineers at the park. After more than 15 years of operation, there are 140 IT software and services companies with about 20,000 people studying and working there, including many big IT companies from around the world.
Last year, FPT Software, a subsidiary of FPT Corporation, crossed the milestone of employing 10,000 people globally. The company was one of the 100 leading global software outsourcing providers evaluated by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.
Few chances at home
However, Prof. Dr. Thành pointed out the reasons why major companies in Việt Nam were mainly outsourcing firms. He said that scale of the industry was small and enterprises, despite seeing opportunities, have limited human resources.
That is why most Vietnamese software products look for markets overseas, such as in the United States and Europe, as there is no ‘land’ for them in the domestic market, he said.
Compared with creating products and developing them to gain a true foothold in the market, programming to order was much simpler, he said.
Việt Nam currently has more than 1,500 start-ups in the IT sector. To facilitate these enterprises and develop a thriving software industry, a consumption market for software products is needed, as well as the support of state capital.
In addition, software enterprises need to seize opportunities from industrial revolution 4.0, to create software products that are in line with world trends.
Thành, said that to develop Việt Nam’s software, the industry needs not only skilled software engineers but a creative working environment too.
The state needs to turn the domestic market from a potential one to a prosperous one, Thành said. “The country must encourage IT applications in management, as well as creating a legal framework for online payments and electronic signatures.
Đào Hà Trung, chairman of the HCM City High Technology Association, said that technology products created by Vietnamese for Vietnamese to use would be cheaper and easier than those imported from abroad.
The chairman gave an example of the Te-Food application, which enables consumers to check the origins of pork including information about the breeding process, the slaughterhouse and the markets where it is sold.
However, the number of effective Internet of Things ideas and projects for domestic users is still small, he said, therefore, domestic software enterprises need to make more of an effort so they are not overtaken by foreign software firms on their own turf. — VNS