Digital transformation already taking place worldwide

October 16, 2021 - 06:45
“From home” might be the phrase of the year as it has frequently been used in almost every sector during COVID-19, especially the fourth outbreak of the coronavirus in Việt Nam. 
A doctor talking with her patient via an online call. Photo

By Ly Ly Cao

HÀ NỘI — “From home” might be the phrase of the year as it has frequently been used in almost every sector during COVID-19, especially the fourth outbreak of the coronavirus in Việt Nam. 

“Working from home, shopping from home, studying from home, meeting from home, health checking from home” are phrases to describe our lives while we contain the spread of the pandemic. And we can’t do so without the help of technology and digitalisation. 

However, it is undeniable to say the changes in daily activities during COVID-19 has boosted digital transformation.

“Although the digital transformation process has been embarked upon by countries before, the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the process, when all industries enter the digital environment,” Sulyna Abdullah, Director of the Digital Knowledge Hub Department (ITU-D), said in a conference during the ITU Digital World 2021 event. 

In Việt Nam, consumers are increasingly shopping online and using social networking platforms to adapt to restrictions from the pandemic, research from Visa, the world's leading electronic payment technology company, showed. 

Accordingly, the shift from brick and mortar stores to e-commerce platforms has been happening rapidly in the past few months, giving home delivery services an advantage.

A survey conducted by Visa showed that 87 per cent of Vietnamese consumers are currently using this service and 82 per cent of people are experiencing the service for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly six out of every ten orders are delivered to customers’ homes, 20 times higher than pre-pandemic times.

This has boosted retailers to promote and sell their products and services to consumers through social networks. In 2020, 41 per cent of Vietnamese businesses engaged in social commerce to meet consumer expectations, according to the study.

On top of consumer goods, banking and healthcare sectors also witnessed significant changes in digitalisation during COVID-19.  

“Banking and financial sectors want to implement automation, especially in customer service, to reduce direct contact,” Hồ Minh Đức, CEO of Vbee Company, told Việt Nam News. 

“Vbee provided artificial switchboard software for the banking sector, which help secure customer information and reduce costs for the banks.

“We also see the application of high technology in the healthcare sector like the Telehealth provided by Viettel, or remote medical examinations to help people connect to doctors.”

Healthcare during the pandemic is a hot issue, so it has attracted a lot of attention. And that is the reason for the development of Vncare software, Lương Tuấn Vũ of Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), said at the opening of the ITU event.

“It is an application to help patients have health examinations online. 

“Patients can talk to doctors for health consultations, register for health checks at hospitals to minimise pressure for provincial and centrally-run hospitals, and access the best services.”

Attending the conference under the ITU event, Paula Ingabrie, Minister of IT and Innovation of Moldova, said that the country's financial services industry was booming when people had to keep their distance.

“We've seen a fourfold increase in the speed of digital transactions. It is expected to be ten times by the end of the year,” Ingabrie said.

Motivation from public services digitisation

Another sector that is expected to undergo digital transformation is public services. 

Eisa Zarepour, Professor at Iran University of Science and Technology, told the conference that information communication technology (ICT) played an important role in digitising public services and paving the way for more efficient and convenient administration of services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of using IT to transform government in a transparent, trustworthy manner by bringing government services online,” he said.

Iran has used artificial intelligence (AI) to authenticate users to take advantage of online services remotely. In August, more than 300 government agencies connected or were connected to the government through GSP with more than 500 types of services. Iran also provides cellular connectivity to about 80 per cent of rural areas and villages.

The achievement paved the way for the establishment of e-government in this country.

Digitalisation in the public sector is providing motivation for the whole economy, and governments also play a role in leading the digital transformation in countries.

"Each country has a different approach to accelerate the speed of digital transformation to serve people, but it is more important to provide public services online to provide better convenience for people,” said Oshada Senanyake, Director of the Department of Telecommunications of Sri Lanka. — VNS