Universalising digital transformation in Vietnamese enterprises

October, 10/2022 - 07:01
Digital transformation becomes even more urgent when the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and changed people's lives and habits.
Trịnh Thị Hương, deputy director of the Department of Enterprise Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment. Photo courtesy of MPI

HÀ NỘI — October 10 is the National Digital Transformation Day of Việt Nam. Việt Nam News reporter Ly Ly Cao speaks to Trịnh Thị Hương, deputy director of the Department of Enterprise Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), to discuss the development of digital transformation at Vietnamese businesses in recent years.

What is the role of digital transformation in businesses’ development goals and what advantages can it offer?

At the moment, the Party and State have many guidelines, orientations, and directions on encouraging and supporting enterprises to exploit to the fullest the opportunities and advantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the digital economy, and digital transformation to boost growth model innovation and economic restructuring, aiming at fast and sustainable growth.

Digital transformation becomes even more urgent after the COVID-19 pandemic impacted and changed people's lives and habits, causing unprecedented difficulties and challenges, and compelling organisations, individuals, businesses and State management agencies to urgently change and adapt.

Businesses can gain in a variety of ways, such as improving production and business efficiency, increasing market reach, productivity and competitiveness.

For example, after supporting disadvantaged businesses and companies in remote and isolated areas, we discovered that digital technology had enabled them to get over many obstacles and reach customers across the nation and even the globe.

What are your thoughts on the digital transformation situation of enterprises in recent years in Việt Nam?

Clearly, now a significant share of firms use software and solutions to manage their administrative, customer, and distribution channels.

Over the past year, since the Party and State released guidelines and orientations on promoting digital transformation, the business community has changed positively.

Enterprises have quite good awareness of the need for digital transformation and the results that digital transformation brings, and they have initially implemented digital transformation in their businesses to improve production and business efficiency.

However, there are also many challenges. In 2021, the Enterprise Development Department surveyed 1,300 businesses to find out what difficulties those businesses were facing.

And the results showed that up to 60.1 per cent of participants said that high expenses for investment and technology application are difficult. This is partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused businesses to face many obstacles in terms of revenue reduction and capital shortages.

Another significant issue is business practices, which account for 52.3 per cent of survey respondents. These companies stated that the transformation will alter employees' habits and ways of working. Some firms have applied the software, but workers and employees do not apply it, or only partially apply it, so enterprises can’t achieve the digital transformation goal.

What programmes and activities have the MPI implemented to support and promote the digital transformation process?

Since the beginning of 2021, the MPI has proactively issued a programme to support businesses in digital transformation for the 2021–2025 period, assigning the Enterprise Development Department to be the focal point, coordinating with the ministries, sectors, localities, associations, and partners to implement together.

The four main goals of the programme are to transform the perception, vision and strategy of the enterprise; support the digitisation in business activities, in management processes, technology and production processes; and support comprehensive digital transformation to create new products, services and models for businesses.

After nearly two years of implementation, the programme has coordinated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the LinkSME Project and ministries, sectors, localities, and business associations to implement many specific activities, like the creation of the Enterprise Digital Transformation Portal, which is a part of the National Business Support Portal and publishes the Readiness Assessment Tool and many other documents in the Digital Transformation Guide to provide background knowledge for the business community.

These tools and documents have been widely published, communicated to 63 localities, and received more than 400,000 visits and use of the tools, documents, and features of the portal.

In addition, the MPI has also submitted a request to the Government for promulgation of Decree 80 on guiding the implementation of the Law on Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to improve policies to support businesses in digital transformation. Accordingly, SMEs will receive a part of the funding to help businesses access consulting and community solutions more conveniently. VNS

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