Digital transformation essential for enterprises' viability and growth

November 10, 2022 - 08:54
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyễn Huy Dũng asserted that digital platforms must make technologies accessible to SMEs as basic utilities to the public.


Distinguished guests discuss digital transformation in SMEs at the seminar. VNS Photo Lê Việt Dũng

HÀ NỘI — Without digital platforms in place, Việt Nam will not be able to step-up digital transformation in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to Nguyễn Huy Dũng, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications (MOIC).

Dũng made the comments at the seminar "Accompanying SMEs in digital transformation" on November 9. 

The deputy minister asserted that digital platforms must make technologies accessible to SMEs as basic utilities to the public.

Once the platforms are used, digital technologies can be easily distributed to SMEs on a pay-as-you-use basis without the need for advanced technological systems established in the enterprises.

"The Ministry of Information and Communications has been assisting SMEs in digital transformation in recent years using digital platforms," Dũng said.

He also revealed that over 500,000 SMEs have begun to take an interest in digital platforms, and 70,000 SMEs have used them. In addition, many platform users have been met with success, including a coffee chain in Tây Nguyên.

Trần Duy Đông, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, underscored digital transformation as the key to national competitive advantages.

For that reason, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has introduced many favourable policies to encourage the process among SMEs. 

"The ministry has launched the Digital Transformation Support Programme for Enterprises between 2021 and 2025 to make 100 per cent of enterprises well aware of digital transformation," Đông said.

The deputy minister also highlighted several obstacles facing enterprises on their digital path. Specifically, about 60 per cent of enterprises mention high transformation costs as a major obstacle to the process, whereas 52.3 per cent point to an inadequate labour force. 

Bùi Trung Nghĩa, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, underscored Việt Nam as a country with a good pace of digital economy growth in ASEAN. 

The country's digital economy hit US$21 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $57 billion by 2025, second in the region in absolute terms with an annual growth rate of 29 per cent.

He said digital transformation, against such a backdrop, is essential for the viability and growth of enterprises, as the process enables them to cut costs, enhance management and boost revenue.

"Those enterprises that can turn digital transformation to their advantage would find themselves on the front foot," Nghĩa said.

However, he also said digital transformation would not happen overnight as there are many obstacles to overcome, several of which are related to board commitments, technology availability and human resources.

Trần Minh Tuấn, director of the Digital Economy and Digital Society Department, MOIC, highlighted several reasons behind enterprises embracing digital transformation.

He said the enterprises go digital mostly to improve competition, access new markets, produce new products and enhance efficiency.

Regarding digitalisation challenges, 75 per cent of SMEs said they are still determining whether digital transformation would bring benefits, 60 per cent said they lack the information and skills to follow the trend, and approximately 50 per cent said they need more adequate finances to go digital.

Ruici Tio, Policy Programmes Manager at Meta, said Việt Nam has the highest Adoption of Business Messaging among countries surveyed by the corporation, with 73 per cent of Vietnamese consumers adopting such means of communication.

Post-pandemic, almost two-fifth of Vietnamese consumers chat with enterprises more frequently. Specifically, at least one in three consumers do so once a week, and business messaging is prevalent across all age groups, especially Millennials and Gen Z. 

"Business Messaging has transformed business and has multiple applications across industries," said the manager.

Regarding the perceived importance of Business Messaging to enterprises, 74 per cent of respondents in retail, 90 per cent in e-commerce and 84 per cent in CPG said such means of communication are extremely important. — VNS