Raising Businesses’ Readiness for Digital Transformation

11:25:02 AM | 11/15/2022

Knowing that digital transformation is important and even vital to Vietnamese businesses in the context of deepening international economic integration, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Ho Chi Minh City Branch (VCCI-HCM) hosted the Workshop “Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation for Businesses in Industry 4.0 Era” to raise business awareness of digital transformation.

Delivering a keynote speech on the role and importance of digital transformation to businesses, VCCI-HCM Director Tran Ngoc Liem said the transition from a traditional business model to a digital model will help businesses scale up the application of cutting-edge technologies such as big data, internet of things (IoT) and cloud computing into business practices, thus helping change how businesses are operated and change business models to enhance business performance and add new value for companies. “In other words, business digitization is a vital trend and each business needs to create a digital environment for themselves and be ready to connect with others in the digital ecosystem," he emphasized.

The survey on “Digital transformation in business amid COVID-19 pandemic outbreak” into over 400 businesses conducted by VCCI showed that Vietnamese companies started to perceive and apply digital technologies to various activities like trade promotion, internal management, purchasing, logistics, manufacturing, marketing, payment, sales and customer care. When the contagious COVID-19 pandemic resulted in contact restrictions and social distancing, businesses had to scale up the digital application in their operations, especially in internal management, electronic payment, online marketing and trade promotion. In just a short time, a high percentage of companies started to adopt digital technology in their operations, especially in remote human resource management, online conferencing, online learning and internal approval. This is also a trend that requires businesses to quickly adapt to it to generate higher working performance.

The role and effect of digital transformation on businesses are undeniable. However, according to experts, digital transformation in business is challenging, especially to small and medium-sized companies. VCCI-HCM Deputy Director Nguyen Huu Nam said that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are facing numerous barriers in digital transformation because they do not properly perceive the role of this process. SMEs account for a vast majority in the business community in Vietnam, but their scientific and technological prowess and innovation are still low. The digital transformation readiness of SMEs is very weak. A survey on readiness for Industry 4.0 showed that a majority of respondents said they are out of this matter, while a very small share are experienced or expert and none are at the “leading” level.

2022 and the following years is forecast to be a golden time for Vietnam to recover and grow in production and export, he said. To grasp this opportunity, trade promotion needs to be further renovated, especially driven by digital transformation. Companies need to quickly adopt digital transformation for commercializing products and services to effectively take advantage of new opportunities because information technology application and digital transformation is no longer an option but a must for all businesses, organizations and individuals to adapt and effectively take advantage of new opportunities for market expansion and export growth. “In that sense, to achieve successful digital transformation, companies must be ready in three aspects: leadership readiness (leaders need to understand what they want and how technology can transform their companies), personnel readiness (training employees to access and operate the system during and after digital transformation); and technological readiness (finding a suitable provider of digital transformation,” VCCI-HCM Deputy Director Nguyen Huu Nam recommended.

My Chau (Vietnam Business Forum)