Day 1 of the 24th Asia IoT Business Platform (and the 4th annual Thailand edition) was successfully held in Bangkok, Thailand on 24th July, the conference is co-hosted by Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) and Ajarin Pattanapanchai, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, was the Guest-of-Honor.
Recollecting from what had been discussed at the 3rd annual Thailand edition in 2017, the 2 main emphasis on IoT adoption in Thailand had revolved around “starting small” and “having the right infrastructure”. While this year some enterprise leaders did mention their interest in infrastructure development progress and advising on the necessity to first determine short term quantifiable benefits, the focus seems to have shifted a little from last year.
When asked about the next step for the country, Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, CEO of depa stated the creation of marketplaces for local enterprises is as important as the development of manpower, including startups, and this is what depa has been working towards – to help Thai enterprises find and create new business opportunities.
Indeed, to truly embrace and own innovation, enterprises (especially large enterprises) need to learn how to work with startups more because it is where innovation comes from. Innovation will enable sustainability, and sustainability will propel digital economy, a successful digital economy is the evidence of a well-maintained ecosystem.
We have seen several enterprise leaders voicing a resounding encouragement – the need for collaboration efforts. Thibaut Girard, Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy Transformation & PMO, dtac said that in the digital space, “Thailand’s market is worth 20-25 billion Bht in 5 years”, and Asnee Wipatawate, Head of Enterprise Product and International Services, AIS said that we need to “work with ecosystem partners” to create a more conducive environment for digital growth. Their comments were backed by Narucha Ruchauphan, Director of Creative and Digital Industries, BOI, saying “the key of digital transformation is ecosystem”.
Quoting what Rakesh Singh, Director of Corporate Strategy & Operation Development, Srithai Superware interestingly pointed “if you want to take IoT further, you got to work with friend-nemies, friends and enemies. It’s a total integrated approach, both on the same table, talking about the same things, not only from outside the company but also from inside.
Another keyword having been repeated numerous times was manpower or workforce, digital manpower to be specific. In the industrial IoT panel discussion, one of the key concern was about people, stating “we need people and we need knowledge right now”. In the transport & logistics panel discussion, the same sentiment resonated when Dr. Thitipong Nandhabiwat, Board of Commissioners, Port Authority of Thailand said he has been seeing challenges “in people, in terms of digital transformation, skilled personnel. For example, we need people to have data science background, but it’s hard to find. To adopt technology for use in organizations is simple, but people to drive it, manage it and really know how to operate the systems well, that’s a big problem”.
We do agree that skilled workers and professionals are in extreme high demand in the market and it’s a huge challenge for many organizations which want to move forward digitally and quickly. To help local companies adapt, adopt and change through this new wave of digitalization, Board of Trade mentioned in the Industry Trends & Outlook session that to alleviate the workforce problem, they conduct series of trainings and workshop, providing both basic digital understanding and in-dept workshops. Natasak Rodjanapiches, Vice Chairman of Creative Digital Economy Committee, Board of Trade of Thailand, highlighted “learn, un-learn and re-learn” will be the key, especially at this age of transformation.
Last but not least, the winners for this year’s enterprise innovation awards are Ananda Development and Krungsri Consumer. The Enterprise Innovation Awards give recognition to enterprises in Thailand which are embarking on digital transformation initiatives in their organizations.
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