6 key areas to drive Vietnam’s Digital Transformation

While preparing for Asia IoT Business Platform in Vietnam, we’ve been speaking to the local government, telcos, enterprises and vendors – basically everyone – involved in this digital revolution (think IoT, think Data, think Cloud). A survey among enterprises was also conducted to understand the needs and challenges faced (drop me a note if you’d like to access the report).

Thought it would be useful to sum up some of the observations – not so much of figures and predictions, but mainly conversations and ongoing initiatives on the key industries:

1. Smart City & Public Sectors

Various research and initiatives are seen across Vietnamese cities to develop infrastructure for smart city solutions, with Da Nang and Ho Chih Minh City taking the lead (within 10 years from now we’ll be able to know which of them will successfully evolve as the first smart city in Vietnam).

Solutions and consultancy are being sought by Hanoi, Hai Duong, Hai Phong following ongoing projects by Viettel, IBM, Honeywell, Microsoft, Altai Technologies, etc. in Da Nang and HCMC, to address issues like flooding, pollution, healthcare, education, etc.

2. Smart Building / Home

Following smart and green city visions mentioned above: while there’s a boom of modern architecture across Vietnam, we’re seeing increasing demand for IoT platforms with SHaaS (SmartHome-as-a-Service) solutions and strategic partners.

Cooperation contracts have been signed by Bkav Technology Cooperation to supply smart home solutions to Ecopark Ecological Urban Area (Hanoi), Vinhomes Central Park (HCMC), etc. And the “smart” trend does not stop here – local SIs, telcos (acting as pseudo-SIs) are actively looking for partners in automation, emergency response, security and control systems to be included in upcoming projects.

3. Industrials / Manufacturing

This industry particularly sees a surge of interest among our participants.

With successful case studies including implementation of High-Tech Distribution Center by SSI Schaefer in Vinamilk (the first “Mega Factory” that is fully automated) and Fujitsu’s development of factory system for TOTO Vietnam, local manufacturers are increasingly open to explore new technologies for supply chain optimization, stable production and quality management, data analytics solutions that enable efficiency and visualization of trained workers’ expertise.

As the biggest exporter to the U.S. among ASEAN, Vietnam’s manufacturing scene has been moving away from the traditional portfolio into more higher value-added products like chipsets and parts for mobile devices. Solutions that can help in precision manufacturing and human error reduction will be very well received.

4. Agriculture

We’ve seen an investment of US$50,000 in Da Lat City to integrate technologies and automation solutions for a 7-hectare farm that brought in a stellar profit of US$250,000 every year.

In 2015, a collaboration between Fujitsu and FPT opened the Fujitsu-FPT Akisai Farm in Hanoi to implement Fujitsu’s Akisai Food and Agriculture Cloud and transfer the technology to its Vietnamese counterparts.

Accounting for almost 20% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, there is still abundant untapped opportunities in Vietnam’s agriculture sector with government keeping a look out for precision farming, automation, data analytics solutions.

5. Security

In our survey among Vietnamese enterprises, security is viewed as the top concern when it comes to adoption of IoT.

This comes as no surprise as cybersecurity is a big threat to Vietnam itself. This is also why the government is making huge investments in training information security experts for government agencies and national key information. As the implementing agency, the Ministry of Information and Communications are looking to have a proper framework to reduce systems vulnerability by 2020.

With this, we’re looking to help our partners and enterprises understand the risks of technologies and save them costs and frustrations of restoring the system from preventable attacks.

6. IoT Platform

It’s pretty self explanatory – I’ve mentioned some high-demand industry solutions and while IoT adoption has significantly increased in Vietnam, the need for IoT platform to integrate fragmented products within organisations has become (more than) slightly urgent as well (e.g. quest for SHaaS mentioned above). While most IoT-related devices in Vietnam are currently run by separate teams in a company, we’ve gotten requests by local system integrators, telcos and developers to recommend relevant case studies for their reference.

All in all, IoT developments in Vietnam and the maturity of discussions have been (pleasantly) surprising, with government counting on the private sector to grow the national ICT scene, telcos welcoming international partners to drive development across sectors.

I’m personally looking forward to meeting the key stakeholders this November 12-13 at Rex Hotel, and participate in their sharing and discussions on what’s ongoing, what’s lacking.

Feel free to leave a comment or drop me a note if you have some input – happy to chat.

Sue Yuin Ho

14 September 2018

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