Virus bumps up the digital uptake rate

Virus bumps up the digital uptake rate

The proportion of so-called digital adopters and digital leaders in Thai businesses is expected to rise in the coming years as more than half of all businesses are gradually embracing digital transformation, according to a virtual business seminar held by the country's largest mobile operator Advanced Info Service (AIS).

Digital adopters are defined as businesses that have a mature digital plan in regards to investment and innovation while digital leaders are those that have digital ingrained in their DNA.

Digital adopters currently account for 22% of total enterprises in Thailand and digital leaders make up 3%, compared to 23% and 5% globally, respectively, based on analysis by Deloitte, a global accounting and consulting firm.

The analysis was presented by Tanapong Ittisakulchai, chief enterprise business officer of AIS, at a virtual seminar event called "AIS Business Digital Future 2021".

A total of 59% of Thai businesses are at a stage called digital evaluator in which they are gradually embracing digital transformation, planning and investments for the future, he said.

Mr Tanapong said enterprises are being pushed to accelerate digital transformation in order to handle increasingly complicated challenges amid competition.

The pandemic is also driving digitalisation in the business ecosystem.

He said many Thai enterprises have gradually applied digital transformation to their operations and management in the past few years.

The proportion of Thai businesses in the level called digital laggard was 5%. Meanwhile, digital followers were at 10%, lower than the global average, he said, adding: "This is a good sign for digital adoption in the country."

Citing a report by McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, Mr Tanapong said the pandemic has caused digital adoption by enterprises much earlier than expected, leading to 43 times faster adoption of remote work, 24 times faster adoption of migration of assets to cloud services, and 19 times faster adoption of data security expenditure.

According to him, the pandemic has widened the gap in revenue growth between entrepreneurs with a digital transformation focus and those without.

The gap was about 500% when recorded earlier this year, he noted.

Speaking at the same event, Dhanawat Suthumpun, managing director of Microsoft Thailand, said eight movements are major imperatives enterprises would experience in years to come.

They comprise of emerging of citizen developers, strategic economy through partnership, a digital-first world, cloud economy, economy of trust, new generation of business and intelligence as well as sustainable development.

According to him, there are various prevailing tech trends that could be a boon and they include ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, digital twin, augmented and virtual reality, quantum computing as well as technology that will support people experience.

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