In 2020 the world faced an unprecedented crisis, which drove digital transformation and the development of the digital economy as hot topics. Now, well into 2021, the world is familiarizing itself with a “new normal,” driven by online, automated, and intelligent trends and sparking a fast track to build digital competitiveness and resilience.
According to Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs, top performing enterprises are accelerating digital innovation and leveraging emerging technologies to come out stronger on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, and “2021 will be a race to digital, with the spoils going to those organizations that can maintain the momentum built up during their response to the pandemic.”
Forrester also predicts that Asia Pacific will emerge from the crisis first in 2021, before the US and Europe, due in part to the region’s strengths in digital and mobile technologies. Already the recovery in Asia Pacific is under way, with 30% of enterprises adapting and 26% returning to growth, but not all are adapting at the same rate. The success of organizations will depend on how quickly and how well they harness technology.
Developing Policies for Digital Transformation Is a Priority
There is clear evidence that industries that change from reactive responses to proactive planning will benefit from the creation of new value and the improvement in enterprise competitiveness in the future.
Organizations need to reprioritize digital investments to increase business resilience and prepare for digital transformation.
Committed leadership from policy makers and industry leaders should strengthen digital commitments and capabilities, with an escalation of digital agendas to the top of socio-economic recovery plans.
Governments should adopt a similar approach to fully utilize ICT technologies to develop the digital economy and promote digital transformation, driving the recovery process and ultimately determine the speed of economic recovery.
ICT Technology and Industry Applications at the Heart of Digital Transformation
With ICT technologies, enterprises can not only maintain and even increase productivity, but also expand their existing businesses into new markets and opportunities.
According to Huawei’s Global Connectivity Index 2020, digital infrastructure (including ultra-broadband, cloud services, and IoT) allows people and enterprises to adapt more readily to remote work and distance learning. Countries with well-developed ICT infrastructure are better positioned to embrace the new normal and leverage their digital foothold to promote economic recovery and a more resilient digital future.
High-speed connectivity is enabling reliable teleworking and education. More than 100 million primary and secondary school students worldwide benefitted from online education in 2020, according to Boston Consulting.
Flexible cloud computing is providing scalable infrastructure for storing, processing, and delivering information and services. In some industries in China (including online education, healthcare, and retail), up to 85% of enterprises have already started to use cloud services.
In addition, technologies such as Big Data and IoT are driving the automation of business processes and services at low cost, increasing supply chain resilience and improving decision-making processes. Many workplaces have shifted to contactless operations, leveraging automation technology in factories and unmanned vehicle logistics services in parks.
Along with the rapid development of the digital world, ICT technology plays a dual role in reducing carbon emissions. On the one hand, it can continuously reduce its own carbon dioxide emissions and provide efficient networks while achieving green energy conservation. On the other, as an innovative technology, it can enable thousands of industries to save energy and reduce emissions, ultimately achieving symbiosis between science and nature.
As a leading global provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices and based on best practices and joint innovation, Huawei has unique abilities to integrate ubiquitous high-speed connectivity, cloud computing, Big Data, IoT, and industry applications. Huawei has worked with 253 Fortune 500 enterprises in over 700 cities to help them meet their digital transformation goals and achieve real efficiency improvements, improve their new ICT professionalism, and build true scenario-based solutions.
Addressing ICT Talent Shortage for Digital Transformation
Along with ICT technology, talent and skills are essential to building a long-lasting digital future. The lack of digital skills and an inability to develop and train local ICT talent in accordance with local conditions is one of the biggest challenges facing many countries and organizations undergoing digital transformation.
Unique conditions in each Asia Pacific country means that, to be successful in each, a proper model for developing talent resources matching the local situation needs to be established.
Huawei’s partner ecosystem includes more than 22,000 channel partners, 1,200 solution partners, and 3,900 service partners globally. An additional 900 talent alliance partners round out our talent ecosystem with a focus on building new ICT talent to address the shortfall of skilled resources.
Huawei ASEAN Academy started operations in 2019, mainly using a multi-party joint operation with local governments, enterprises, universities, operators, and industry organizations to train digital talents, enable the digital transformation of the local ICT industry, promote innovations within start-ups and SMEs, and facilitate the creation of a 5G-based innovation ecosystem. The program has already covered four countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia) and has trained a total of 23,465 ICT talents for the local community, with plans to benefit many more Asia Pacific countries in the future.
2021 will be a year of economic recovery, navigated by policy, technology, and talent. Huawei is fully committed to being the preferred ICT partner in the region and to share experiences and contribute however possible to regional success. Countries in Asia Pacific may come in all shapes and sizes, but the universal truth is that our future is digital, and embracing it better positions everyone for success in this new frontier.
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