Two-thirds of businesses unprepared for Industry 4.0

15:20 | 03/10/2017 Information Technology

(VEN) - Almost two-thirds of Vietnamese businesses have not taken any measures to prepare for the the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. These are the findings of a survey presented at the Vietnam ICT Summit 2017 that took place in Hanoi recently. The summit was designed to help participants better understand Industry 4.0’s impacts on the Vietnamese economy, offering them a chance to discuss measures necessary to make the most of opportunities from this revolution.

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Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (in the middle, with glasses) visits exhibition stalls at Vietnam ICT Summit 2017

Connections, sharing crucial

At the summit, Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of the Board at the FPT Corporation, affirmed that Industry 4.0 is spreading across the globe with increasingly strong impacts on all aspects of socioeconomic life. When it comes to Vietnam, traditional sectors of manufacturing will disappear, pushing businesses into a difficult situation and making workers jobless. Therefore, domestic businesses should get ready to cope with these challenges.

Addressing the summit, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said it’s time for Vietnam to get ready for Industry 4.0 and make the most of opportunities from this revolution.

According to the deputy prime minister, Industry 4.0 requires great efforts to intensify the application of information technology by all organizations, institutions and businesses, promote creative startups, develop smart cities and smart agriculture, and train IT human resources.

He said that Vietnam has moved up 12 places to rank 47th in the Global Innovation Index 2017. The domestic information technology sector has significantly contributed to this result. Vietnam has also moved up 10 places to rank 89th in the UN E-government Development Index launched this July. However, a big concern for Vietnam is that it ranks third worldwide in terms of spam and malware attacks.

“We have spoken much about Industry 4.0. This revolution requires tighter connections between the state, associations and businesses. Connections and sharing are crucial in the era of information technology,” Deputy Prime Minister Dam emphasized.

According to the deputy prime minister, in the Third Industrial Revolution, Vietnam achieved fruitful results in the field of digital technology. To get ready for Industry 4.0, Vietnam needs to further upgrade its IT infrastructure. Three decades ago, when the Republic of Korea invested in building an information superhighway, Vietnam also built its first optical cables and microwave systems despite a lack of highly qualified engineers. Today, 3G, 4G and optical cables have reached almost each hamlet and village in the country.

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Businesses initiative

At Vietnam ICT Summit 2017, the Vietnam Software and IT Service Association (VINASA) announced the results of a survey it conducted among 275 participants. Accordingly, 35.2 percent of surveyed units have got ready for Industry 4.0, most of them include businesses in the fields of banking and IT; 58.7 percent have learned about Industry 4.0 but have done nothing to get ready for it, while 6.1 percent still have almost no idea about Industry 4.0.

Nguyen Phu Cuong, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Science and Technology Department, believes in the era of Industry 4.0, any country that fails to make innovation efforts to promote its development will lag behind. In his opinion, businesses need to be adequately aware of Industry 4.0, as well as of what they should do in order not to lag behind. Each business needs to build a long-term development strategy.

Lu Thanh Long, Chairman of the Board at the MISA Joint Stock Company, said business development strategies should be built in the context of changes that have occurred worldwide; infrastructure investment activities must be smart; and production and trade must be digitalized at all stages.

According to Microsoft Vietnam Deputy Director General Pham Tran An, to enter Industry 4.0, businesses need to take advantage of digitization in order to enhance operation efficiency with support of cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). Microsoft has been striving to build flexible foundations with optimal services to help individuals and businesses create their own technologies, as well as new solutions and services, forming a healthy and sustainable business ecosystem.

The results of a survey conducted by VINASA show that Vietnam has three advantages in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These include: (1) human resources, (2) government awareness and determination, and (3) information and telecommunications infrastructure. To bring these advantages into play, Vietnam needs to intensify human resource training and promote digitization, startups and innovation. From the viewpoint of businesses and organizations, Vietnam should concentrate on specific sectors where it has advantages, including information technology, tourism, agriculture, finance, banking and logistics.

Quynh Nga