The Thailand Digital Economy and Society Development Plan, a 20-year development plan (2017–2036), will propel the nation to achieve six key long-term goals: build a comprehensive nationwide digital infrastructure that improves accessibility, availability, and affordability of digital usage; boost the nation's economy by leveraging on digital technology to raise competitiveness, nurture new businesses, and create added value; create a knowledge-driven digital society; transform the Thai government into a fully digital government, which will facilitate seamless communication with citizens and businesses; prepare the Thai workforce for the era of digital disruption by upskilling the workforce and increase the number of skilled jobs; and build trust and confidence in the use of digital technology by updating laws and regulations, developing policies that encourage inflow of investments, and ensuring digital security.
The government has shown a willingness to dispense scholarship funding to support and drive ecosystems to develop workers proficient in digital technologies that are ready to be deployed in targeted industries in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), namely, advanced programming, robotics, mechatronics, advanced analytics, and security. Government agencies have collaborated with educational institutes and private companies, such as King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Kasetsart University Sriracha Campus, Keio University (Japan), Mitsubishi Electric (Japan), and Mitsubishi Electric (Thailand), to facilitate the upskilling of the Thai workforce. IDC believes these five key areas will create business opportunities for IT service vendors in the areas of intelligent IT solutions and next-generation IT tools and services offerings.
According to IDC’s 2018 IT Services Survey, 63% of Thai enterprises are planning to leverage on external resources, such as tech vendors, systems integrators (SIs), and cloud/telco SPs, for their DX initiatives. The main catalyst for this is the lack of internal expertise in organizations to leverage on new or advanced technologies in addition to the high upfront cost required to invest in upskilling of their workforce. There is a need for enterprises in Thailand to upgrade their infrastructure, network, and applications to embrace 3rd Platform technologies or innovation accelerators. For instance, enterprises will leverage on mobility solutions to support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives in the context of the Future of Work trend. In addition, enterprises will leverage on big data and analytics to become data-driven organizations and utilize artificial intelligence (AI) technology to automate decision making at the operational level.
The Smart City initiatives in Thailand currently involve seven pilot cities: Phuket, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Rayong, Chachoengsao, and Bangkok. One of the key projects that will help support digital transformation and digital economy initiatives is the City Data Platform, which was implemented in Phuket, Khon Kaen, and Chiang Mai. The platform leverages on digital technology to establish real-time access to data from closed-circuit television (CCTV) for criminal tracking purposes in addition to data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors for disaster monitoring purposes. In addition, the platform will enable the harnessing of data from Wi-Fi users to help stakeholders better understand customer preference of tourists, whereas the government will be able to analyze real-time data to improve the nation's logistic systems. IoT, cloud, and big data will be the key technologies that will facilitate the success of these Smart City initiatives. The government will require the expertise of a variety of SPs to ensure that these Smart City initiatives are executed to align with the nation's overall objective. In the future, the number of Smart City initiatives will increase, which will be a catalyst of IT services growth in the long term.
IBM, Oracle Corporation, Loxley Investments Limited, Cisco Systems, Inc., CDG Co. Ltd., Accenture plc, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Advanced Information Technology Public Co., Ltd., Microsoft Corporation, Samsung, DXC Technology Co.
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