Digital Transformation requires comprehensive planning

Saigon Investment
(ĐTTCO) - The current global scenario has brought about an urgent need to implement digital transformation across a wide level of fields. Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, Director of Digital Transformation for SMEs (DTS), spoke with Saigon Investment recently about the requirements for digital transformation for businesses in Vietnam. 

Illustrative photo.

Illustrative photo.

Ms. Quynh feels that this is a golden time for businesses to adopt this method, but she feels it also requires the right thinking by leaders. If they want to implement this new method successfully, they need to keep in mind the goals and size of their businesses.

JOURNALIST: - Ma’am, what challenges do you see for SMEs who you realize are ready for digital transformation?

Ms. NGUYEN NGOC QUYNH: - Digital transformation is a way to enhance competitiveness among businesses. Currently, the concept of digital transformation is being talked about a lot within the Government, State agencies, and larger enterprises. At DTS, there are consulting courses for SMEs, and we find that the concept of digital transformation is still very strange to many businesses as they only know about online selling.

Due to a lack of concept understanding, SME groups are basically unprepared for digital transformation. The challenges facing this group of businesses in digital transformation lies in their thinking and unawareness on how to use digital tools in business operations. They don't know where to start to begin with, especially those businesses who have never even done any business online so far. Other factors impeding them is the lack of human resources, capital and access to technology.

At this time and age, digital transformation is the need of the hour as it is inevitable and not an option anymore. Many businesses are slow to respond to digital transformation as they perceive large investment costs only, but I think that if you want digital transformation to be successful, you not only need money but also choose the right goals and plans according to your respective businesses.

When we analyse businesses at consulting sessions, we realize there are businesses that invest less than VND 20 mn per year in technology, but still succeed in digital transformation. Technology is not the main concern in digital transformation, because there are many solutions in technology, some are even very cheap solutions. In this, the human factor is the most important.

- Ma’am, currently DTS is working with the Vietnam High Quality Business Association to implement a free training program called "Go Online", which is the first step for businesses to enter into digital transformation. What benefit will businesses receive by joining this program?

- First of all, it must be stressed that DTS programs focus on strategy, thinking, and planning, so our target audience are business owners, leaders, heads of businesses and managers. They participate in activities related to online and digital transformation for businesses when participating in courses coordinated by DTS with Vietnam High Quality Business Association. Businesses receive an overall perspective on online business and e-commerce.

This is very important, because if businesses are looking for customers online without planned perspective, they can spend a lot of money on promotion and marketing quite needlessly. In addition, through this program, people learn how to design a company online structure. Finally, when joining the program, businesses learn how to plan in a methodical way to introduce their businesses online.

The course is in five phases. The first phase relates to discovery, where businesses find out where they are placed, where they need to go, and how to overcome challenges and obstacles. The second phase prepares businesses to design an online structure and go active online. This preparation must be suitable to their resources and specific to each enterprise. The other three phases cover implementation, operation and optimization.

-  Ma’am, besides this program, what other activities does DTS offer to support SMEs in digital transformation?

- DTS is currently offering six main programs to support SMEs. First, we offer survey and evaluation, because this activity helps businesses know where they are on the digital transformation roadmap and how they must prepare for this change. Second, we offer training and consultation to help businesses with an overall strategy and plan for their businesses. Third, we connect businesses with the college educational system. Currently, DTS does not provide this service but only introduces businesses to the appropriate platforms.

Fourth, we carry out case studies for purpose of sharing, because currently not all units have direct access to DTS. Our aim is to support SMEs across the country, who can then lend support to other businesses. Fifth, we connect experts to businesses that want digital transformation consultants. Sixth, we increase communication, such as online marketplace for businesses that do not have access to e-commerce floors. Market sessions take place for about ten days, and train businesses in methods to sell.

In addition, DTS works with many associations and units to organize events for businesses to learn about digital transformation. Currently, when businesses participate in DTS activities it is completely free of charge. Enterprises that require one on one indepth consultation need a lot of time, so for such personal attention we charge a fee.

- Maam, in addition to the challenges faced by enterprises in digital transformation, many businesses are concerned about the possibility of failure. Do you have any advice for them?

- For enterprises to learn and understand online and digital transformation, they must go to the right consultant. There are many units that provide such services and every unit will market itself as the best in the field of digital transformation. An enterprise must go to a consultant who can provide a clear goal, offer a comprehensive plan, and find low cost solutions. Otherwise, enterprises face the risk of high and wasted expenditure.

 - Thank you very much.

Thanh Dung

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