Supporting small enterprises with digital transformation

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Digital transformation is the best way for SMEs to survive after being hit hard the COVID-19 pandemic, experts said. Photo thoibaonganhang.vn

HCM CITY — Hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises will receive support for making the digital transformation from the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA).

The association has a digital transformation guideline framework in 26 fields.

The set of evaluation criteria and documents that SMEs need to know will be publicly released on the website www.dx4sme.vn.

They can download the documents and directly register to connect and seek advice on the website.

VINASA staff and experts and businesses would provide them with support for digital transformation, an association spokesperson said.

For the digital transformation programme, HCM City has built the city Support and Consultation Centre for Digital Transformation (DXCenter) and gradually put into operation.

DXCenter aims to provide at least 1,000 products and solutions for digital transformation activities and 100 digital transformation models for various fields, and will serve in that order SMEs, organisations that have need for digital transformation and digital technology enterprises seeking to approach potential customers.

Lâm Nguyễn Hải Long, chairman of the City Informatics Association, said it is the go-to address for SMEs in particular but also all enterprises seeking digital transformation.

According to the Việt Nam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, the country has around 800,000 companies, with SMEs accounting for more than 98 per cent.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, over 90 per cent of SMEs were badly affected as the traditional market and production shrunk.

SMEs need digital transformation tools to change the way they operate and do business in the new context.

The pandemic has created a labour shortage besides hitting demand, and after it passes SMEs need to increase the use of digital technology to survive and thrive.

Facing difficulties during the pandemic, Phạm Nghĩa Food in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ made timely efforts to sustain its business activities.

However, due to a loss of employees it had to replace them with machinery and technology, which have enabled it to make new products.

It has also tried to exploit multi-channel sales, especially online sales.

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business that results in fundamental changes to the way it operates.

This is the right time for SMEs to boldly adopt technology in management and to make digital transformation, experts said.

When COVID was at its peak, over 90 per cent of SMEs faced difficulties and an average of 10,000 stopped operating each month.

Therefore, it is essential to quickly have flexible policies to help SMEs overcome difficulties and resume operations, especially to support their digital transformation, the experts said.

To persuade firms to embrace digital transformation, the Government needs to create a legal framework that helps them innovate and mitigate possible legal risks.

Policies that encourage enterprises and create conditions for them to adopt new technologies and digital transformation are needed, especially those that allow the testing of new products and technologies that still face legal obstacles.

The Government needs to promote and support the development of large technology companies, raise awareness in society about the benefits of digital transformation and digital technologies and set basic standards for digital transformation to help businesses mitigate the risks involved.

It needs to invest in technology infrastructure that only it can and adopt policies to encourage and support creative start-ups and develop human resources for digital transformation. — VNS

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