Category Archives: digital business

Pakistan’s digital revolution is happening faster than you think

CPEC

The digital power of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is slowly unfolding and shaping into a whole new area of opportunity.

When the BRI took global centre stage in 2013, most conversations revolved around traditional infrastructure: building roads, railways, power sources and linking borders. However, the digital awakening that BRI brings, and the associated development of human capital and innovation, is much more powerful.

The global map is being altered at a much faster rate than anticipated due to the disruption created by digital infrastructure, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain. Further digital and technological disruption is now set to mend fractures in society – leading to improved living conditions and enhanced economic empowerment.

This disruption has given new life to e-commerce and the start-up scene in BRI countries. In light of the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0, it is extremely important that economies grow in all areas, overcoming challenges and making investment in human capital and innovation. Resilience and agility are key.

Looking at the South Asian region, some of the traditional deterrents to growth have been inadequate transport facilities, patchy power supplies and lack of financial inclusion. As we have seen in the past, industrial revolutions take their time to reach developing countries but the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been quick to reach all corners of the world.

Billions of dollars of investment are bridging the infrastructure and power supply gap while improving technology – the goal is to look past the problems that have hindered the road to progress in countries along the BRI.

The flagship project of the BRI, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a major collaboration between China and Pakistan, has been rapidly progressing and the impact of the project can be seen in the lives of Pakistani people, as reflected in an improving human development index.

Pakistan, which is emerging from many years of the war on terror, is now on a decent path to progress, with economic growth of 5.8% and improved investor confidence. At the World Economic Forum in 2017, Ebay’s chief executive, Devin Wenig, highlighted Pakistan as one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world. In 2018, Alibaba bought Pakistan’s largest e-commerce platform, Daraz.pk.

Growth is being accelerated by other major investments in power and connectivity infrastructure, technology and digital infrastructure. Ant Financial Services, China’s biggest online payment service provider, recently bought a 45% stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank, in a deal that valued the Pakistani bank at $410 million.

Irfan Wahab, chief executive of Telenor Pakistan, called the deal a “game changer”; while Eric Jing, chief executive of Ant Financial, said it would provide “inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low-cost and efficient way to a largely unbanked and underbanked population in Pakistan”.

This kind of investment will benefit from the significant demographic dividend in Pakistan, targeting the largely unbanked young population, and providing not only financial inclusion but also a base on which to build digital businesses.

What the country needs now is to improve its position on the innovation and financial inclusion indices, currently at 89 and 75 respectively, on the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2018.

source and more: www.weforum.org

Forbes Releases Digital 100, The Inaugural Ranking Of The Top 100 Public Companies Shaping The Digital Economy

digital 100Forbes’ today released the inaugural  Digital 100 list, a ranking of the top 100 public companies that are shaping the digital economy. The list offers a closer look at the technology, media, digital retail and telecommunication companies that shape the digital world. Not surprisingly, Amazon secures the top spot on the list. Amazon.com is classified as a retail company. And while retail makes up most of the company’s $108.3 billion revenues, its cloud computing division brought in $17.5 billion or 16% of sales last year. Netflix, the leader in internet subscription streaming services, is No. 2. NVIDIA Corporation (No. 3), Salesforce.com (No. 4) and ServiceNow (No. 5), round out the top of the list.

Forbes’ Digital 100 includes companies from all the different corners of the digital economy. IT software & services companies make up 35% of the list. Following close behind are technology hardware and equipment companies with 26 companies and semiconductor companies with 23 companies.

Companies come from 17 different countries with the U.S. and China in the lead. Forty-nine American companies make the list, while China comes in second with 16 companies. Of the top 20 companies on the list, 17 of them are from the U.S. Thirty-four of the companies on the list are from Asia.

The Top 20 Companies on Forbes 2018 Digital 100 list:

Rank Company Name Industry Country
1 Amazon.com Retailing UNITED STATES
2 Netflix Media UNITED STATES
3 NVIDIA Corporation Semiconductors UNITED STATES
4 salesforce.com IT Software & Services UNITED STATES
5 ServiceNow IT Software & Services UNITED STATES
6 Square IT Software & Services UNITED STATES
7 Analog Devices Semiconductors UNITED STATES
8 Palo Alto Networks Technology Hardware & Equipment UNITED STATES
9 Splunk IT Software & Services UNITED STATES
10 Adobe Systems IT Software & Services UNITED STATES
11 Broadcom Inc. Semiconductors UNITED STATES
12 Leidos Holdings Aerospace & Defense UNITED STATES
13 ON Semiconductor Semiconductors UNITED STATES
14 Match Group IT Software & Services UNITED STATES
15 Tech Mahindra IT Software & Services INDIA
16 Workday IT Software & Services UNITED STATES
17 Charter Communications Media UNITED STATES
18 Tencent Holdings IT Software & Services CHINA
19 Micron Technology Semiconductors UNITED STATES
20 SK hynix Semiconductors SOUTH KOREA

For the complete list visit: The 2018 Digital 100

Methodology

To compile the top 100 digital companies, Forbes first looked at the technology, media, digital retail and telecommunication companies that made it onto the 2018 Global 2000, Forbes’ annual ranking of the biggest companies in the world. Then, Forbes added to that group the big digital companies that have gone public since the Global 2000 was published in May. Companies were scored on a variety of factors including sales, profits, assets growth and performance of the stock over the past year. The list was priced on September 7, 2018.

source: www.forbes.com

Digital Economy is the Key to Realizing Indonesia into the Big Five of the World Economy

IndonesiaIn an oration entitled “Leap Frog Indonesia Through Digital Economy”, Rudiantara revealed that the development of a digital economic ecosystem is the key to realizing the nation’s economy towards the ranks of the world’s top five economies.

“The experience of a number of startup companies or startups that have grown up like Gojek, Tokopedia, Bukalapak and Traveloka shows that information and communication technology is the main booster rocket that can make a leap frog from zero, passing many stages at once, “To reach a point farther than what other conventional companies can achieve,” said Rudiantara.

To overcome the widening welfare gap in the world today, Rudiantara also urged the world to carry out a global movement. This has been conveyed by Rudiantara at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) forum in Korea.

One way is through the adoption of innovative digital economic business models and strategies to enable shared economy, digitalization of labor, and financial inclusion. This proposal departs from the experiences of a number of Indonesian startups which prove that digitalization can be directed towards empowering the workforce through new ways.

Rudiantara also mentioned that the digital economy in Indonesia in 2020 is expected to reach 130 billion US dollars or Rp 1,831 trillion. With these achievements, the next two years the digital economy will contribute around 11% of Indonesia’s gross domestic product.

“But of course it’s not as easy as turning your palm to achieve all of that. There are at least seven main issues in the digital economy that must be a common concern. These seven issues are human capital, startup funding, taxation, cyber security, ICT infrastructure, consumer protection, and logistics, “said Rudiantara.

According to Rudiantara, what the government has to do to meet the big changes in the economy and business is to cut regulations a lot and create an ecosystem that provides broad opportunities for innovation to develop.

Rudiantara added, leadership in the digital era must be pursued with at least three principles, namely less of a regulator, by simplifying regulations, simplifying and eliminating permits; more of a facilitator, by providing affirmative policies in developing infrastructure, encouraging digital entrepreneurship, and growing digital economic talents; and more of an accelerator, by accelerating the growth of new digital startups and other business sectors, especially MSMEs.

“The government and the education world must work hand in hand to grow and assist young people to have a passion for technology and become a workforce that has digital skills that are able to view community problems as a challenge to be solved and monetized,” said Rudiantara.

Some time ago, Gojek Indonesia launched Go-Viet in Hanoi, Vietnam. According to Rudiantara, this showed the ability of the nation’s younger generation to solve the problems of modern humanity.

“In the range of the digital economy that is still very young, our nation’s younger people have been able to carve out legacy that is not only sweet to remember, but also surely will inspire the achievements of other nationals in the digital realm of the world,” said Rudiantara.

According to him, this phenomenon also proved that digital space in Indonesia has the same opportunities as other countries in the world. In an increasingly digital world, the perspective of the market must be broader.

Meanwhile, to help prepare Indonesia’s human resources in supporting digital transformation and improving the digital economy, in the near future the Ministry of Communication and Information will launch “Digital Talent Scholarship”. This program is in the form of intensive training scholarships by holding five universities in Indonesia, including Unpad.

source: www.unpad.ac.id

Vodafone claims UK’s first live holographic 5G call

vodafone efVodafone showed off its 5G prowess on Thursday by conducting what it claims is the U.K.’s first ever live holographic call using 5G technology.

The call was carried out between the telco’s Manchester office and Newbury headquarters, and featured England women’s football captain Steph Houghton appearing on stage in hologram form to give football tips to a young fan.

It would be easy to dismiss the demonstration as a gimmick, but Vodafone insisted that it points to exciting possibilities that next-generation mobile technology can bring to sport, such as remote coaching and training, as well as opportunities for richer interaction with fans.

“Vodafone has a history of firsts in UK telecoms – we made the nation’s first mobile call, sent the first text and now we’ve conducted the U.K.’s first holographic call using 5G,” said Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery, in a statement.

Of course, holographic 5G calling is only possible when there is a network in place, and with that in mind, Vodafone shared plans to roll out infrastructure in Cornwall and the Lake District next year, and to have 1,000 5G sites up and running nationwide by 2020.

In addition to showcasing 5G, Vodafone also launched new initiatives and tariffs targeted at small businesses and entrepreneurs.

These include a new digital incubator in Manchester; a £300,000 Techstarter award for innovative technology with a social purpose; and a mentorship programme in partnership with Oxford University Innovation called Bright Sparks.

Meanwhile, Vodafone UK’s retail and contact centre staff will be given the opportunity to learn coding via the operator’s new Code Ready scheme. The company is also launching the Vodafone Digital Degree, which combines a computer science degree from the University of Birmingham with a tech apprenticeship at Vodafone.

For small business customers, Vodafone on Thursday launched what it calls a self-optimising tariff that automatically moves subscribers to the most cost-effective plan. It also unveiled Gigacube, a mobile WiFi hotspot that supports up to 20 connections. Vodafone is pitching it to pop-up businesses like shops and restaurants, and companies setting up temporary satellite offices.

“The initiatives we’ve launched today are designed to ensure that everyone can benefit from the digital technologies transforming how we live and work. From our customers and employees, to university students, digital entrepreneurs and businesses, we want to help people across the UK get ready for a digital future,” Jeffery said.

source: www.totaltele.com

Overcoming digital divide – analysis (India)

India FlagIndia’s policies towards digital regulation are inadequate. Future policy-making must be based on economic considerations and evidence, not on myopic political considerations

In 2014, the Narendra Modi-led Government came to power with an objective of ‘minimum Government, maximum governance, aimed at showcasing the country as an investment-friendly destination. Thereafter, on various occasions, the Government announced measures to boost private sector investment in the country. To its credit, several high-level policy decisions, like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code were enacted to improve the business and investment environment. However, the major test for the Modi-led Government is yet to come.

India is on the cusp of laying the foundation stone for the next digital revolution (Industry 4.0). Industry 4.0, synonymous with the digital economy, is expected to contribute one trillion dollar to national output by 2022-23. Given the undeniable potential of the digital economy to contribute outsize growth, it is incumbent on the Government to adopt a delicate, evidence-based approach to put in place an appropriate regulatory architecture that ensures the country reaps full dividends from Industry 4.0.

However, emergent policy recommendations in the past few weeks indicate that the Government is handling the nascent digital economy with a 20th century mindset. These include recommendations of the Committee of Experts, led by Justice (retd) BN Srikrishna, the draft e-commerce ‘policy’ and the draft report of the Working Group on Cloud Computing — the latter two, as reported by the media, amply illustrate the perils of a dated mindset.

For starters, the decision-making process of all the three have remained opaque and had negligible representation from private organisation, let alone investors. Therefore, the final outcome of these groups has been skewed towards one direction, while ignoring the consideration of other stakeholders, in particular investors. For instance, despite highlighting the economic cost and concomitant adverse impact on the start-up ecosystem associated with data localisation in a white paper, the final recommendation of the BN Srikrishna committee endorses the same. Similar provisions for localisation have found their way in Cloud computing recommendations as well as the draft e-commerce policy. It is important to note that storage of data in India would not mean access to that data by local entities. Additionally, such measures can exacerbate cyber-security risks by compelling enterprises to invest in increasing data storage capacity, while apportioning fewer resources to ensure adequate security controls.

Furthermore, voices for protectionism, which are reminiscent of the discourse during the 1991 reforms, are getting louder. Particularly with respect to the draft e-commerce policy, a document, which besides guiding India’s position at the international trade fora, is aimed at promoting the domestic e-commerce ecosystem. This policy will implicate all aspects of the digital economy, and have a key role to play in India’s preparation for the emergent digital revolution.

However, protectionist voices have argued that the Government should formulate different rules for foreign and domestic companies, citing that availability of abundant capital with foreign companies could kill domestic entrepreneurship.

India has come a long way from considering investments as a bail out to solve external payment crises, to recognising that investments bring with them growth and employment, and consequently make a significant contribution to the economy at large. Constant liberalisation of the foreign investment regime in the country is an example of this approach.

Nonetheless, while dealing with digital economy, a constant international best practice which is cited by protectionist voices is that of China. The question to ask is: Can India afford to adopt the Chinese approach? Currently, India’s share in global value chains (GVC) is estimated to be less than two per cent, while China’s share is in double digits. Importantly, China’s peculiar political and economic outlook makes its policies inimitable. For instance, most Chinese players in the digital economy have been supported by state-led investments.

Unlike China, India neither has the economic footprint to deter other countries from taking restrictive reciprocal measures, nor are our entrepreneurs and businesses supported by public sector finance. On the contrary, foreign capital has played a vital role in providing India’s home-grown digital companies like, Ola and Paytm, a global stage. Introducing onerous regulatory conditions and uncertainty could impact the trust of the investors in India as a promising and stable digital market, consequently damaging the image of the country as an investment-friendly destination.

Therefore, it is important that future policy-making is based on economic considerations and on evidence rather than myopic political considerations. Additionally, the need of the hour is to take a nuanced approach with respect to policies which are expected to impact India’s economic aspirations in the coming decade. Given that the 2019 Lok Sabha election are around the corner, the Modi Government will be under pressure to succumb to various protectionist demands. It should take care to avoid such pitfalls if it is to reap economic dividends in its second-term in power which it projects to win.

source: www.dailypioneer.com

Unlocking the value of data key to UK economic growth

The Scottish government has identified data-driven innovation as a key area for potential economic growth, and they plan to invest accordingly. Rachel Aldighieri, MD of the DMA, highlights the need for cross-sector collaboration to discover the true worth of data.

Earlier this month, Theresa May signed the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal with Nicola Sturgeon. Along with other cultural and economic developments, the deal seeks to invest in the fintech, tech and AI sectors, and will ring-fence money to develop data storage and analysis centres in the Scottish capital.

Key commitments include £300m for world-leading data innovation centres; a £25m regional skills programme to support improved career opportunities for disadvantaged groups; and £65m of new funding for housing to unlock strategic development sites.

Over recent years, the Scottish Government has regularly issued support for the tech, data and marketing industries, identifying the central belt as a key area for growth. The value of the digital economy in Scotland was estimated to be £4.45 billion in 2014. Data-driven innovation alone has the potential to deliver £20 billion of productivity benefits for the economy over the next five years.

The prize is an innovative, growing economy.

Advertising and marketing are at the heart of the UK economy and play a vital role in driving economic growth. Annual UK exports of advertising services are worth £4.1 bn and every £1 spent on advertising returns £6 to the economy, resulting in £120bn to UK GDP.

The Scottish government’s recent investment should provide a platform for the rest of the UK to build on – a pilot project that will highlight the potential of the data and marketing industries to continue to drive the post-Brexit British economy.

Marketers need training in data-related skills

The publicity of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal should help to put the data and marketing industries on the radar of those making career choices in the future.

However, the industry needs to develop stronger ties with academic institutions to increase awareness about the skills required for a role within the data-driven industries and provide insights into the career prospects that these positions can offer. DMA Talent runs a series of Creative Data Academies around the UK to provide practical learning opportunities for young talent interested in a career in the data and marketing industry. Working with Scottish universities, we’ll be developing this programme with a long term aim of reaching schools and colleges throughout the UK.

As both the Scottish and UK governments have realised, businesses will need to upskill in areas concerned with data and its value to business. The recent ‘Professional skills census 2018’ from the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) highlights ‘data-related skills’ as a key area with skills gaps that need to be addressed. In a post-GDPR era, marketers are held more accountable for their actions, but they must receive relevant training and guidance to better understand their evolving roles – where processing consumer data and interpreting it are now key areas of their job description.

Developing an ethical framework for processing data The DMA’s ‘Data privacy: What the consumer really thinks’ report highlights that 88% of consumers believe transparency is key to increasing trust in how their data is collected and used. The research also revealed an important change in attitudes is underway, with more than half (51%) of the respondents viewing data as essential to the smooth running of the modern economy, up sharply from 38% in 2012.

Ultimately, consumers want more control over their personal information but the industry can do more to increase consumer trust, define best practice, and safeguard data usage. The DMA Code provides a series of core guiding principles to our membership for processing consumer data and it encourages best practice within the marketing and data industries.

We are working with our members to give businesses a better understanding of the values of data and shape the responsible route forward. However, an ethical framework for processing data that extends beyond our industry will be key if the UK economy is to thrive on the opportunities presented by technological advances.

The government’s development of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will go some way to dealing with the ethical issues raised by rapidly-developing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will encourage discussion and research into how data and AI are used in terms of governance and regulation, but more investment will be required for the rest of the UK to follow Scotland’s lead in seeking data-driven innovation.

It is only by putting the customer first and embedding an ethical approach to business culture that consumers and organisations alike will be able to take full advantage of the data revolution. If we don’t get the balance right between data privacy and data-driven innovation, personal data may be misused by some businesses as technology advances. Technology often shapes an organisation’s customer engagement strategy, but our research has shown that trust will influence how receptive and likely consumers are to use it. A practical, universal framework is needed but this will require investment and cross-industry collaboration.

The department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) works closely with the DMA on championing innovation and evolution in the data and marketing industries, and the DMA welcomes future discussions around how we can develop and implement such a framework.

To propel the discussion forward, the DMA and DMA Scotland will launch a new initiative entitled Value of data.

This work will seek partnerships with government, businesses and educational institutions to develop a consumer-focused mindset within the data and marketing industries.

Led by Chair Firas Khnaisser (Standard Life) and Vice Chair Derek Lennox (Sainsbury’s Bank), Value of data will help businesses to responsibly deliver value to their customers.

The campaign will provide an engaging, navigable roadmap through a challenging ethical and legal landscape to allow innovative and data-led approaches to customer engagement to thrive. And we’ll do it all with a future-focus: nurturing local and young talent.

Ultimately, the Value of data will develop a true appreciation of the worth of data so businesses can build stronger, more profitable relationships with consumers – responsibly, sustainably and ethically.

The DMA are ready to work alongside our membership, the wider marketing industry, and UK Government to make this a reality in the not too distant future.

source: www.thedrum.com

How cybersecurity and data storage laws could pull the plug on Southeast Asia’s digital economy

southeast-asiaJeff Paine says governments in Southeast Asia are keen to capitalise on the opportunity presented by the digital economy, but their rush to regulate data flows and storage will hit start-ups and small local firms hard.

Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse regions in the world, a handful of countries with thousands of languages and cultures, yet all having one thing in common – bold ambitions for their digital economies.

From the establishment of digital agencies like Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation in Malaysia and the Digital Economy and Promotion Agency in Thailand, to charting impressive road maps such as Thailand 4.0 and Making Indonesia 4.0, many governments in the region are prioritising capturing as much of the region’s US$200 billion digital economy opportunity as possible.

What isn’t clear is how these bold aspirations will be achieved.

Despite the inherent benefits of digital technologies and the internet, many governments are pursuing policies that will limit the use of these technologies. Driven by pressure to address specific and immediate challenges including cybersecurity, data protection, privacy and misinformation, governments fail to consider the long-term impact of these laws on economic growth, jobs and investment.

Vietnam’s recent Law on Cybersecurity and Indonesia’s Government Regulation 82 are examples of this, with provisions including restrictions on data flow and content, requirements for foreign companies to set up local offices and local data storage requirements. Meanwhile, proposed rules in Thailand subject over-the-top (OTT) service providers to tax, security and content regulations.

The impact of these regulations goes far beyond the information and communications technology industry, given that virtually every business today uses the internet and digital technology.

For foreign businesses, restrictive, too broad and unclear regulations create uncertainty and an unfriendly investment climate. Multinational companies unable to make long-term financial decisions are likely to shift their investments to countries with more flexible regulatory environments that support the development of a digital ecosystem.

Local businesses, like small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs that comprise 95 per cent of Southeast Asia’s economy, will bear the brunt of poor policies. Restrictions on cross-border data flows, digital tax and local data storage, will prove difficult to comply with.

Many small businesses depend on digital services and platforms such as cloud for data storage and collaboration, online marketplaces for e-commerce, social media for communication and marketing, and OTT platforms to reach customers at scale. Such laws will increase the cost of doing business, create barriers for expansion beyond borders and are likely to block small players from competing in the global marketplace.

For example, if a neighbouring country enacted similar provisions to Vietnam’s cybersecurity law, a Vietnamese software start-up would be unlikely to be able to afford data storage facilities and local offices in locations outside Vietnam – curbing regional or global expansion plans.

With significant economic prospects at stake, and the challenges of security, privacy, data and misinformation in mind, governments must find better ways to manage risk without hampering growth.

Southeast Asian governments can learn from how larger, developed economies manage emerging technology. For example, Thailand has looked towards the European Union’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation as a basis for their data protection laws.

On taxation, intergovernmental organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development provide useful guidance in key areas such as the need to create consistency between countries on cross-border digital taxes. Unilateral moves like Australia’s goods and services taxin July 2018 on low-value imported goods is likely to pose compliance challenges and higher costs for small businesses in the long run.

Instead, a cross-sectoral range of agencies, ministries and industry players could together craft comprehensive policies that manage risk and promote growth. A good example of this is Singapore’s approach to digital taxation and preventing misinformation.

The digital economy is uncharted territory for most. There is a small window of opportunity now to ensure smart regulations and policies are in place to secure future growth. Technology companies and industry groups can work with governments, ensuring that the opportunities and benefits of the digital economy are realised and not wasted.

source: www.scmp.com