2019’s IT Highlights in Vietnam
posted by Truong Nguyen
on Sep 02, 2019
The world is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and past IT industry booms won’t be able to compare with what is to come. It is an exciting time to be part of the IT field, and Vietnam is ready to take advantage of this wave to boost its economy. Today, on the National Day of Vietnam, let’s look back on the highlights and achievements of Vietnam’s IT industry so far this year.
According to a 2018 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) survey, Vietnam had a cybersecurity ranking of 50th out of 175 other countries, all of which have committed to increased cybersecurity and network protection measures. This ranking represented major growth for Vietnam, as the country was slotted 101st globally the year prior.
Unfortunately, it is reported that Vietnam suffered 3,159 cyberattacks in the first six months of 2019, which is 45.9% higher than last year. The number of cyberattacks increased when foreign hacker groups attacked Vietnam’s cyberspace; to fight and overcome the situation, the Vietnamese government is planning to implement targeted solutions to minimize the issue.
Forget the booking and shipping services that were popular several years ago; tech companies in Vietnam have started to invest in the new and highly attractive market of food delivery services. Food delivery services witnessed a dramatic growth in 2019, as big companies like Foody and Grab and Go-Viet began to grow due to their unique business strategies. Food delivery services really hit the scene in 2018, but it wasn’t until 2019 that the battle to dominate the market began in earnest. Companies are constantly improving their apps, attempting to shorten delivery times, and adding more promotions to acquire new users. Such competition has greatly benefited users in terms of convenience, choice, and pricing.
Digitizing the Workplace
Using apps like Microsoft Teams or Slack to create an online workspace is popular in many developed countries where the platforms are used to improve communications, manage teams, and transfer documents among members in a company. In Vietnam, however, the online workspace is only popular for some tech companies (for example, NIFTIT), and for non-tech companies, the use of such apps is very new. Recently, Microsoft has partnered with one of the biggest banks in Vietnam – Sacombank – to create a virtual workspace with Microsoft Teams. With this partnership, Sacombank has become a pioneer in digitizing the corporate work environment. With Sacombank leading the way, there will only be more non-tech companies using virtual workspaces to improve productivity and efficiency of work in the future.
“Sacombank is the first bank in Vietnam to deploy Microsoft Teams on a large scale, demonstrating the vision and openness of leaders in approaching modern technology; the quickness and creativity of information technology staff in deployment, and the willingness to changes of Sacombank’s employees” – Mr. Pham The Truong, General Director of Microsoft Vietnam
Non-Cash Payments (E-wallet)
The E-wallet market in Vietnam has had a big year due to the government’s encouragement of non-cash payments. Currently, there are more than 20 licensed E-wallets in Vietnam providing payment services such as money transfers and even the payment of household bills. The most well-known E-wallet in Vietnam, MoMo, appeared on the scene in 2014 and controlled the market – until now.
Many big names are entering the E-wallet field in Vietnam. Most are foreign investors like AirPay, Moca, and Payoo, but Vietnamese companies are getting a slice of the pie as well with E-wallets like Zalo Pay (VNG), WePay (VC Corp), and ViettelPay (Viettel). Realizing that there are too many competitors in Vietnam, companies hope to gain an edge by introducing promotions with valuable prizes and offering major discounts to entice new users.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is one of the core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Many countries have begun to recognize the importance of AI and have started to invest in the field in order to improve their economies, medical practices, militaries, political decisions, etc. Vietnam is part of this movement towards the greater inclusion of AI in all applicable fields, but it is in the arena of transportation that AI has had its greatest influence on Vietnam’s public.
Vietnam’s AI now monitors traffic lights in Ho Chi Minh City, and it even tracks buses and vehicles on a national scale. Moreover, travel agencies in Vietnam have also started using AI to analyze the habits and hobbies of customers so that they can provide offers that best suit future client needs.
Last month, the 2019 AI4VN Forum was held in Hanoi. Experts and professors from international AI research labs communed with the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam as well as with tech leaders and corporation founders to share their ideas about AI development. The Deputy PM, Vu Duc Dam, said the following of the event: “AI is not only a science field but also a socio-economic field to develop Vietnam. Vietnam has no other choice but to go faster and more sustainably. If we want to rise, AI is the tool that brings great opportunity.”
With both the government and companies alike pushing for IT innovations in Vietnam, the country has experienced great success in expanding its tech community. Challenges with cybersecurity and the appropriate inclusion of new AI tech may have been an issue for Vietnam in the past, but with its quality IT workforce and a nation-wide interest in tech advancement, the country is on-track to become the leading IT service destination of Asia in 2020.
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