Perception and implementations towards digital disruptions of Thai businesses

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The vast majority of businesses have been propelled by digital disruption with most executives globally admitting its transformative impact to an extent. It is therefore crucial and intriguing to identify digital disruption perspectives and approaches to digital implementation across companies in Thailand.

“Deloitte Thailand conducted its first Thailand Digital Transformation survey in November 2019 to early January 2020. With the unprecedent COVID-19 global pandemic later in 2020 and its seismic impact, a pulse survey was commissioned covering November 2020 to January 2021 as a follow-up of the primary survey to gain a specific understanding of COVID-19 impacts towards digital transformation across businesses in Thailand. The annual Thailand Digital Transformation Survey is intended to serve as a benchmark of sentiment on the progress of digital transformation in Thailand.” said Dr. Narain Chutijirawong, Executive Director, Clients and Industries, Deloitte Thailand.

The two surveys emphasize on the following topics in order to draw a comparative analysis of digital transformation implementation before and during the COVID-19 pandemic:

1)        Interpreting perceptions towards digital disruptions

2)        Exploring digital transformation implementations

3)        Pinpointing digital transformation skill demands

4)        Identifying areas of government support in digital transformation

The respondents of both surveys hold a managerial position in a company. For example, 19% of primary survey respondents are members of a board of director and 16% are CFO while, for pulse survey, CFO accounts for 34% of the respondents, 30% CIO or equivalent and 13% board of director.

Consumer sector has been the leader in basic technology adopter as in traditional web, mobile application, and cloud before and after COVID-19. For example, traditional web was adopted in 79% of the companies and increased to 95% after COVID-19. The sector also surpassed Technology, Media & Telecom sector in advance technology adoption namely blockchain, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things after COVID-19 with the artificial intelligence adoption rate increases from 4% before COVID-19 to 35% after COVID-19.

Financial Services and Life Sciences & Health Care sector expedite their digital transformation plan tremendously in the period after COVID-19 pandemic happened. The two sectors also face recruitment issues for data analysts and scientists position which are the digital roles that are considered the most important and challenging across all companies.

The majority of the companies at 56% has now entered a digital adopter stage after COVID-19 occurred compared to 12% before COVID-19, shifting from a digital evaluator stage at 59% before COVID-19 which is down to 12% after COVID-19.

Furthermore, the implementation rate of advance technologies, except robotics, and basic technologies have all increased in post-COVID-19 era. For instance, a 19% increase in Cloud technology adoption rate was found as well as 16% increase in Internet of Things and 15% increase in mobile application. This indicates a digital adoption of all technologies across business sectors at rapid pace during the COVID-19 period.

Mr. Viney Hora, Executive Director of Deloitte Consulting said, “The major challenge in implementing digital transformation is not the technology itself, but rather arise from a lack of internal and external expertise in the relevant fields.  Thai corporates reveal the three main challenges they are facing include talent gap, digital culture, and organization silo.  All of which have almost nothing to do with technology but revolve around cruising people with the right skill to get the job done.”

According to the survey, in 2020, analytical thinking and innovation, as well as active learning and learning strategies, ranked first among the country’s skill demand, which aligns with the global market’s expected skill demand in 2025. The outcome also demonstrates that Thailand is moving in the same direction as the international market.

“The higher digital transformation rate coupled with and an immense and unforeseeable impact from the COVID-19 pandemic across all businesses are evident. Businesses should therefore be more vigilant about the digital transformation movement and the digital environment in the market especially during this turmoil time.”, added Dr. Narain Chutijirawong, Executive Director, Clients and Industries, Deloitte Thailand.

Click to view the full Thailand Digital Transformation Survey 2021