FITIS/ASOCIO first Asia Pacific Virtual Forum, a success | Daily News


FITIS/ASOCIO first Asia Pacific Virtual Forum, a success

FITIS / ASOCIO first ever Asia Pacific virtual collaboration held on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 was a resounding success. It was attended by over 600 professionals across the Asia Pacific region around 20 countries including but not limited to ICT Industry and business leaders, CIO’s regulators, and other senior executives.

 The virtual forum discussed on ICT opportunities deriving as Post Covid-19 response reciprocities available in the Asia Pacific region. The virtual forum featured David Wong Chairman ASOCIO as Keynote speaker together with Abbas Kamrudeen, Chairman of FITIS, Dr. Manchanayake, Vice Chair ASOCIO and ICT industry leaders from 13 countries in the Asia Pacific region.

The other leading experts featured were, Wong Wai Meng, Chairman of SGTech from Singapore , Rajesh Nambiar, Ex board member of NASSCOM from India, Reggie Wong, Vice Chairman ASOCIO from Hong Kong, Masayuki Osuka, Corporate Advisor, CAC Holdings Corporation from Japan, Brian Shen, Chairman CISA from Taiwan, Abdulla Kafi, Past Chairman ASOCIO from Bangladesh, John Choi, Deputy Chairman ASOCIO from Korea, Shahzad Shahid, Chairman of [email protected] from Pakistan, Bunrak Saraggananda, Chairman of ATCI from Thailand, Nguyen Thi Thu Giang, General Secretary of VINASA from Vietnam and Phub Gyeltshen, Past President of BICTTA from Bhutan.

While several Asia-Pacific countries are successfully using ICTs to address economic, social and environmental challenges, some countries lacked adequate access to ICTs during this pandemic. This virtual forumidentified the opportunities in the next normal to contribute to the digital transformation journey in the region. They also shared solutions, innovations and best practices adopted within each economy.

In contrast, this forum has laid  a foundation to support the sustenanceof the capacity of ICT successes as in recent years and at the same time, worked towards helping to extend ICT opportunities and benefits across the Asia-Pacific region through addressing emerging challenges as response to the worldly pandemic.

David Wong, during the keynote speech, highlighted the context of customers, organizations and employees.

 He elaborated how organization should adapt to the new normal through the belowmentioned framework with potential winners and losers in the short term in any economy.

The key highlight was the ten major ICT opportunities which was made available for the new normal as depicted in the below map.

The below image shows ten major ICT opportunities deriving from the new normal.

Abbas Kamrudeen, highlighted that Sri Lanka has been able to proclaim it ICT brand as ‘Island of Ingenuity’.

Sri Lanka is now a home for many globallyrenowned brands for manufacturing of products and service offering.

 Also, Sri Lanka has established its home-grown brands globally throughsectors i.e.Telco’s, Sports, Health, Travel, etc.

Followings are highlights of other ICT experts from the Asia Pacific region; briefly mentioned as below:

Opportunities in New Normal

1.    Competition, Divestment and Closures are forced upon.

2.    Talent Availability is crucial and around 200 million of lay-off will occur in 3 months similar to 1920 recession. Whilst new talents could be found there isopportunity to forhigh knowledge workers.

3.    Access to Funding - Softloan, Payment Deferments and Govt Grantsmay be available yet would finance be easily available due to high demand in requirements.

4.    Digitalization is happening and working from home have resulted in high efficiency, but it will reduce the manpower involved.

5.    Enhancement and Consolidation of IT Infrastructure hasaccelerated the implementation of IT Consolidate into cloud, opportunities for cloud solutions.

6.    Market Changes have increase in fresh food and e-commerce. There is more access to buying and selling products or services in a short time.

7.    Cross Border Opportunities to be done cautiously due to prevailing situation if one country border is closed another is opened. E.g. when china closed its border, Sri Lanka was operating and opened but when they opened, we had closed our borders.

8.    Digital Enterprise & Digital Mediaare reaching to the market demand

9.    Development of IoT, Cyber Security, Customer Experience, Mobile & Wireless.

10.  Global Opportunities for start-ups in regional countries for new technologies and innovations.


1.    In certain countries governments took many efforts within the early stagesitself and collected IT solutionsto serve the society during the lockdown.

2.    The key aspect is that thesecountries considered Connectivity, Content and Assessment paramount which made them to create their own success stories.

3.    ICT Apex bodies created an open source application to identify the availabilities to support the situation with the involvement of the government.

4.    Also, government forced on how to stay healthy& hygiene while IT experts focused on how to move to e-commerce, how to drive innovation, legal control measures and digital infrastructure readiness.

5.    Most governmentsareencouraging IT initiatives and adapting fast. The E-Government is a successful story in most countries.

6.    Today governmentsare working remotely and practising video conferencing for their assemblies. They have understood the importance and need for a solid infrastructure.

7.    Certain countries have already covered largest data centres and all files could be accessed anywhere from the world.

8.    Governments have offered free broadband for universities and colleges understanding the need to support their studiesand ensure uninterrupted education services. .

9.    Prioritizing ERP to digitalisation, online learning, e-commerce and automotive.

10.  Also, few countries are implementing 5G near future and have decreased the incentives for card transactions.

 Health Sector

1.    Health sector have been functioning effectively in all regions and most of the countries have no new Covid-19 cases.

2.    Many volunteers are helping to support the situation in certain countries.


1.    Most economies have been heavily knock-down due to currency inflation.

2.    The economies of majorityof countries within the region are dependenton income from garments, manufacturing, travel and tourismwhich has been affected by 70% - 90% of cash inflows.

3.    The IMF’s World Economic Outlook as of April 14, shows a breathing space to Enterprise Software, Media & Tech, Semiconductors and FMCG

4.    In certain countries 90% BPO’s got effected, due to WFH productivity drops, whereas less no of transactions, less work to the workforce, less requirements and deferring in payments have led to face high pressure in economies.

Lifestyleis changing as response to stay resilient and developments for thefuture

l      Working from home, Online classes, online medical services, Electronic Prescription, Robotic services and Contact centres, leapfrogging of New IT technologies, expanding network, security protection and enabling blockchain in other world like electronic cash are all influencing change of lifestyles

Final remarks

1.    WFH - New workplace paradigm – impact on real estate with micro offices emerging

2.    Manufacturing to shift closer to home - Global supply chains will become less efficient, but more resilient with rising industrial nationalism

3.    Ecommerce to rise fast including B2B - The route to market will increasingly become digital

4.    Accelerating DIGITAL - Companies become more digital far sooner

5.    Manufacturers preferring new biz model akin to services firms - Safer payment and bigger margins in selling the utility not the product

6.    Faster adoption of Super Cloud everywhere - Digital connectivity becoming far more important than physical connectivity

7.    START-UP funding to be severely impacted - VCs have less appetite to make new investments as they try to salvage current investments

8.    Wisdom and collaboration are the key to increase E-commerce

9.    Digital Government and better infrastructure are the major impact on the ICT industry

10.  Region countries are looking for outsourcing, joint ventures and acquisitions

11.  Governments allows companies to have late payment for social insurances and corporate tax to the end of the years and have reduce electricity cost, transportation fee.

12.  Certain countries are lacking with skills and technology where they are looking for the regional help.

13.  Challenges are like changing the mindset to adopt to the future

14.  Concerns on Cyber security and data protection.

Overall, there are New Opportunities, New responsibilities, and New collaborations to be seen in the ‘new normal’.

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