Small firms urged to focus on IT

Published: 17/04/2011 05:00



Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not yet tapped into information technology (IT) to improve their business performance, despite their huge numbers and contribution to their respective country’s GDP, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said.

VCCI’s recent report showed that IT usage among Vietnamese SMEs remains limited to using emails and standard office applications. There was also a misconception that IT was mainly for large enterprises. Many SMEs believed that the scale and scope of their business was simple enough to be effectively managed manually.

Managing director of SAP Viet Nam Srinivas Adimulam told Viet Nam News that countries in the Southeast Asian region had huge communities of SMEs, many of which were employing thousands of workers and making a major contribution to GDP.

“ASEAN puts the number of SMEs at 96 per cent of all enterprises, with them employing up to 85 per cent of the overall workforce. SMEs also accounted for up to 30 per cent of exports and contribute around half of the national GDP” Srinivas said.

He said with more than 460,000 enterprises, Vietnamese SMEs employed roughly half of the total workforce and contributed 40 per cent of the country’s annual GDP.

“Viet Nam has integrated into the global economy which requires enterprises to have exact forecasts and well-prepared business plans,” he said, adding that it was not only foreign companies that had stored an extremely large volume of data.

Sharing this view, a representative from military-run telecom provider Viettel said a telecommunications enterprise would need statistics of the success rate of inter-provincial mobile calls, mobile calls and messages or whether they had a sufficient amount of Base Transceiver Stations.

“According to statistics, we have over 100 million mobile phone subscribers. If we do a simple calculation, there would be a huge volume of data including messages and phone calls every second which need to be analysed by the industry.” she said.

Nguyen Tien Dung, director of Co.opmart Sai Gon in Ha Noi, said a retail business managing dozens of supermarkets across the country would need to analyse 50 to 60 rows of data on all transactions at every moment of every supermarket.

“That’s over 10 hours a day, so when you multiply that figure, it’s huge. In addition, businesses also needed to analyse sold items.”

Srinivas added that with huge volumes of data, businesses could find it difficult to capture and analyse their business data without information technology support.

“This flood of data could only be processed when businesses have advanced information analysis tools, combined with breakthrough hardware and software.” he said.

He said IT-based solutions for collecting, analysing and forecasting company performance tools such as business intelligence (BI) could collect all raw data and come up with effective and strategic planning and decision making.

“SMEs could tap into BI to become better decision makers for their business.”

He said some businesses could think that they should reduce spending for such fees in the context of global economic downturn. However, it was time for them to invest in best practices which prepare for future growth as the world economy recovers.

“It is not the size of business that matters when implementing BI but rather how to be smart in utilising the data. All they need to do is ask and they will be on the way to become better-run companies.”

Source: VNS

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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