Government clouds…E-identities.. Cybersecurity… The “Digital Transformation”… Change management…
These are some of the buzzwords heard when ThitsaWorks attended an annual event at Nay Pyi Taw, the e-Government Conference and ICT Exhibition 2017, organized by the Ministry of Transportation and Communcations (MOTC) and Myanmar Computer Federation (MCF).
The conference focused on showcasing the services offered by various ICT companies including telecommunications, digital banking, other e-government and ICT services and much more. Prominent among the different government ministries that were present include the Ministry of Planning and Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, e-Government department, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Construction, Yangon Region Government, and Nay Pyi Taw Development Committee amongst many others.
Like the field of tech itself, the conference was information-enabling and information-rich. Presentations ran throughout the conference featuring presenters from government ministries, Myanmar Computer Federation and also from overseas visitors such as the World Bank and Huawei. Case studies from other countries such as China or Singapore allowed other stakeholders to envision possibilities of how to build and better implement the use of Government cloud or enhance cyber-security. More than three presenters mapped out the evolutionary stages in digital transformation (from e-government of digitizing and networking to smart government of integration and intelligence), — shedding light on future paths and directions the country will experience.
As one browses through the various exhibits and listens to the presentations, you begin to get a sense of the current ecosystem of the ICT sector in Myanmar. The conference served as a fertilization ground for greater partnerships and also stimulated imagination on the technological possibilities in the country.
The event was an opportunity for ThitsaWorks to gain more visibility, speaking of our work to government ministries, other tech companies, financial institutions and students. Our conversations with other companies and government ministries allowed us to commiserate, as well as brainstorm solutions, on the various consistent (even basic) needs and challenges across the tech sector in Myanmar — for example, the need for greater financial literacy, better data management and trainings on such topics, to name a few.
One running theme from the conference was the need to collaborate amongst the different companies and also with the government — ensuring that no one is reinventing the wheel or duplicating efforts and that we build fortifying partnerships and reduce vertical siloes. Presentations reintroduced and reemphasized agile and adaptive frameworks and methods (in the form of cross-agency applications, business process re-engineering, working together with users etc.). These themes served as a greater call to the Myanmar government and reminder to tech companies of the multi-disciplinary efforts needed to tackle change management within and outside institutions and thus enable digital transformation.
Fundamentally, ministry representatives also agreed on the need for the government to prioritize e-government. The government must provide an enabling environment through investing in appropriate infrastructure and building regulatory frameworks so that ICT can thrive rapidly and securely. And even more, the ‘human’ structures such as steering committees within the government and greater public-private partnerships (PPPs) were also emphasized as essential.
ThitsaWorks aspires to contribute to the digital transformation and ICT evolution of Myanmar, with the goal of poverty reduction. One particular service we are excited about is the visualization of financial data on an aggregate national level. Government ministries and policy makers have expressed the need for such data to better understand the health of the financial sector and to also inform policy-making decisions. As financial data becomes more readily available, there will be a greater demand to visualize this data on a wider scale.
As a company, ThitsaWorks is passionate about using data, as the bedrock of modern technology, to solve complex business and social challenges. We are excited to contribute in this way through fintech and seek greater partnerships to help Myanmar advance in the next stages of digital transformation.