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COVID-19 forces digitalisation of Cambodia’s workforce

Prathna​​   On April 14, 2020 - 10:28 am​   In Cambodia Insider  
COVID-19 forces digitalisation of Cambodia’s workforce COVID-19 forces digitalisation of Cambodia’s workforce

The current health crisis being faced by nations across the globe has placed the world on edge. Facing this unprecedented situation, governments and all stakeholders race against time to save lives and fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Cambodia is not exempted from this phenomenal occurrence and has started to feel the economic impact of this crisis.

More companies are implementing the remote working concept or “working from home” (WFH), and the government is implementing policies to flatten the growth curve of the virus outbreak and settle in for the “New Normal”. This remote working concept has been a common practice mostly by progressive companies in developed countries, long before this pandemic arrived. Perhaps this practice will be here to stay, since it has proven to positively impact businesses through their employees delivering and even exceeding expectations. How will our workforce adopt this new digital norm?

We need to harness and empower the workforce of 10 million young Cambodians to build a sustainable and prosperous future, now. Otherwise, we would have missed out on vital national building process, by not developing the potential of these young people – at an average age of 25 years. Many countries in the world are envious of this young workforce, but they must first be developed and properly guided. This is where business leaders and government agencies in the form of Public-Private Partnership (PPP), must work together to help identify potential, then develop and mobilise them. Technology such as AI-based work motivation systems can predict up to 98% accuracy in identifying potential to build team dynamics to increase productivity, create analytics for us to improve recruitment, to mentor and understand what drives our young workforce of today. We are in a very unique position to clearly lay down the foundation for us to utilise technology to build a strong human capital and digital ecosystem.

As our nation moves towards 5G, this will enable us to connect devices to the Internet, store and process on virtual clouds, automate mundane tasks and empower new technologies – hence the call for digitalisation of the country. This shift in mentality could allow us to leapfrog the traditional stages of development. Cambodia has 8.5 million 4G subscribers, already consuming digital content at a high rate, just needing the right push to design and integrate ways to incentivise and engage users, to adopt new technologies. It is pertinent to make this part of their everyday life by raising public awareness of the benefits of digitalising education, commerce and finance, creating a usage pattern that will simplify the transition into the digital economy. This endeavor, of course, needs the whole community to work together. The government’s support will play a significant role towards this initiative. The business community along with all stakeholders, need to work in tandem with the government to drive this digital transformation successfully.

Another economic aspect that will be positively influenced with this digitalisation is moving towards a cashless society – establishing a new collaborative digital finance landscape. This advancement should focus on consumer experience by seamlessly integrating the digital payment, digital banking, digital payroll, and digital government services (NSSF, Taxation Filings). Mass adoption will be achieved when SMEs can operate efficiently and increase their productivity and earnings through this integrated ecosystem. Especially the younger generation, the transition to the national currency will be easier if we make the customer journey user-friendly and personalised. Overall, it should exhibit features that enhance their digital lifestyle and commercial innovations, in line with their on-demand needs.

Digitalisation is going to affect our daily lives, however, what will define us is if we are going to actively drive change or continue to wait for external assistance. The time is now, to enable technology, localise services to increase productivity and commerce through digital infrastructures. Further empowerments of our workforce to drive the businesses in Industry 4.0 are critical factors in achieving this goal, for the benefit of the country and its people. These technologies do not necessarily have to be the most advanced or cutting-edge like AI or Blockchain, it can be as simple as moving away from paper, by using your phone or computer. The most crucial factor is the mindset and willingness to change.

La Victor, Country Director of QHR Solutions. This article first appeared in AVI Commentary of the Centre for Inclusive Digital Economy, Asian Vision Institute.

Credited: Khmer Times