Thailand: Nation ranks 40th in digital evolution – 18 Jul 2017

  • Thailand is pressing ahead with its digital economy policy but still ranks low in terms of how successfully it has made the digital jump, a new survey shows.
  • The country ranked 40th out of 60 in the Digital Evolution Index 2017 (DEI) compiled by the Fletcher School at Tufts University in partnership with Mastercard.
  • IT industry experts said the country must focus on improving regulatory frameworks, public trust and insufficiently skilled and shrinking workforce to accelerate this digital transformation as the country moves to embrace a new economic model dubbed Thailand 4.0.
  • The index measures four key drivers — internet access; consumer demand in digital technology; the institutional environment, such as government policy, laws and resources; and innovation, including investment in research, and digital start-ups — and 170 unique indicators.
  • One key concern is that the digital economy policy has only been implemented on a superficial level, said Thanachart Numnonda, an executive director at the IMC Institute.
  • The country is still lacking a comprehensive legal framework to increase trust in digital developments, cybersecurity and data protection, added Mr Thanachart.
  • Even though Thailand has started adopting electronic services to make life more convenient for the public, and is adopting big data analytics in planning and decision-making, it needs a bigger digital workforce and more IT experts from abroad, experts contend.
  • Nonetheless, wireless penetration is relatively high and digital policy is on the right track, meaning the chief problems lie in execution and implementation, according to Jarit Sidhu, a research manager at IDC Thailand.

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