Microsoft: COVID-19 could digitally transform Thailand

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating an opportunity for Thailand to accelerate its digital transformation, the Head of the Thai unit of Microsoft said last week. The tech company will help Thai universities and schools train young people for three million new tech jobs it expects to see in the Kingdom by 2025.

Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director of Microsoft Thailand, said the pandemic is speeding up automation adoption, virtual technology, revamped business models, and new ways of life and work in the country and beyond. Microsoft has been working to support Thailand 4.0, the Kingdom’s national strategy to achieve a higher level of development, and digital development is a cornerstone of the strategy.

Dhanawat said that about 500,000 Thais now have professional-level digital skills. But he anticipates the Kingdom will have an additional three million ICT jobs that will need skilled people to fill by 2025. Of those, about two million will be in software development, 500,000 in cloud and data technology, 300,000 with data analytics and artificial intelligence, and 200,000 in cybersecurity.

“This creates an opportunity for digital transformation, which would be accelerated,” he said, adding that the time frame would speed up from years to months for some companies.

This year, he added, Microsoft plans to work with the public and academic sectors to provide IT skills training to the unemployed, young workers, daily wage laborers, urban migrants and university graduates. The company has a target of training a quarter of a million people in Thailand in 2021.

Dhanawat predicted that digital acceleration would be more pronounced in the retail, hospitality, healthcare, government, manufacturing, agriculture and business sectors.

People will see more flexible working and learning conditions. He said they would engage more in contactless shopping, virtual events, telemedicine, remote working, and drive-through shopping.

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