At U.REKA batch 2 launching event, aside from sharing the objectives, Orapong Thien-Ngern, President of SCB, another session got us thinking about the change from technology. The “Digital Disruption: Embracing Changes” session was presented by a leading executive in Thailand, Jeeraporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman and CEO, WHA Corporation PLC, partner of U.REKA batch 2.
The once stable “infrastructure” business also risk “disruption”
WHA operates the infrastructure business which is very stable as other businesses depend on infrastructure, even the digital business. However, despite the stability, Jeeraporn points that without proactivity, infrastructure service providers also risk disruption from the constant change around the world.
Jeeraporn shared a case study about Japan who begun experimenting technology in the warehouse management system by using drones and robotics to relocate items in the automated warehouse. The controller operates the system via the Internet of Things and this project greatly lessen the number of employees where hundreds of operators are reduced to only 8.
This proves that although businesses need storage services, deep technology has caused the “form” of operation to rapidly change. Although, today, the system costs as much as human labor but entrepreneurs are gradually moving towards technology. One day it may reach the point that technology investment is more “worthwhile” when compared with human resources investment.
Technologies “disrupt” one another
At present, the deep tech disrupting technologies that we currently have is already worrisome, but in fact, several deep techs are also disrupting their own kind. As a result, the study of a single deep tech is no longer viable, many core deep techs must be studied all at once.
Jeeraporn elaborates an example that, today, we believe in the security of cryptography on the blockchain. However, in the future, when quantum computing is applied, its speed can decode cryptography in minutes. Therefore, aside from developing applications for blockchain, we need to learn about cybersecurity and quantum computing to better benefit from all types of deep technology.
Taking on change requires “collaboration” from every sector
In IMD’s survey on digital competitiveness, Thailand ranks 39 of 63 countries. The main reasons are low knowledge dissemination and collaboration as well as inadequate support. In Thailand, deep technology learning is limited while development is slow and unable to keep up with the digital disruption.
“If we have knowledge but fail to expand and scale development then we are welcoming disruption.” Jeeraporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman and CEO, WHA Corporation PLC.
In foreign countries, private sectors are aware of collaboration. Innovation begins from the private sector as backers for university research. An example is Dyson, a leading electric appliance manufacturer who donated 12 million GBP in 2015 to sponsor Imperial College in building a design and engineering research center. The center helped Dyson launch new products and become a leading hi-end electric appliance producer of the world.
From Dyson’s case study, we may agree that collaboration is the key to innovation development. Today, both the private sector and universities are more aware of the matter. This has led to the launch of the U.REKA project which seeks greater partnership. Nevertheless, collaborations between university and private sectors may not rapidly advance without the promotion from the public sector.
Sustainable and agile government support
The government plays a vital part in innovation development as policy-makers of a country. Therefore, it would greatly benefit universities and businesses with similar objectives if the government establishes an independent entity. A unit that continuously monitors and promotes innovation in universities and private sectors. A division that holds the right to manage policies and operate activities by themselves and isn’t affected by the changing government. A substantial example is Singapore’s SG Innovate who operates independently from the government and has working processes of a private firm. This has led to uninterrupted activities for innovation development in every industry. Also, it led Singapore to become an international leader for FinTech.
Digital disruption may seem like an alarming wave of change but without winds and waves, ships can’t forward. Therefore, a wave of change comes with an opportunity that is the technology that will make operations faster and cheaper. However, we need to learn and develop in order to take on and fully benefit from the disruption. Digital Ventures has more stories regarding deep technology from the U.REKA batch 2 launching event, follow us for more updates.