Organized by the American Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Economy Committee, the event “Digital Transformation: Are You Ready for the Future?” was held at the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM) on June 18th, 2019. Digital Transformation, the central topic of discussion, encompassed several new technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT smart devices, 5G telecommunication, and cloud computing. It mainly focused on technologies driving digital transformation and how companies can adopt these technologies in their businesses.
Michael Araneta, Associate Vice President at IDC Financial Insights, started the keynote session by giving an overview of the future of technology in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is now a common phenomenon. Yet, at the same time, people are fearful of it, particularly in terms of cyber security and how decisions are made without human intervention. Regarding this issue, Araneta discussed the factors that differentiate humans from AI; for example, humans have infinite capabilities to love and sympathize while AI doesn’t.
Over the last few years, humans have gained maturity of understanding the customers’ views through a greater use of analytics. We are now able to understand things faster and break down customers’ segment, especially in the banking industry, to know more about them. Technology also enables us to understand customers’ emotions better, for example, the level of agitation in their voice, their pulses, or their heat and energy level.
However, Araneta emphasized the principles of something we should not do even though we could as it might break our customers’ trust. Therefore, it is important that we need to learn how to manage identity and consent. Identity is not only about digital identification, but it goes deeper into all the things that make us humans. Identity is not only comprised of entity, but it is also comprised of behaviors that makes us more identifiable from others. IDC believes that the activities we do and our behaviors can actually underline our individual identity. Thus, we need to be able to understand all the entities that make up our customers’ digital ID. We must also consider anonymity, in the case where certain customers may be able to choose to create a separate identity in the virtual world from the natural world.
Araneta made a comment that, in Thailand, Thai consumers expect a digital identity to be an accurate collection of data about themselves. That is the reason why they prefer to provide as much reliable information as possible, which is a unique trend compared with other countries in the region. More than 92% of Thai customers also express the needs of their digital identities to be perceived similarly across many institutions. It means that Thai customers would like to have their identities in one institution shared with other institutions as well. Yet, if it is going to be a high level of digital identity integration, we must also consider the governance of all digital information, where consumers would trust the government the most in this aspect, followed by banks, payment service providers, and TELCOs. Thai consumers also show a higher relationship with social network and gaming, while it is below average with TELCO and banking sectors.
Regarding the consent, Araneta suggested that we move towards an informed consent, where we must inform our customers what data we are collecting and what that data will be used for. Araneta presented IDC’s framework of customer informed consent as follows:
Araneta also emphasized the fact that we should not be too worried about the change introduced by technology because it is inevitable. But what’s important is that we learn to understand and love our customers in order to be able to employ these technologies for the benefits of our customers.