IDC Vice President for Russia and CIS talked about digitalization

18 May, 2018, 19:02 1383
IDC Vice President for Russia and CIS talked about digitalization

He called it positive that Kazakhstan has a digital program.

Robert Farish, IDC Vice President for Russia and CIS, is taking part in the Astana Economic Forum. He answered some questions concerning digitalization, to know more, read the interview of


How small medium enterprises can benefit from digitalization process?

- It is not something which concerns budget, it concerns the industry itself, the industry is transforming whether you are large ones or small ones. I think that it will make no difference in the future.


But, what exact benefits can you highlight about the digitalization process?

- I look at it from a slight different point of view. I look at it more from the point of view of risks of doing nothing. If we look for example at the top index American companies. We estimate as the companies by 2021 half of those companies will not be in that index. Why they will not be in the index anymore? In some cases, it is because the industries have changed those large companies have been boomed, those companies have become smaller, or those large companies have disappeared. If you look at the structure of workforce currently in most developed countries, you could argue that in the coming 10s years up to half or as many as two thirds of jobs that people do today could be threatened, could be disappeared. So, it is really a question for any company to understand what the impact of digitalization is having on own industry, therefore what you need to do in order to adjust, to survive first and then to flourish.


So, how can they adjust, any recommendations.

- Well, what can I say is that the structure of future businesses would probably be based on the flow of data. The information you collect from your customers, you collect from your business partners, your own employees, the devices in your company, all of those things will always be permanently processed. And, so in the future, companies will probably make use of artificial intelligence in order to make instantaneous decisions based on all of these information, so positioning your company, so you have I’d like an architecture which can make it able to use these information, acts on these information is from a strategic point of view is a very important step, it is not easy, my position would be, I think that it gonna be a lot harder for large companies rather than for small companies, because all of the investment you’ve made over ten or twenty years in IT would probably stopping you from making these transformation, makes it more difficult. If you own company which was founded three years ago, you start from zero and you can build a digitalized company.


And can you share what topics will be discussed today and probably what kind of contribution will you make today?

- I would be making some commentary on blockchain technology, and what implications that might have on the digital Kazakhstan program, but there are colleagues that sharing best practices on digital initiatives in other countries. We have the Prime Minister of Estonia as part of the board. This time that would be a discussion of several of these new technologies, We would be looking at ICloud, at internet of things, at the best practices in terms of an efficient organization of digital governance. And we have a colleague from the UK that will provide us with the best practices.  


So how can blockchain help us to digitalize Kazakhstan’s economy?

- Blockchain is a very elegant, potentially very secure technology, which would be quite useful in many of the areas where digitalization has already begun. So, for example, in the issue of identity documents, or registering of any particular transactions, for example if you are registering a land or will. Blockchain by its very a designed extreme secure, and it also refuses a large number of stages in bureaucratic processes in order to get these other things done. The other thing which I think is interesting about blockchain potentially well implemented, it could be a way to reduce the corruption within government organizations, which I think is the benefit in anywhere in the world.


Have you heard about the Digital Kazakhstan program?

- First of all. No all countries have the digital strategy, So, think it is very positive that Kazakhstan has a digital strategy. It seems important. It is easy to write it down before you start, but having a strategy and implementing that strategy is very important, that the fact that there is one I think that was a very important initiative from the President of the country. How it differs from other countries. I guess it differs normally depending on the amount of the informatization legacy, you have in a country. A country like the UK, it has many decades of previous governments’ investment in IT, they have been through many phases and fashions within IT. They have learned lessons, and now they arrived where they are today. In many cases, all the investments that you have done in the past quite often preventing you from all forward in the future that previously mentioned in an interview. Kazakhstan has an advantage is that the amount of legacy was relatively limited to you that can begin from an advanced level moving from paper-based processes straight to digital processes even to blockchain based processes. Kazakhstan has a program where blockchain is being implemented in VAT, which is pretty revolutionary, not being done in many parts of the world.   

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