Thailand is quietly working on a revolution in both the operations or business and government. A country unhindered by PC thinking and supranational powers, it has a unique opportunity to benefit from big data
As the Thai government progress it’s Thailand 4.0 initiative, plans to open up Thailand’s government to public scrutiny and to network with Thai citizens to transform not only its own operations but agriculture and production in the country have been revealed. The plan if executed would be a huge leap forward for the country.
After the ambitious plan of delivering fiber-optic broadband to 75,000 villages, Thailand is now preparing to put to use another cornerstone of the Thailand 4.0 vision: big data. Thailand, despite its status as a developing economy with lower income levels than most developed western countries, has emerged as one of the most connected countries in the world with levels of internet access comparable to most western countries. A burgeoning middle class, an absence of over burdensome regulation and a powerful and wealthy business sector spells opportunity for Thailand in the new digital age. The new plan to link all aspects of Thailand’s government directly and free to all its citizens has a strong chance of working perhaps more so than in western countries hindered by regulation and a growing ideological bias against making full use of big data
Real plan to centralise all Thailand’s data is being worked upon by an ambitious Thai government
According to government reports, information from Thailand’s all 20 ministries will be incorporated into a centralized big data management system to facilitate the creation of better policies. The data is set to be used among officials but will soon be in public domain.
Thai Agricultural development a key first goal
Thailand also plans to sue database technology to revolutionise its farming industry. Starting with water management and conservation efforts it is envisaged that the data combined with weather statistics and information could be used effectively with information on individual farmers, land and soil types to usher in a new era of agriculture in Thailand. Thailand’s agricultural economy is still integral to the country’s economy and the welfare of those working on the land has become a key government priority as the Thai people have been marginalised and become more vulnerable as the Thai economy has developed. The new database driven guidance and system would also help encourage farmers to sow the best crops and to identify the best opportunities i the marketplace, The goal is not only to increase production but also income and overall sustainability.
Agriculture a key sector to benefit from Thailand’s new big Data vision as plan rools out
Some officials are confident that the new initiative will produce real benefits for the agricultural sector which employs one third of Thailand’s workforce. Dares Kittiyopas, Director of Information and Communication Technology Center, said that big data would certainly help predict crop demands, increase productivity and efficiency. Thailand’s goal is to register 6.7 million farmers and 13 million farms across the country in the next years.
The ambitious vision of big data was showcased in September at Digital Thailand Big Bang 2018, an exhibition spanning over 60,000 square meters of event space.
Big data plan already moving forward
The Thai government ambitious plan has already begun to be implemented with a programme running from 2016 to 2021. The plan has proposes setting up a government agency to prepare and standardise all data for Thai government departments to merge into one central database. Those promoting the initiative suggest that there will be a change of emphasis from confidentiality and secrecy to more transparency and an effort to make data and information available to the Thai public.
Security benefits for Thailand of big data
The plan can already be seen in action for instance in the ongoing campaign by Thailand’s Immigration police and authorities to secure Thailand’s borders. Increasingly the government is centralized databases to include information on foreigners and also such information as fingerprints and DNA samples. Thailand is planning to introduce biometric intelligence as well as iris scanning for foreigners entering Thailand and to centralise this intelligence in a database. This move would revolutionize police and security in Thailand. The crackdown by the Thai government since 2014 has shown the need for such initiatives with thousands of foreigner criminal and scammers being unearthed and arrested on an annual basis.
Gives the Thai public information on government spending and fosters a sense of ownership
The application of big data is also helped to improve budget distribution and transparency as well as encourage civic engagement with the government activities. The nee data plans has at its heart a revolution need principle and goal. That is to put the Thai government in the hands of Thai citizens. One aspect of the plan is to allow Thai people access to information on government spending and decisions. The plans calls for such information to be easily available to the public in Thailand and at no charge. While separate plans are in place to make government data available to educational establishments and universities, the first goal of public is access is paramount to the plan being put forward. It is envisaged that this information will be available through the internet on both PC and mobile formats.
A key goal of the proposal new plan is to harness the support of the Thai public to root out corruption. In terms of public spending and public procurement, it would be made transparent with all information available to the public.
Thailand has an edge over the EU and more developed countries when it comes to big data
Thailand is well positioned to benefit from the growth and beneficial use of big data. The country’s ability to control its own laws gives it an advantage for instance over EU states who are increasingly being burdened with restrictions and counterweights by a supranational EU authorities who seem intent on curbing the power of tech companies. In other western countries there is strong body of opinion at grass roots and political level that views the use of data as a threat to privacy. White Thai people have similar concerns and Thailand has key regulatory bodies to prevent abuse of big data including threats to privacy, the country’s stage of development and pro growth public opinion leave the Thai government with a unique opportunity.
Big data already being used in Thai business
The strategic importance of data not to only to governmental applications bu to everyday use in business in beg seen worldwide and Thai companies are at the forefront of these developments. Recent announcements by Thai banks of plans to slim down bricks and mortar service operations in favor of a more targeted, less costly and in fact more widespread approach by harnessing new technology and data is one key development. We also see it with key retail operators in Thailand such as the CP Group which operate the hugely successful 7 Eleven chain. The company’s exciting new plans to roll out facial recognition and in store customer loyalty is a signal that the use of big data in retail is starting in Thailand.