Huawei joins ICTA’s National Digital Consortia to discuss how 5G, Cloud, and AI collaboration can fast-track digitalisation

Thursday, 13 January 2022 02:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Huawei Chief Digital Officer Michael Macdonald presenting the Digital Future Beyond 2022
Huawei Cloud Asia Pacific Region Senior Director – Cloud Strategy and Consulting Neo Teck Guan on Making Government Smarter with Technology
Huawei Cloud APAC Director – Public Sector – Government, Education and Healthcare Roy Chen Qi on how Huawei Cloud will facilitate National Digital Transformation Solution
Huawei APAC Director Industry Ecosystem Engagements Konesh Kochhal on Accelerating Digi-tal Economy Development with 5G
Huawei Technologies Global SVP & CTO Data Centre Business Sanjay Kumar Sainani on Digital Energy Technologies to reduce Carbon footprint
Huawei SL VP Indika de Zoysa on ‘Tech4All’ initiatives of Huawei

Huawei participated in the National Digital Consortia on 11 January to share innovative technol-ogies, global best practices, and cases that enable the fastest route to the digitalisation of econo-mies. The National Digital Consortia is organised by Information and Communication Technolo-gy Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) in partnership with FITIS, SLASSCOM, BCS, CSSL. The event also aimed at building ties between multinational organisations, local businesses, local government, and encouraged the leading technology giants to be part of Sri Lanka’s digital transformation.

As one of the world-leading ICT technology providers, Huawei joins the ‘National Digital Consor-tia’ together with esteemed global tech giants to present the latest innovative solutions, services, and shared insights on trends and cutting-edge technologies in the global tech and ICT industry. 

During the session, Huawei contributes knowledge, expertise, and industry know-how to the course of the digital transformation of Sri Lanka together with ICTA. By sharing the ongoing trends in the technology landscape, Huawei looks forward to cooperating with partners in Sri Lanka to develop the local technology ecosystem. 

In the world we live today, technology is developing faster than we could have ever imagined. Digital technologies such as 5G, cloud, and AI are constantly being pushed to their limits, advanc-ing in leaps and bounds. And in this background, the ‘National Digital Consortia’ event was at-tended by businesses within the technology industry, government institutions, academia, leading technology enthusiasts, and ICT students who are keen to explore cutting-edge innovations in the ICT era.

Emerging towards a Digital Economy in Future

Delivering the Keynote during the second day afternoon sessions Huawei Chief Digital Officer Michael Macdonald went on to elaborate that the fourth industrial revolution featuring intelli-gent technology is faster on its way and that new technologies such as AI, IoT, 5G, and biological engineering will be integrated into our society and impact global macro trends. 

“Intelligent technology will promote sustainable development in countries such as Sri Lanka and become a new driver for economic growth. It will help build smart cities, drive the digital trans-formation of industries, and improve consumer experiences. 

“As a key engine for the fourth industrial revolution, intelligent technology will promote global advancement and development,” Macdonald explained, adding that as AI develops, ICT will em-power the transformation from the digital economy to an intelligent economy. 

According to him, initially, AI can optimise the cooperation and performance of ICT infrastruc-ture, and secondly, AI can help improve decision-making efficiency and quality. These two ad-vantages brought by AI will facilitate the digital transformation of the entire society and econo-mies, and give birth to new products and services.

Macdonald said that the policymakers and industry leaders are realising that digital transfor-mation helps drive economic development and productivity. He said that the fast development of 5G and AI will profoundly change our lives and the world, and this relies on investing in ICT infrastructure and ICT applications. 

He further highlighted that from the perspective of national strategies, Huawei finds that 5G and AI have become focus areas of major countries in the high-tech race. According to him China, the US, South Korea, Japan, and European countries are advancing their 5G and AI strategies and pol-icies to have strategic advantages in these areas through national strategies and improved com-petitiveness in key industries.

Macdonald suggested that a developing and emerging nation such as Sri Lanka could explore in-vesting more in ICT, which is the most effective way to stimulate GDP growth. 

“Some believe that policy-makers and end-users will benefit the most from an intelligent con-nectivity ecosystem. However, from an ROI perspective, the benefits gained by various coun-tries and industries may be more balanced than what we expected. There is a misunderstanding that intelligent connectivity will only benefit countries that own the most advanced technolo-gies. 

“The emergence of intelligent connectivity is a turning point for global digital transformation,” Macdonald said, adding that intelligent connectivity has great potential for economic growth, though it is still nascent. Intelligent connectivity will dramatically impact all aspects of our soci-ety and economy through innovative solutions, new business models, and emerging technolo-gies.

Making Smarter Governments with Technology and 5G’s contribution to Digital Econ-omy

Speaking at the event, Huawei Cloud Asia Pacific Region Senior Director – Cloud Strategy and Consulting Neo Teck Guan highlighted that the spread of new digital infrastructure will make for better management of the urban environment, with more efficient use of resources and more effective city governance. 

He pointed out that the centralised digital platforms for government processes and services will make government services user-friendly and easier to access. This will help create more com-fortable and liveable cities. 

Sharing global experience and best practices, he went on to elaborate that the US was the first to propose to implement a systematic national 5G strategy and is now carrying out 5G R&D, com-mercial application, and national security assurance. It has launched the American AI Initiative and will rely on five pillars to advance AI, including promoting investments, providing resources, developing standards, empowering AI workers, and encouraging international cooperation.

Guan concluded by looking through the digital future from the perspective of smart governance: “Digital technologies ranging from digital infrastructure, cloud computing, and blockchain will make cities more liveable and civic governance more efficient in the years to come. Enterprises from countless industries will use more productive machines, such as collaborative robots, au-tonomous mobile robots, and digital employees” 

Cloud Facilitation for Digital Transformation

Whilst we are living in a world in continuous evolution, all companies need to drive their activity to new forms of technology; therefore, Digital Transformation becomes a means of survival. In this revolution, cloud computing has a key role according to Huawei Cloud APAC Director – Pub-lic Sector – Government, Education and Healthcare Roy Chen Qi. 

He points out that the cloud becomes the catalyst for this transformation and that nowadays every company measures its performance through customer experience. A cloud-enabled and cloud-delivered business model supports organisations to adopt newer channels to offer high-level customer experience by differentiating its strategy and solutions over the current market competitors. 

During the sessions, Chen Qi highlighted that data is not saved on physical devices, but in the cloud, which helps governments and businesses to better manage the administration, to stream-line processes, improve productivity, optimise costs and enhance customer digital experience.

He suggested that to succeed for economies such as Sri Lanka during this time of economic vola-tility and in a post-pandemic world, state-owned enterprises and companies will need to em-brace resilience and agility across their entire operations and participate in digital ecosystems to foster innovation and create new revenue streams. This requires a rethink of IT infrastructure and ecosystem strategies not only to solve immediate problems. This will involve enabling Cloud‐based digital infrastructure, which enables access to digital ecosystems to accelerate such transformation, provide flexibility and choice, create new digital value chains and grow reve-nues. While cloud is the foundation to enable Digital Transformation, the adoption of cloud is multifaceted. 

Digital IT infrastructure requires the skilful and efficient deployment of multiple cloud models that combine private, public and hybrid architectures, across multiple locations, at the core and/or at the edge, to comply with an array of unique business and technology requirements such as security, latency, scalability, and compliance. 

Qi said that connectivity and networking infrastructure are critical to the success of implement-ing and operating these distributed cloud architectures. Nevertheless, the speed of change is so fast that it is increasingly difficult for organisations to go to market relying solely on their inter-nal resources. Qi also suggested that Digital platforms, combined with vibrant ecosystems, can help to leverage the digital skills gap and enable innovation at speed. These digital ecosystems will enable governments and organisations to access the resources they need quickly while of-fering a springboard for new partnerships to accelerate the launch of new products or services. 

Low-Carbon Footprint, and Green Energy with Efficiency through Digital Power

Speaking on Digital Energy Technologies that reduce Carbon footprint Huawei Technologies Global SVP & CTO Data Centre Business Sanjay Kumar Sainani said that Huawei Digital Power solutions strive to help carriers improve efficiency and smarten up facilities. 

“Our solutions help both telecom and tower carriers simplify facility deployment, improve power reliability, increase energy efficiency and make O&M smart, enable ICT networks to evolve to 5G and cloud smoothly,” he said, adding that ICT global digital enabler Huawei is com-mitted to decarbonising and spearheading the energy transition. The actions the company took during the years to come will be instrumental in shaping a sustainable, resilient, net-zero emis-sions economy. 

“At Huawei, we realise the urgency of ensuring an affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern supply of energy for all by 2030. We are, thus, looking forward to working with Sri Lankan or-ganisations’ members to support the energy transition in South Asia and foster collaboration and cooperation to achieve the goals of the twin digital and green transition pursued. We will work together to integrate digital and power electronics technologies to drive energy revolution for a better, greener future,” Sainani said.

ICT Talent Development for Digital Transformation

Huawei Sri Lanka VP Indika de Zoysa, speaking on the latest initiatives by Huawei that supports the digital transformation of Sri Lanka, said that in recent two years, the company has extended ICT talents cultivation initiative to a larger scale, which has been titled as the ‘Huawei Asia Pacif-ic Academy’. 

Accordingly, Huawei is focusing on three domains – Public awareness, ICT Vocational Training, and Joint innovation – with Sri Lanka universities, to enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the telecommunications sector, and improve and en-courage regional building and participation in the digital community.

Accordingly with the aim of ‘Cultivating a Talent Ecosystem for Inclusive Digital Prosperity’, and to explore collaborative initiatives for closing the digital skill gaps, and facilitating the digital transformation in the post-pandemic economic recovery in Sri Lanka, Huawei had launched several initiatives, including the largest Huawei ICT Academy and Innovation Lab in the country at the University of Moratuwa, NAITA-Huawei ICT Academy that contributes to enhancing voca-tional education and training for the youth in the telecommunication sector with hardware in-stallation skills along with Huawei's certification system which is the only certification system that covers all ICT technologies in today’s world. 

Further, Huawei’s flagship CSR program ‘Seeds For The Future’, to date, has benefitted a total of 74 Sri Lanka university talents who participated, and is looking forward to its 7th year in Sri Lanka in 2022. 

The program, carried out by Huawei in cooperation with the Education Ministry in Sri Lanka, is now an annual symbolic project in Sri Lanka’s ICT and education sector. De Zoysa further added that Huawei is committed to investing over Rs. 600 million over the next five years for digital talent cultivation in Sri Lanka to nurture required future talent for the digital transformation in the country.