Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s employers need to rethink the strategy to sustain their businesses. The new normal has altered how organisations perform businesses, and how businesses and customers deal with each other. It shifted organisations to a work-from-home model and remote operations. In the context of the new normal, organisations are responding with alternative initiatives and solutions to interact with their customers more effectively. This triggered innovation and accelerated the existing need for a digital transformation, particularly for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which have been constituting the major business establishments in Hong Kong. Start-ups technologies do help SMEs streamline communication and workflow and that is one of the reasons why the number of Hong Kong start-ups continue to grow rapidly.
Digital transformation is of crucial importance to the development of the new economy under the new normal. Retailers are striving for better online shopping experience by adopting digital tools to boost up sales and customer engagement. E-commerce has been entering a new wave of revolution to live commerce by linking up the online store with a livestream broadcast to allow customers to watch and shop at the same time. Manufacturing is also going through a fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) driven by innovative technological solutions such as drones, Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV)s, and robots to build more automated production operations to complete online and custom made products. Shipping and maritime logistics industry is also increasingly digitialised and data-driven. Customers are demand to know the real-time positioning of the vessels while in open sea and also in congested harbours to ensure the vessels reach their destinations. In addition, implementations of emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, social media, data analytics tools and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, provoke high demand for digital innovation and technology expertise. In order to get through the digital transformation process, Agile software development and data science are the way forward to drive performance and productivity as data is an underpinning key to digitalisation.
The digital transformation of the world economy has brought business opportunities to the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA). Talent is crucial to the success of the innovation and technology development, and talent pool in GBA is highly skilled and experienced in emerging technologies, particularly for positions like AI architects, blockchain specialists and data scientists. Not only the business opportunities brought forth by the GBA, the talent integration within the GBA could further support Hong Kong as an international innovation and technology hub. The “Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035” also mapped out the strategic directions for Hong Kong to collaborate with other GBA cities in technology development and exchange of talents. Hong Kong, with its sound science and technology foundation, is able to seize opportunities brought forth by the development of the GBA to create more room for the sector to grow in the long term.
In the era of new digital economy, emerging technologies including AI, big data, blockchain, cloud computing and cybersecurity have brought new vitality to business. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has taken initiatives to promote the development of digital economy, such as the launch of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Banking Open Application Programming Interface (API) Framework. The open API technology has created promising opportunities for banks in Hong Kong to collaborate with non-financial companies to develop digital products and extend the promotion channels to new digital interfaces. Hong Kong also has a well-developed and mature electronic payment ecosystem, and the use of mobile payment tools is also increasingly popular in recent years, particularly under the e-voucher scheme, which favoured to the development of financial technology. With the robust technological infrastructure, internet access capabilities and support from the Government, Hong Kong is able to take lead in the digital economy to provoke innovative financial technologies and technology investment.