Infrastrucuture and Manpower Readiness

Building the foundations of a digital tomorrow and the thrilling anticipation of new digital innovations - by Bruneians, for Brunei.

The world we live in today is undergoing what we call a digital revolution. As with the industrial revolution in the past, we are now creating ways to move goods and services onto digital platforms as well as automating the way we do things. No more will people with families be put in danger for dangerous physical labour, or will there be rows and rows of people sitting in office cubicles tapping away at their keyboards. Remote working is already a commonplace theme in many countries in the world. While some may fear the usual - ‘Robots are taking our jobs!’ - there is also an opportunity for our life to change as we create new ideas, jobs and services that make use of this increasingly technological era.

Our neighbours have had many initiatives for stores to go cashless - and even something as simple as a vending machine, charging maybe up to the maximum of $2 for an item can be paid for using a credit card! Brunei too, is taking steps to introduce cashless transactions into our wider community. In certain Hua Ho outlets, self-checkout counters have been introduced - where customers just scan their own items and pay for them with the tap of a card. There is also Pocket - our own local e-payment app that allows people to pay with a simple scan of a QR code. Not only that, it is partnered with many local outlets to give exclusive discounts, has its own expenses tracker to assist you in monitoring your spending habits, and is linked to your utilities for easy top-ups for your utilities like your phone bill and electricity.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for runners and delivery services skyrocketed due to mandatory isolations and general fear of going out, and local entrepreneurs took the challenge to provide the relevant service. Still active today, we have services such as GoMamam, Ta-pow! and Heydomo. No more will working people have to spend at least half their lunch hour just to get to the place where they want to eat, or are forced just to eat nearby. They can eat from wherever they’re craving from, without having to worry - probably except for ordering it a little earlier than their lunch break.

Of course, with the advent of all these services, we can see a shift towards the need for a workforce that understands and can efficiently maintain and operate these digital services, such as programming and coding apps, that are easily navigable and knowing how to protect servers and personal data. There is a great opportunity for people of all ages and walks of life to adapt and learn new skills in this sector - namely the ICT sector.

Brunei has come up with a framework to help the general public understand and make informed decisions about the sector - with the Brunei ICT Industry Competency Framework (BIICF) to give a clear overview of ICT competencies and make a career in the ICT industry. There are many programmes to help upskill the ICT enthusiasts, such as those provided by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) on coding, programming, and digital upskilling programmes for adults and kids alike. These skills can be utilised to create new ideas and methods in modernising processes and services - and there is support for that as well. Places such as the Brunei Innovation Lab (BIL) are gathering hubs for experts and creatives to pool together research, ideas, and moral support for rising techpreneurs - those who are using their newfound skills to address the growing need for an ICT-savvy workforce.

As one can see, Brunei is beginning to ride the wave of the technological advancement that is shaping the world today. While it is still a burgeoning industry, we need the help and commitment of the public and industry players to build the country up, and allow us to compete and be relevant on a global scale. Furthermore, with the anticipated rollout of the 5G infrastructure, we look forward towards an exciting future of new digital innovations - by Bruneians, for Brunei.


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