IT Industry

Thailand, the 2nd largest economy of the ASEAN Region has transitioned its focus from being an industrial economy to a digital economy, following the widespread proliferation of the internet and Thai Government’s aggressive push towards digital transformation through it’s Thailand 4.0 initiative. Some of the key technology initiatives in focus are big data, robotic process automation, cloud, software as a service, IoT, and smart devices like CCTV and Bluetooth.

Compared with previous industrial revolutions, advancements in processing power, nanotechnology, 3D printing, AI, robotics, and automation are driving innovation in the new economy, transforming every facet of our lives and creating exciting growth opportunities.

The digital economy has generated new sources of revenues for telecommunications service providers, consumer electronics, digital entertainment, and gaming. With a tech-savvy population and mobile penetration of 133%, Thailand provides immense growth opportunities for businesses in high tech, online retail, and mobile gaming sectors resulting in high demand for IT services in the country. The need for enterprise mobility is likely to stimulate demand for new technologies in Thailand.

The Thai government and the ICT Ministry has rolled out the ‘Smart Thailand’ strategy, a project that is part of the national ICT framework known as ‘ICT 2020’. The Thai government has also launched a pilot project called ‘Smart City’, which empowers local industries to compete globally. The foremost objective of this initiative is to widen the penetration of the Internet to every house in the country and the availability of affordable devices for practical applications. The IT Market in Thailand is categorized into hardware, software, and services.

Emerging Technologies 

As per The NATION – Thailand’s information technology (IT) market will grow more than 13 percent year on year during 2019 and will worth Bt527 billion by the end of this year. Hardware will be the biggest contributor with Bt234 billion while digital services will have the highest growth at 34 percent. Smart devices including CCTV and smart Bluetooth is valued at around Bt121 billion or 23 percent of the overall IT market. Software services will account for 20 percent with Bt106 billion and digital services will be valued at Bt65 billion, or 12 percent of the overall IT market.

The key issue enabling growth is the flow of digital use in all industries, the services sector, and the growing tendency for digital usage in all sectors, including social platform, cashless society, blockchain, chatbot, programmatic, and video clips including 3D, augmented reality and virtual reality. These will have an important role in public, advertising, and product demonstrations.

Thailand’s networking market is projected to hit THB 18.3 billion by 2025 from THB 10.7 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period.

Thanachart Numnonda, director of IMC Institute, said that the IT industry had changed as businesses were challenged by the digital transformation. They needed to invest in new technology to support their business and increase productivity.

Technology areas like Big Data, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and 5G would be key differentiators in the next decade of Thailand’s advancement.

Read more Digital scenarios of Thailand.

The Data Age 2025 whitepaper predicted that humans will, on average, interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times a day (or once in every 18 seconds) in 2025. 

As per IDC, It is also predicted that data usage to 175 zettabytes by 2025 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 61%. This gigantic amount of data will come from sources like cloud, on-premise data center, cell towers, endpoints such as smartphones, and IoT devices alone is expected to account for more than 50% of total data creation. By 2025, 49% of data will be stored in public cloud environments. The trend has already started, as the majority of data now is being stored on the cloud and in data centers rather than endpoints, creating a new trend for the digital era. The explosion in data supports growth for cloud and data centers, as well as data analytics technology.

The term “Big Data” refers to enormous data sets that would be impossible for any single human to sort through, therefore demanding the help of automated systems. Big Data and data analytics are one of the technologies coming after the age of data and they will be increasingly utilized in various industry verticals from healthcare to finance to retail in order to better understand patterns and user behaviors and streamline business processes.

Like many other countries worldwide, Thailand has been witnessing huge growth in data traffic. The high mobile penetration in Thailand(133%), have encouraged people to use more online services and activities such as mobile banking, PromptPay, and e-commerce. With 5G, Thailand is expected to see the exponential growth of data traffic, especially from IoT devices.

The value of the Big Data analytics market in Thailand is estimated to grow to THB 47.9 billion in 2025, at a CAGR of 18.3%.

The factors driving the Big Data industry are digital transformation, the huge and vast data created, and the demand for data analysis. Big Data is the key driving factor for supporting the 4.0 industries in Thailand. Though adoption to Big Data by SME is still at its nascent stage, it is predicted by SCB that 70% of the Thai companies would play a much bigger role in the next 3 years by using Big Data. 

Big Data is also the key support to the digital transformation that helps maximize value from shifting channels, redefining consumer experience, reinventing new models for products and businesses, driving operational excellence, empowering talent and build teamwork, and connecting the enterprises.

With Thailand 4.0 initiatives, the country is in the right direction to eliminate the middle-income trap by transforming the country to become a high-income nation within 5 years of inception of Thailand 4.0. Asia IoT Business Platform conducted a survey that laid emphasis on Thailand, among other Asian countries surveyed, as the country that will most likely explore and implement IoT solutions. 89% of the Thai companies are ready to explore IoT solutions compared to 83% in Indonesia, 86% in Malaysia, 80% in Philippines, and 79% in Vietnam.

The future of Thailand 4.0 initiative would advance the economy to five folds using technology and innovation based on smart cities, smart industry, and smart people. As Thailand undertakes the ASEAN chairmanship for 2019, the focus would be on partnering for sustainability for the future. This initiative is backed by formulating ASEAN Digital Integration Framework Action Plan along with ASEAN Innovation Roadmap 2019 – 25 to augment skilled labor and service development. This would lead ASEAN to become the top 5 digital economies of the world by 2025.

The Thailand 4.0 implementation would bring enormous potential to the economy, resulting in higher disposable income. E-commerce would emerge as the venue of choice for the millennial generation. By 2025, Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market is estimated to be worth $200 billion. This promises a bright future for Thailand 4.0 in terms of online presence and agile commerce.

According to a US technology group, manufacturing would be a core driver for ASEAN’s economy with an estimated figure of $1.4 trillion by 2028.

 Thailand’s manufacturing sector could see incremental growth of US$50 billion in productivity gains over the next decade by embracing Industry 4.0 technologies, according to a study on Industry 4.0 in manufacturing.

Thailand has also identified 10 S-curve industries that will propel the country to a developed nation status. The S-curve industries are divided into two categories – S-curve and New S-curve. S-curve refers to existing industries such as smart electronics, food technology, agriculture, automotive, and medical tourism; meanwhile, the New S-curve industries are robotics, aviation, biofuels, medical hubs, and the digital sector.

Several cohesive initiatives are needed to achieve the objectives of Thailand 4.0 and would need to integrate newer technologies to ensure efficiency and usher Thailand into the future.

To drive Thailand 4.0 and 10 targeted S-Curve Industries, the focus of current investment promotion policies is on Technology and Innovation; People; Productivity Enhancement and Development of targeted areas, including the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), Border Special Economic Zone with tax incentives and facilitation provided to attract key elements to Thailand. Read more: Thailand 4.0.

Blockchain technology is a very practical solution to the problem of storing, authenticating, and protecting data. Think of a blockchain as a decentralized, extremely secure database. Or, to get slightly more technical, it is a distributed, peer-to-peer ledger of records. While nothing is ever totally ‘hack-proof’, blockchain represents a huge leap forward compared to our current data security technology as, unlike a centralized database, there’s no one single point of failure.

The Thai government has not only been open to foreign cryptocurrency startups, but it has also been actively looking to integrate cryptocurrency and blockchain, going so far as to plan a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by 2019.

The experts at Frost & Sullivan have forecasted the digital payment market in Thailand to grow at a CAGR of 13% by 2022 resulting in the total amount of THB 4.73 billion. The Thailand Blockchain market is estimated to be at THB 8.2 billion by 2025.

Thailand is in the Blockchain 3.0 era. Many people think blockchain is only in bitcoin but in blockchain 3.0, it is more than only in cryptocurrency. First of all, the era of blockchain started from Blockchain 1.0 which is a currency era. Bitcoin is the first of the 1,000 cryptocurrencies that use blockchain as the network. In this era, ‘Demand is speculative’. Next, Blockchain 2.0 used for a Smart contract. Not only focus on speculative, but blockchain also uses a transaction. The transformation is emerging even demand is still speculative. Currently, Blockchain 3.0 is the era of Decentralized application called Dapp which could be used in various industries. Entrepreneurs could bring smart contracts to create an application for solving problems and disrupting the traditional business model. However, Thailand is in the early adoption stage of DLT. There are some industries that started to adopt the DLT as the blockchain.

BOT, alongside eight commercial banks, are currently developing a prototype platform for domestic fund transfers using the new cryptocurrency. The consortium is using R3’s Corda distributed ledger platform to develop the technology.

In July 2018, the Thai SEC allowed the Thai Bond Market Association to create a bond registrar service platform for corporate bond transactions that utilize blockchain technology.

Separately, the kingdom’s revenue department is exploring the use of blockchain and machine learning to curb tax avoidance. It will be using blockchain to verify whether taxes were paid correctly and to speed up the tax refund process. Meanwhile, machine learning will be used to study how taxes are evaded; enabling revenue officials to efficiently track tax fraud and create more transparency.

Read more: Thailand Digital Scenario

 

Thai telecom regulator NBTC had set a schedule for the mandated shutdown of 2G networks across the country by October 2019 in order to free up capacity for 5G deployment. Thai operators have been instructed to take steps to migrate all 5.2 million remaining 2G subscribers onto 3G and 4G networks. Pending approval for the plan from the NBTC board, the regulator and operators will commence a multi-stage transition towards shutting down 2G. The first stage will involve disallowing further imports of 2G equipment

Frost & Sullivan predicts that the number of 5G subscriptions in Thailand will reach significant numbers in 2020 with 450,000 5G subscribers, 1.7 million in 2021, 4.9 million in 2022, 9 million in 2023, 12.7 million in 2024 and 14 million in 2025.

It is believed that the first demonstration of 5G usage from AIS will spark 5G to be used in Thailand at the end of 2020 until 2021. The country’s economy will be affected by happening of 5G.

AIS said that as AIS is a provider of digital infrastructure services or Digital life service provider, the company will bring new technologies like 5G into the country. They will prepare the country’s infrastructure for future competition, especially the business sector that will transform the industry to the next level with 5G technology.

There are many technologies transforming AR and VR experiences in the foreseeable future, including 5G, robotics, AI, hologram, etc. 5G will bring improved mobile broadband along with advanced capabilities, more uniform experience with steadily high data rates and lower latency, which will improve the screen and equipment quality of AR/VR devices. AR, VR, and Robotics will merge to develop “virtual reality robots” that will have a huge impact on sectors such as manufacturing, retail, security, healthcare, and defense. Deep learning will elevate real-time image and speech recognition, lessen the cost of local processing and storage, and multiply network bandwidth, enabling richer data streams and cloud availability. Hologram technology merges both AR and VR into mixed reality, thus enabling the user to interrelate with both the hologram and the real surroundings simultaneously.

Read More: The Thailand Board of Investments  and  Thailand 4.0.

Digital security is the protection of online identities people have been creating exponentially with the growing usage of social media, mobile applications, electronic payments, etc. Criminals are finding new ways to operate and steal information from digital users for their own personal gain.

Digital security or Cybersecurity is an all-encompassing term that includes the tools that can be used to secure identity, assets, and technology in the online and mobile world. The tools for protecting identity include anti-virus software, web services, biometrics, multifactor authentication, voice, facial and vein recognition, and secure personal devices.

Digital security is the protection of online identities people have been creating exponentially with the growing usage of social media, mobile applications, electronic payments, etc. Criminals are finding new ways to operate and steal information from digital users for their own personal gain.

Digital security or Cybersecurity is an all-encompassing term that includes the tools that can be used to secure identity, assets, and technology in the online and mobile world. The tools for protecting identity include anti-virus software, web services, biometrics, multifactor authentication, voice, facial and vein recognition, and secure personal devices.

In terms of the evolution of cybersecurity, the latest 5th generation or Generation V cyberattacks differ from their predecessors in a variety of ways, the most prevalent difference being the wide range of technologies that they can target, from mobile phones to entire cloud networks. As a result, Gen V attacks can occur across countries, companies, and even continents. An example of this broad-scale is the Wannacry attack that canceled thousands of doctor’s appointments in the UK while simultaneously crippling the computer systems of German National Railways and Telefonica.

The region’s spending on cybersecurity is forecasted to grow at a 15% compound annual growth rate from 2015 to 2025, while Thailand’s cybersecurity spending is projected to grow to US$511 million by 2025 from US$159 million in 2015 with a CAGR of 12%, increasing cybersecurity spending per capita more than 3 times to US$7.4 by 2025. 

Asia Pacific growth rate for cybersecurity is estimated to be at 43% by 2020 due to the fast pace of digitization and threats. Thailand’s cybersecurity is estimated to be $20 million every year. Thailand 4.0 has been the major force towards pairing education, technology with data protection, and cybersecurity law. With THB 200 million, Thailand is planning to put forward 1000 cybersecurity specialists within the next few years.

Cybersecurity is one of the main drivers for the dynamic changes inflicted by the Thai government through the initiative of Thailand 4.0.

Cybersecurity technologies are crucial for Thailand in terms of providing a necessary infrastructure to protect not only national security and nationwide digital backbone facilities but also online privacy, identity, integrity, and secured transaction from potentially impactful cyberattacks. The country has one of the highest penetrations of internet, smartphone, and mobile internet users in Thailand with the numbers expected to grow steadily year-on-year.

One of the main drivers for dynamic changes is the push toward Thailand 4.0 and industry 4.0 initiatives. In order to better meet these industry goals, Thailand is pairing education, and technology with robust Data Protection and Cyber Security Law. Recognizing its role as a world-leading medical tourism destination and Financial and Logistical hub, Thailand’s leaders realize it needs to tighten up the security protocol across private and public operations. As such the government is focusing on six sectors, government services, financial services, healthcare, logistics, and energy.

Frost & Sullivan estimates that cybersecurity spending in Thailand will reach THB 16.3 billion by 2025 from THB 6.9 billion in 2017, at a CAGR of 11.30% during the forecast period.

A startup in Thailand incubation company, Arahant (Thailand) Co. Ltd has done exceptionally well in the IT security space over the last 3 years of its inception in Thailand, asssiting several multinational and Thai companies to solve critical issues.

Over the last couple of years, Thailand is geared up to change its direction from being an industry-driven country to be a nation driven by high-tech innovations. Emerging technologies and promising innovations would continue to disrupt every industry and business leaders should embrace this change to sustain growth by defeating the competition. 

These are the Top 10 tech trends for Thailand as predicted by IDC,

#1: Digitalized Economy. 

Over 61% of the country’s GDP will be digitalized by 2022, with IT-related spending of US $ 72 billion from 2019 to 2022.

#2: Digital-native IT. 

60% of Thailand’s IT spending will be on 3rd Platform technologies. It is mainly because 30% of all enterprises would be building ‘digital-native’ IT environments to sustain the digital economy.

#3: Expand to the Edge. 

It is estimated that 20% of Thai companies would deploy edge computing and 25% of systems would execute AI algorithms. 

#4: AppDev Revolution. 

25% of all production applications will be cloud-native while 70% would feature microservices architectures that assist in easy modification of third-party codes.

#5: New Developer Class. 

Thailand’s new acceleration of digital transformation would be supported by the emergence of a new breed of professional developers producing code without custom scripting.

#6: Digital Innovation Explosion. 

4.0 million new logical applications are expected to be created using new tools, platforms, agile methods, and reusing of codes. 

#7: Growth Through Specialization.  

15% of public cloud computing will be based on non-x86 processors (including quantum) in Thailand and organizations will spend more on vertical SaaS apps than horizontal apps.

#8: AI is the New UI. 

By 2022, 20% of enterprises will use conversational speech tech for customer engagement while by 2024, AI-enabled user interfaces and process automation will replace one-third of today’s screen-based apps in Thailand.

#9: Expanding/Scaling Trust. 

3.5 million people are expected to have digital identities while by 2023, 25% of servers will encrypt data and 20% of security alerts will be handled by AI-powered automation.

#10: Consolidation vs Multicloud. 

The top 4 mega-platforms will host 80% of Iaas/PaaS deployments in Thailand and by 2023, 70% of the top 100 organizations of Thailand will work on multi-cloud/hybrid technologies and tools.

Market Size

Market size determination was done by the data analysts of Frost & Sullivan and they have identified certain parameters that estimate the maximum number of sales happening in the market over a period of time. Market sizing is important to understand and stargaze new product introduction. Market sizing also helps in the determination of market trends and drivers for strategy planning. The scoring is ranged from 1 to 5 as estimated by Frost & Sullivan meaning Thailand’s market size of technology will be valued at :

  1. Lowest – less than THB 10 billion by 2030.
  2. Low – between THB 10-50 billion by 2030.
  3. Neutral – between THB 50-150 billion by 2030.
  4. High – between THB 150-300 billion by 2030.
  5. Highest – more than THB 300 billion by 2030.

The IT sector that operates in Thailand is one of the best hub providing services and products in most leading companies in the world. With their help, the line of people has become much easier and well-being is simpler. Since the business world is driven by technology, the need for the IT sector is felt very much. Thailand remains to be one of the best IT outsourcing countries with the help of the government. It is estimated to grow over the years.

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