Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia and has several of the vital ingredients needed to become a digital leader.

Its technology start-up ecosystem is second only to Singapore within the region. The federal government has been a vocal champion of digital transformation. Led by the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, the Government has embarked on an ambitious nation-wide digital transformation program. The 2021-2024 Indonesia Digital Roadmap focuses on four strategic domains: 1) modernising digital infrastructure, 2) accelerating digital government, 3) strengthening the digital economy with a focus on attracting and supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and 4) strengthening its digital society to increase uptake of digital innovations with programs focused on uplifting basic (e.g., digital safety) to more advanced (e.g., professional upskilling in areas such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence) capabilities for all Indonesians.

Alongside these efforts, the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2020-2045 (Strategi Nasional Kecerdasan Artifisial) was unveiled on August 10, 2020. The plan outlines five strategic priority areas: 1) health, 2) bureaucratic reform, 3) education and research, 4) food security, and 5) smart city and mobility, and four focus areas to support the nation’s AI aspirations: 1) ethics and policies, 2) data and infrastructure, 3) talent development, and 4) industrial research and innovation.

Across the nation, there is a palpable energy on digital transformation efforts at all levels of government. Consider, the range of smart city programs such as moving the capital from Jakarta on Java Island to East Kalimantan on Borneo. There are also several strategic international partnerships with agencies such as USAID through programs such as TALENTA that will provide digital skill capability development and increase the uptake of cloud computing solutions.

A forthcoming report for the IBM Center for The Business of Government will explore the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as Indonesia continues its digital transformation of its society. While the focus will be on examining the affordances provided by AI, it will also explore where things stand with a select class of underlying technical systems such as IoT or cloud computing that support large-scale and real-time data aggregation and analysis. Beyond technology, the report will explore policy issues around data governance, cybersecurity, public-private partnerships, funding models, and capability development, among others. Some of the questions that we will explore include:

  • What is the status of digital transformation efforts across the public sector with AI and IoT projects? What are the current challenges and where are the opportunities for innovation? What are the lessons learned?
  • What are some digital transformation case studies? What are some of the current experimentation and innovation efforts that are being closely studied?
  • For a given policy issue (e.g., data governance), what are the current developments in the public sector (i.e., is there a new policy)?
  • What are the top five key recommendations for the Indonesian public sector and the broader ecosystem to realise their digital transformation efforts?


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