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Jakarta is confident in the digital environment. Do you agree?

Are you an executive in Jakarta who is navigating digital transformation?

How confident are you in Jakarta’s digital environment?

Telstra and the Economist Business Intelligence Unit have put together some important research that called on our peers here in Jakarta as well as executives from forty-five other cities to assess business confidence in their digital environments.

jakarta 8th

Each city was ranked on five key categories relevant to business performance:

  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • The financial environment
  • People and skills
  • Development of new technologies, and
  • ICT infrastructure

What came out of this was a first ever, Digital Cities Barometer. You can find the whole report on Jakarta in Bahasa Indonesia here or the specific Jakarta details in English by clicking here.

One of the main takeaways was just how important the city is to business confidence and digital transformation efforts. With Jakarta’s stated goal to become a global economic and digital hub by 2020, there are a lot of valuable takeaways in this report.

jakarta connecting commerce

An interesting data point was how high Jakarta executives ranked their confidence in the city’s digital environment – 8th out of 45 other global cities like New York and Singapore. This is partly a reflection of the tremendous visible growth in Jakarta’s digital ecosystems, but it also indicates businesses around the world are looking to government to provide the right mix of support and perspective is important. With many chafing at what they see as lackluster efforts. New York and Singapore may actually have better ICT infrastructure than Jakarta, but confidence can be highly subjective and be conditioned by cultural norms.

That means all cities have work to do in order to position themselves as sufficiently supportive of digital businesses and digital transformation. And since almost half of global executives say they have considered moving their businesses we now live in a world where cities compete openly for digital businesses to set up shop. You only need to look at Amazon’s current horse race to see an extreme example.

Other key insights specific to Indonesia:

  • A skills shortage is Jakarta’s toughest challenge. 36 percent of Jakarta-based executives think a shortage of ‘People and Skills’ is the largest challenge to the city’s digital ambitions.
  • Jakarta’s executives are the world’s most complimentary of its government’s support. More than any other city surveyed, 95 percent of Jakarta-based executives believe that its municipal government will play a more positive role in developing the digital ecosystem over the next three years. But more than half also think there is a currently a disconnect between the national and city governments when it comes to support for innovation.
  • For businesses, digital security is the skill most needed. 41 percent of Jakarta-based executives think ‘Digital Security’ is the skill most needed to support digital transformation. It was ranked substantially more important than the four other skill categories. At 25 percent, ‘Change Management’ was named the second most important skill.

Where all Asia-Pacific cities can improve is better alignment of educational curricula and the needs of modern businesses. While most executives in the survey (57%) thought their city’s institutions do an effective job at nurturing the talent needed to drive digitisation, more than 40% felt otherwise. More than one-fifth of respondents in cities with strong reputations for technology innovation also rate their local institutions as ineffective on this count.

In Jakarta, digital ecosystems are important. 32 percent of Jakarta-based executives believe traditional structures such as ‘Business Associations’ are useful sources of assistance, while ‘Informal Communities and Networks’; and ‘Innovation Labs’ are also highly valued by businesses (both cited 24 percent).

Jakarta has a long way to go on the journey to being a global digital hub, but the success of it’s digital ecosystems and the growing number of success stories like the first ever IPO by a startup - PT Kioson Komersial Indonesia Tbk – are signs that things are moving in the right direction.

digital cities

To learn more, check out also the previous year's research about Connecting Capabilities.