CREST Symposium 2013: Gartner’s Jamie Wang Shares Taiwan Innovation

Jamie Wang Talks About Taiwanese Innovation and How This Can Be Replicated Elsewhere

CREST | 9 October 2013

At the CREST Symposium 2013, Jamie Wang, Principal Analyst at Gartner, gave a highly informative presentation on innovation in IT in her country, and how partnering with a ‘competitor’ has proven to be beneficial to all the parties. Taiwan is one of the world’s leaders in Information Technology and has built a concrete foundation of research, development and branding. Like Korea, Taiwan has contributed greatly to the Electronics and Electric sector.

Wang spoke about some key points which have helped Taiwan become a leader in IT. One factor is that her government has provided good infrastructure and supply chain. This in turn encouraged and provided for an excellent research and development platform, and created an ecosystem that is full stream. Some of the R & D features which created products was the investment in capital expenditures (CAPEX) and human capital. Software capacity build-up is another, and for staff, incentives are provided to motivate them.

The money spent on R & is in the billions of USD, and overall Taiwan has spent USD10 billion in 2012. However, Wang pointed out that all was not smooth as they had to contend with the following: High CAPEX; lack of brand identity for products; lack of home market (Taiwan has a population of 23 million people), and they face software weakness of ecosystem engagement. Taiwan also faces threats from China’s OEMs.

So what did Taiwan do to face their challenges? Simple – they decided to turn their threats/competitors into clients. She spoke about Taiwan’s strength as an IT powerhouse and compared it to China’s threats and weaknesses, that could be turned around to Taiwan’s advantage. For instance, Taiwan’s Software on a chip (SoC) is mobile, while China suffers from reliability issues, and is reliant on government subsidy.

Wang suggested that Taiwan has the capabilities China needs. By utilising Taiwan’s IT value and R & D capabilities, as a partner, supplier and investor, Taiwan may be a key components integration supplier in the supply chain and also an essential technology helper and provider to China OEMs. Taiwan may also partner in complementary manufacturing design /design service outsourcing and co-work and collaborate in new technology development. As an investor, they may build localised R&D facilities to be a part of China tech ecosystem and provide capital participation in potential emerging companies. All these plans are win-win situations for both countries, especially since China is an economic superpower and Taiwan is one of the world’s IT leaders.

The Taiwan example can be replicated, and a complementary relationship among parties is beneficial. Perhaps this can be emulated in Malaysia.

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