Assessing Brunei Darussalam Public and Private Sector Readiness Towards Big Data Application

Assessing Brunei Darussalam Public and Private Sector Readiness Towards Big Data Application

Muhammad Azmi Sait (Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei) and Muhammad Anshari Ali (Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.20220701.oa7
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This exploratory study aims to assess and investigate Brunei Darussalam’s readiness in developing and applying big data technologies for its public and private sectors, using Social, Technological, Environmental and Policy (STEP) framework. The results show that the population are digitally literate (Social) and utilises smart devices as well as internet network connectivity that is widely offered by the local telecommunications company (Technology). The government of Brunei Darussalam established multiple digital transformation initiatives including implementation of 5G connectivity as well as digital economy masterplan to digitally transformed in the near future (Environment). Regardless of the absence of national digital data privacy policy (Policy) in Brunei, the recent nation’s successful big data application in public sector – BruHealth Application – to contain Covid-19 community spread was achieved. Alas, the existence of such policy in the near future will create opportunities for the local private sectors to capitalise big data technologies to their business strategies.
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Brunei Darussalam is a monarch country blessed with a stable geopolitical environment under the ruling of the Sultan who is the monarchical head of state of the government and also the Prime Minister of Brunei Darussalam. Recently, Brunei Darussalam has been associated with economic issues rooting from its high dependency on its oil and gas industry that has been sensitive to the low market demands (reflected by the low oil prices) since its price plunge in 2014 from rise of “US shale oil” (Stocker et al., 2018). Thus, there has been efforts to diversify Brunei Darussalam’s economy towards value added manufacturing and services industry. The product and services niches that Brunei Darussalam has been venturing into includes halal industry (including food and beverages, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals), tourism (through Brunei Darussalam’s Bio-Innovation Corridor – BIC launched in early 2014) and petrochemical industry (Ain Bandial & Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar, 2019). Inherently, Brunei Darussalam may lose in terms of scale, for its local market population is only 459,500 (DEPS, 2019). However, being strategically positioned on North-West of Borneo Island, Brunei Darussalam would have the opportunity to capture a larger market segment of approximately 16 million people (Borneo Project, 2014).

In the recent Titah by His Majesty the Sultan, he has emphasised the relevance of moving towards big data applications for its public and private sectors, in order to capitalise the market trends of the neighbouring countries to enhance the marketability of the aforementioned product and service niches (Azlan Othman, 2020). Moving in parallel to current global technological advancement, His Majesty has addressed the establishment of a five-year roadmap of Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 that entails 17 projects that aims to transform Brunei Darussalam into a “Smart Nation”. Implementing big data application (complemented with technologies related to it i.e. big data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learnings) to the current Brunei Darussalam economy would have the potential to boost up our efficiency in terms of governance and businesses as it carries the benefit of gaining better understanding of the vast amount of opportunities to aide the key stakeholders from public and private sector in making a better judgement and decision concisely (G.-H. Kim et al., 2014; Wamba et al., 2015).

The purpose of this paper is to assess Brunei Darussalam readiness in the aspects of social, environmental, technological, policy and regulatory (STEP) frameworks in allowing conducive conditions for developing and implementing big data technologies for its public and private sectors. The objectives of this research are to evaluate Brunei Darussalam’s current readiness in implementing big data technologies based on the current available social capability, technologies, environment and policy and regulatory frameworks through interviews with relevant stakeholders; to identify the current on-going big data application related project(s) in Brunei Darussalam as well as the challenges being faced by the project stakeholders on the aforementioned projects; and lastly acts as initial guidelines for policy makers in creating relevant policies with regards to data governances for the future big data applications in Brunei Darussalam’s public and private sectors. The rest of this paper is organised as follows: next section will cover on the literature reviews on topics that are deemed relevant in understanding the concept of big data, its applications in public and private sectors as well as examples that of Asia-region countries that utilises it and key enablers to big data applications (STEP). Next will cover on the methodology that was deployed to reach the aim and objectives of this paper. Then the next section will present and discuss the quantitative and qualitative results that was collected from primary and secondary data sources. Final section will cover the conclusion of this paper.

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