COVID-19 pandemic catalyses digital transformation uptake

Azlan Othman

COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed users’ uptake for digital transformation, said Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) Managing Director and Brunei Shell Country Chair Agnete Johnsgaard- Lewis.

“The pandemic has pushed the world to go through a rapid digital transformation and while that has its own challenges, it also provided some opportunities,” Johnsgaard- Lewis said during a panel session on the future of working in a post-pandemic world.

She highlighted how workforce globally is highly adaptive to the challenges presented by the pandemic.

This has led to the innovation in ways of working to keep operations going as usual, as demonstrated by the positive remote working implementation and uptake.

The annual summit discusses key topics and emerging trends in the ASEAN region.

BSP Managing Director and Brunei Shell Country Chair Agnete Johnsgaard- Lewis

Echoing this year’s theme ‘Building Our Sustainable Digital Future’, participants across the world connected virtually and highlighted the importance of being able to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger, while considering the role of digitalisation.

Johnsgaard- Lewis said, “BSP started its Digital Transformation Strategy in 2019 as a roadmap to achieve strategic priorities and promote more efficient ways of working. By focussing on the development of in-house and specialist digital skills, through its digitalisation strategy, BSP aims to increase productivity, reliability and performance.

“For BSP, remote working had to be enabled within a short period of time during the first wave of COVID-19 in the Sultanate. The decision was made as an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 by making sure employees remain connected to the business, while supporting BSP frontliners who are working on sites.

“Remote working was integral in ensuring business continuity and making sure that Brunei receives the energy supply that it needs, especially in the current situation.” Reflecting further on the impact of the pandemic to the ASEAN region, Johnsgaard- Lewis also shared on the strength of collaboration. “There is a real opportunity here, as a region, to work together.”

She added, “As demonstrated by the outstanding efforts between ASEAN leaders, as well as the leaders from Japan, Australia and China, collaboration has been the key in managing the impact of COVID-19, especially in the provision for vaccines. The continuous efforts displayed by ASEAN member countries in fostering close relationships have enabled Brunei to continue with its National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

“It is imperative that this close partnership to continue to pave the way for the sharing of best practices, trade networks and growth through digitalisation and innovation for a
sustainable future.”