Driving collective action to empower Indonesia

photograph of a man and woman wearing aprons, looking at a tablet with a wooden food stall behind them

Headshot of Microsoft's Jean-Philippe CourtoisBy Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President of Microsoft National Transformation Partnerships

Indonesia’s digital revolution is gathering pace. In recent years the country has ridden an extraordinary wave of innovation in e-commerce, fintech, logistics and more that is boosting productivity and growth, creating opportunities and transforming millions of lives.

Fueling this success is a burgeoning appetite for digital services, especially among Indonesia’s tech-savvy, young population – who number more than half its citizens – and growing middle-class. From 2019 to 2022, the country added 60 million new internet users, to total 210 million, or three-quarters of its population.

Just as important is the vibrant new generation of homegrown innovators who are bringing their creativity, originality and digital knowledge to market. Startups – once the domain of Silicon Valley – are thriving in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, and beyond. They’re solving local problems and making a positive social impact well beyond Indonesia’s shores.

All this is helping Indonesia gear up for dramatic growth. Estimated at US$41 billion in 2019, the country’s digital economy is forecast to be worth US$130 billion by 2025, driven primarily by e-commerce. Researchers also predict that by 2045, the digital economy will help propel Indonesia’s overall economy into the fourth largest in the world.

At Microsoft, we’re proud to participate in this latest chapter of Indonesia’s economic transformation. For more than 28 years, we have helped the country’s public sector organizations, educational institutions, NGOs, businesses and communities embrace digitalization.

These deep roots mean we’re also very aware of the challenges facing Indonesia, including high exposure to climate change, a persistent digital divide between regions, a shortage of digital talent to service a changing workforce and increased cybersecurity risk. Another challenge is ensuring Indonesia’s 62 million small and medium-sized enterprises – many of which are micro-enterprises – can scale up and become established companies.

We believe that Microsoft is well placed to use our capabilities as a trusted partner to help solve those challenges. It’s the reason we launched our #BerdayakanIndonesia initiative in 2021. This reinforces our longstanding commitment to help the country accelerate its inclusive digital transformation agenda, realize its ambition of becoming ‘Digital Indonesia’ by 2045, and create a more equitable, sustainable and trusted future for all.

Below, I’ve rounded up a few examples of what delivering on that commitment looks like in practice.

Co-innovating with AI to build inclusive communities

AI is a defining technology of our time, and at Microsoft we are optimistic about what it can and will do for people, industry and society. For 30 years, we’ve delivered AI breakthroughs in vision, speech, language, decision making and custom machine learning.

But we’re also clear-eyed about the challenges – technology is only powerful when people trust it. That is why we’re dedicated to the responsible development of AI systems, ensuring they function as intended and are used in ways that earn trust. And we remain laser-focused on how the AI systems of today can help people solve real-world challenges.

Take our collaboration with Sinar Mas Land, Indonesia’s leading property developer, on the country’s integrated smart city project. Starting with BSD City in the Greater Jakarta region, we’re working to help the organization transform a series of new areas it is developing into inclusive, sustainable digital communities.

At BSD City, particularly in the Digital Hub, we’re harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure, Azure OpenAI Service and Microsoft 365 to help Sinar Mas Land to deliver accessible, secure digital services. That includes integrating area data on transportation, energy, water resources, waste collection, security and other areas into a secure database – one that is regulated to protect privacy and ensure accountability and transparency regarding how resident data is used.

By deploying AI and advanced analytics, leaders gain relevant insights to deliver operational excellence and make better real-time decisions to improve all residents’ quality of life.

Helping startups create a more sustainable future

Since our partnership with Indonesia began back in 1995, we have seen how our customers and partners are using leading-edge technology to solve society’s most pressing problems.

Climate action startup Jejakin is a fantastic example of this approach. Founded in 2018 by digital native and tech entrepreneur Arfan Arlanda, Jejakin offers companies and individuals an innovative way to easily quantify their carbon emissions, then take swift action to offset the results.

Supported by Microsoft’s cloud and AI solutions, Jejakin’s digital platform collects and analyzes environmental information from numerous data sources, including drones and IoT sensors. This helps rapidly calculate the carbon footprints of individuals and businesses. It also suggests ways to balance those emissions by connecting them to various green projects in the Jejakin carbon offset marketplace. In addition, users can sign up for regular updates on their chosen project.

The effectiveness of the Jejakin approach is accelerating Indonesia’s decarbonization efforts. Jejakin has partnered with numerous organizations such as MRT Jakarta, one of the country’s busiest railway transportation hub. By accessing a Jejakin feature on the organization’s mobile app, MRT Jakarta’s 80,000 daily passengers can now quickly calculate and offset the carbon footprint of their ride by purchasing carbon credits.

Fortifying Indonesia’s national cybersecurity efforts

With cyberattacks on the increase, organizations across Indonesia are becoming more concerned about the growing reality of cybercrime and large-scale security breaches.

With that in mind, we at Microsoft are hyper-vigilant about using our advancements in AI to build organizations’ digital resilience and shape zero-trust cybersecurity strategies.

Our Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) takes a proactive approach to fighting cybercrime on a global scale, using the latest technologies.

In 2022, we launched a partnership with the Indonesia National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN), the government agency responsible for handling national cybersecurity. Now, the DCU can apply its cutting-edge Cyber Threat Intelligence Program (CTIP) here and help strengthen the country’s infrastructure against cyber-attack.

Through the CTIP, we’re providing cyber threat intelligence that can help the BSSN rapidly identify compromised infrastructure and alert affected organizations to potential cybercrime threats.

We’re also actively working to close the skills gap that’s left an insufficient number of people with the cybersecurity capabilities needed to protect critical assets. Delivered with the BSSN and University of Indonesia, our online Digital Resilience and Cybersecurity Program aims to boost cybersecurity skills and improve the digital resilience of state institutions. Since December 2022, over 200 civil servants across more than 20 ministries have taken part.

Supporting inclusive economic growth

Microsoft believes economic growth should be inclusive for every person, organization, and community. We also unequivocally support fundamental rights, from defending democracy to supporting accessible technology – without which people miss out on education, healthcare and jobs.

A major focus of our work in Indonesia is to help increase access to digital skills and provide upskilling opportunities for those who want to advance their careers. Our commitment to digital skills training includes our Asia-Pacific wide ‘Code; Without Barriers’ program, where we work to enable female developers and coders and so widen the region’s technical talent pool.

Since 2022, we’ve carried out the program at five leading Indonesian organizations – state electricity company PLN, mobile telecommunications services providers Telkomsel and XL Axiata, Bank BTPN and state oil and gas company Pertamina. The program’s scope includes not just skills training, but also certification and employment opportunities.

Other projects include our SATU Karya initiative, set up to support digitalization across industry sectors and help create an integrated digital ecosystem in Indonesia. We, for example, are working together with the state postal service, Pos Indonesia, to improve the digital skills of its employees. Our SATU Karya talent development projects also help empower communities, connecting Microsoft certified individuals with recruiting company partners so they can explore job opportunities.

Empowering Indonesia as the region’s innovation engine

As these examples indicate, we are enormously excited by the innovation taking place across Indonesia.

We believe it can unlock better futures for many millions of people, which is why we are continuing to draw on the latest AI breakthroughs to ensure the benefits of the country’s transformation are shared by all.

As Indonesia builds on its inherent advantages now and into the future, Microsoft will be there every step of the way.

We’re firmly committed to continue investing in the country’s long-term health and prosperity – partnering with organizations of all sizes and ambitions to empower them to do more.


Related Posts