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Ex-Sun chief tells HK to go open, free and global

Andy Lau, managing partner of ICG Asia Capital Ltd (Computerworld HK) | Nov. 1, 2013
Former chairman, CEO and founder of Sun Microsystems, shares his views on how to fuel technology innovation and the government's next edition of the Digital 21 Strategy -- the technology blueprint for Hong Kong currently undergoing public consultation.

Letting the market forces drive innovation is the best way.

One word [to avoid] in capitalism is a monopoly, because that stunts innovation which has been seen in many past examples where one big company will slow innovation and kill competitors who potentially have newer and more innovative products.

So I think the government's biggest role is making sure that there is not just one horse in the race. Because if one horse gets so far ahead that the other horses can't even see it, they stop running. You just need to make sure that it is a genuine horse race.

So, the fourth focus is about how to transform and integrate public services by developing intuitive, personalized and multi-platform e-services — how can that be achieved?
SM: This has always been a challenge for the public or government sectors to keep up with what's going on in the private industry. But what all government services and government agencies really want to have is one-to-many conversations with their citizens.

You can't fix what you can't see. You can't improve what you don't know is wrong.

If they are using social media and allowing that second screen conversation to happen, they can gather this critical data and find out where they need more buses; or where something needs to be cleaned up. You get this conversation in real-time and in times of disaster or crisis, social media takes over.

I believe that governments that grab and embrace these open social media environments that are going to do a lot better job taking care of its citizens than the ones that are staying on the traditional media and technology environments.


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