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2 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM

Malaysian digital progress and Bangladesh’s potentials

In the wave of digitalisation everywhere, cyber security concern has become vital for whichever technologies being used for an application or services
Mohammed Asif
Malaysian digital progress and Bangladesh’s potentials

Digitalisation is no more new normal for any country; it is becoming an essential commodity like electricity, usable water or telecommunication for citizens. Malaysia, being in the middle of emerging and developed economy, has made significant progress in building Digital Malaysia in past two decades. The pace of evolving technologies and industrial revolution 4.0 has situated government, industry leaders and academician to re-think and re-design the information technology landscape of the country. Let’s look into some insights what and how Malaysia will sustain and grow better to address the millennial challenges harnessing and adopting technologies, in context of PICOM Leadership summit adjacent with Outsourcing Summit held in November 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.

Leadership Summit 2018

PIKOM is the national ICT association of Malaysia, representing information communications technology (ICT) industry in that country. Its membership currently stands at 800+ comprising companies involved in a whole spectrum of ICT products and services which command 80% of the total ICT trade in Malaysia. This year the leadership summit was vibrant with the presence of multi-solutions provider technology companies, Malaysian as well as regional prominent IT personalities and, most importantly, trending technology issues like Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0, Blockchain, cloud adoption, cyber security. The summit has brought together C-Level executives, policy makers, IT professionals and global ICT leaders like World Information Technology Service Alliance (WITSA) Chairman Yvonne Chiu for thought-provoking and in-depth discussions on the latest technologies that will shape the future of business in Malaysia and across the region.

Technology to boost digital economy

To run with the pace of Industrial revolution 4.0, most presenters and speakers emphasized on evolving of new technologies like IoT, Blockchain, AI and cloud while stating the application of these technologies in business, public services, healthcare, education and people. With the challenges of domestic labour shortages and global manufacturing competitiveness, Malaysia is seeking new techs and solutions to increase visibility and optimization in production and manufacturing management to accelerate industrial transformation. Taiwan-based companies highlighted solutions that address production process, reporting, inventory management connecting with relevant IoT sensors and devices.

Jacob Isaac, MD, New technologies from Fusionex International has presented the interesting topic “Human Intelligence vs. Artificial Intelligence (Hybrid)” in his keynote speech where he focused on how we can use AI in industries despite the fact that we’ve made machines that can access the sum total of human knowledge from the Internet and make decisions based on that information. Organizations today are adopting Blockchain like disruptive technologies. Blockchain technology is the distributed ledger technology that powers Bitcoin, XEM, Ethereum and other digital currencies in the world today. Echoing to this reality of radically changing the way business is being conducted globally, Andy Roy Sian, Director of NEM Malaysia has demonstrated in his keynote how Blockchain is being adopted in the product and services of Malaysian companies in protected way with sophisticated encryption technology.

In the wave of digital everywhere, Cyber Security concern has become vital for whichever technologies being used for an application or services or even in any infrastructure. NTT Data has brought up their cyber security approach to address business requirements, regulations, security infrastructure and controls issues from the Hybrid-cloud perspective. CISCO, on the other hand, highly emphasized for Organizations to make cyber security as boardroom agenda and critical foundation for their digital growth.

Technologies have their own uniqueness and features to support business or services. But the challenge lies for companies how to create a thriving innovation ecosystem to adopt these technologies. In a panel session “Commercializing Innovation (How to Avoid Becoming a Taxi Cab in the Age of Uber)”, Mr. Ganesh Kumar Bangah, PIKOM Chairman and other panelists have explored various challenges like how to accelerate market development, profitably develop the talent, meaningfully engage with large corporations and invest sovereign wealth in a way that helps founders succeed. Their in-depth discussions provided answers and roadmap to address these challenges.

The Smart Outsourcing Summit

The Smart Outsourcing Summit was organized by Outsourcing Malaysia (OM) on same date in the same venue. In this adjacent summit, transformation Impact, Global business services, shared Services Space, new challenges in outsourcing and people management were the major topics disused by outsourcing industry leaders in different panels. Outsourcing services industry, like other business also having different challenges and most of the speakers and panelist echoed the importance of disruptive technologies. Prof. Dr. Saravanan Muthaiyah, Professor, Faculty of Management, Multimedia University has done extensive research on organization’s technology adoption risks in respect of their digital transformation agenda. In his presentation, he has emphasized on spotting the risks early and takes action to mitigate well so that the success of transformation will look game-changing.

One of the core assets for outsourcing business is skilled human resource. High performing organization of the future won't merely consume more technology, but will also enable their people to accomplish more with technology. The pace of technology changes impulse organizations to create new corporate cultures that use technology to enable people to constantly adapt and learn, create new solutions, drive change, and disrupt the status quo. As businesses become digital, their people and cultures must become digital too. Hence, putting people first should be the new mantra of digital age.

  Research suggests that most companies are not ready for a full scale digital disruptive Innovation. Such transition will face challenges relating to processes and work flow, talent and skills development and operating models, integrating legacy systems with the newer digital technologies. Therefore, many organizations are thinking and adopting shared-services. Malaysia is taking advantage of becoming global business services hub for ASEAN as well as global companies where organizations can achieve significant savings in both time and money and can increases efficiencies.  

In the growing opportunities for service outsourcing including in shared-services arena, both Malaysian and foreign companies are competing to grow their market share, especially Indian managed service providers are taking a major chunk of business in Malaysian energy, banking and telco industries. The dilemma of supporting foreign companies and fostering Malaysian companies becomes an important debate among the leaders of outsourcing industry in the event. Obviously, Malaysians will look to save their native companies to be succeeding by serving both in home and foreign clients while supporting foreign companies are also important for gathering new technology knowledge and high quality human resources. Speakers stressed on the introduction of Malaysia Digital Hub, where the local and global communities can leverage these benefits that the country has to offer.

Bangladesh perspective

In past few years, Bangladesh has significant credibility in digital age; especially in mobile phone penetration, massive internet use, software and IT services export, mobile banking, digital literacy, adopting automation in public and private sector organizations. Despite that, clearly Malaysia has progressed far beyond Bangladesh. Its digital economy is contributing 20% of total GDP while Bangladesh is less than 2% on average. Bangladesh’s digital movement is more focused on freelancing, outsourcing and social media penetration while digitization at business (enterprise to small shops) and government services are significantly short. In Malaysia, enterprises are automated their business process and looks for innovative solutions to increase profit in business. Majority of the public services are being provided digitally in government offices, such as income tax payer services. When it comes to digitalization in small business, we can see, in restaurants orders are being taken by smart devices and the bills get printed.

One of the major reasons for Malaysia’s success in transforming to digital is creating favourable atmosphere for foreign technology companies to invest and establish their business that ultimately benefits Malaysian digital growth as well as improving quality of their tech-based human resources. Organizations like MDEC, NEM and PICOM with support of government are playing vital role to foster such atmosphere in the country. Mr. Gopi Ganesalingam, Vice President-Enterprise Development, MDEC rightly titled his keynote speech “Malaysia: Springboard to ASEAN” in the event. Bangladesh has a comprehensive plan and initiatives to evolve digitization in many aspects of business, industry and citizens. However, shortage of sufficient skilled resources, unstructured and slower executions and lack of professionalism practice are major challenges to the expected progress. By focusing in domestic market, developing competent resources and necessary regulatory administration can help achieve Bangladeshis dream to convert into digital Bangladesh.

The writer is an IT business professional and technology business consultant.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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