Battle For Change In 2020

February 18, 2020

Authored by: Mr. Fitri Abdullah, Managing Director, Oracle Malaysia

The Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030) emphasize the need for Malaysia to adopt new digital technology and skills to improve its overall competitiveness as a country which includes the government, large enterprises, SME’s and including its workforce to pave way for higher income jobs, increased business profitability, foreign direct investment opportunities and ultimately, a more prosperous Malaysia.

Businesses large and small will be faced with the need to reinvent and upgrade any and all existing obsolete technology to compete effectively. Failing to embrace this change may result in negative implications and irreparable financial loss. This is why the government has offered grants to spur the local SME and to help those that are still unsure of how to navigate through the various technology solutions available. According to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the increase in the use of big data analytics, cloud computing and data recovery is expected to double more than RM2 billion by 2020. [1] As a kick start for businesses to digitalise their operations, the Malaysian government will provide a [2]50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 per company for the subscription of certain digital services. This matching grant will be worth RM500 million over 5 years, limited to the first 100,000 SMEs applying to upgrade their systems. This includes use of electronic Point Of Sale systems (e-POS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and electronic payroll system.

Some of the questions raised include, should I move into a full cloud computing architecture or maintain a hybrid one? Do I have the manpower to manage the integration of new machine learning solutions into my systems? How much is all of this going to cost? Does my business really need this? The list goes on. In preparation for the coming challenges in 2020 and post-2020, we feel that careful matching is required. This means matching the right business to the right technologies and digital transformation journeys.

Change: What is changing and what we need to do

Trend 1: Industry 4.0 and the journey towards automation

We are all too familiar with this buzzword, but many are still unsure of whether there is a need to adopt it. In the spectrum of industry revolutions, not all companies need to administer the extreme end of moving instantly into an Industry 4.0 standard. [3]Companies can first assess their own readiness and there are free programmes available in the nation for that, specifically catered to manufacturing and related services sectors. These are driven by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and companies should be encouraged to work with the local authorities to take part in this so that they understand where they are currently at and if they indeed need to adopt new technologies.

Once an assessment is done, companies would then need to define clear goals of what they would like to accomplish by completing their transformation. Is the goal cost reduction or business growth? What percentage and so forth. Once clear goals are set a business can then move to execute their plans and procure the necessary solutions required to enable it. These include training and exploring new technologies that help elevate current operation efficiency and productivity. What processes can I automate, where does my business really need people and how can I implement a solution that will help them with their work? These are all questions that should be factored into plans.

The key is to remember that not everything can be magically deployed overnight, just like how success does not come overnight either. However, proper planning, careful consideration and incremental implementations would help ease cost burdens and eventually lead to long term business sustainability.

Trend 2: Talent grooming for emerging technologies, Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence in general has been open to much debate and concern. The idea of having a robot being able to work for longer, steadier and with less human error gives the impression that less jobs would be available for the general population. That being said, this is not what Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence aims to do. In fact, with such advanced technology, it is meant to help prevent data loss and lower risk. One example is the Oracle Autonomous Database, which has been designed to be highly secure with its self-securing capabilities, enabling businesses to have ease of mind. As the human factor in this equation, we are blessed with the ability to adapt, to think and to make decisions on what could help improve our business performance.

In 2019, Oracle had increased its investment in the Malaysia market by establishing the first Cloud Solutions Hub in Malaysia. The hub will help organisations of all sizes, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) understand how they can harness emerging technologies like Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Analytics, and Autonomous Databases to drive business value and growth. This establishment has also opened up 150 highly skilled job opportunities to the market. We have invested into the people because we believe that new jobs will be created through the implementation of new technologies.

In fact, [4]LinkedIn has found that technology-related skills have the highest year-on-year growth among SMBs, indicating ongoing initiatives to improve their products, services, and operations. This is a clear indication of the need for high-technology talent and the reason why universities in Malaysia have also actively started to offer courses in data analytics and sciences, and AI. Such positive movements towards upskilling Malaysian talent will help the country move into higher technology sectors and contribute towards economic growth.

Trend 3: The rise of digital banking and fintech

In the recent Budget 2020 announcement, the government has made it clear that Malaysia will embrace cashless payment. On the business front, organisations will have to figure out new ways to adapt to this change. No matter the size of your business, there is now a need for all the transactions to be clearly recorded, sorted and safely stored. Back office agility and transparency becomes a key concern. With the increased visibility of transactions recorded online, businesses may start getting new insights into how they can strategise and operate differently thus making the market more competitive.

Speed and product differentiation become core components to being successful. Consumers want instant gratification and businesses too slow to accommodate might end up losing the sale to competitors that can meet the need for speed. Here, Customer Relationship Management solutions take centre stage as it allows businesses to customize offerings that would provide the most value and best experiences for consumers.

For those who have always been in the “digital adoption game”, legacy systems and models would have to be either abolished or upgraded. With the influx of data coming in, cybersecurity also becomes a highly critical component when selecting partners/vendors to work with. IT budgets will be further boosted as consistent upgrades in the IT infrastructure is needed – this is also where systems with greater automation and artificial intelligence built in will come on top as clear winners.

Preparing for Post-Vision 2020

Looking at the post-2020 period, we hope that with the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (2021 – 2025), not only will there be solutions to pave way for a developed economy, but also a sustainable strategy where local businesses are trained to respond promptly to new technologies available.

With over 30 years of history in Malaysia, we believe that the country’s digital economy will continue to grow rapidly off the back of its strategic partnerships and investment relations with foreign companies, including Oracle. Continuing our collaboration with relevant local bodies, such as InvestKL, we are excited to join Malaysia in this battle of change and watch it grow to its full potential as it takes its place on the world map.

Source: Disruptive Tech ASEAN

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