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The industry reacts: How will Budget 2018 change Malaysia’s IT industry?

AvantiKumar | Nov. 2, 2017
Budget 2018 Special includes leaders from MDEC, IDC, PIKOM, MaGIC, Gartner, Accenture, DHL Express, AJ Pharma, OutSystems, Trend Micro, 3M, iMoney, Cisco, CA Technologies, Microsoft, Lazada, 11Street, and Canvas Instructure.

Christopher Ong - Managing Director, DHL Express Malaysia and Brunei

In the logistics space, Christopher Ong (pic above), Managing Director, DHL Express Malaysia & Brunei, spoke of digitisation trends in the sector and that the Budget proposals "have introduced a series of exciting initiatives that will definitely bring further growth to Malaysia's economy. We are encouraged by the RM83.5 million allocated in the budget for the first phase of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) that is expected to further boost the growth of local SMEs."

"Logistics is one of the most important aspects to help companies scale internationally and our commitment in continuously providing this support remains steadfast," said Ong. "We believe that Budget 2018 is a good step forward in increasing the opportunities for local businesses and gives way for the logistics industry to contribute in preparation for the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution."

Goh Chee Hoh, Managing Director, Trend Micro Malaysia

Goh Chee Hoh (pic above), Managing Director, of digital security solutions company Trend Micro Malaysia, also said the proposed allocations and amendments "underline how Malaysia remains on the right track, and taking another step forward towards becoming a fully-developed digital economy. The measures to strengthen Malaysia's commitment to the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) will further invigorate the country's eCommerce industry and enable local businesses to capitalize on the opportunities from the internet economy and cross-border activities.  This is also in line with Trend Micro's continuous investment of resources and efforts in supporting this digital transformation growth in Malaysia."

"With more Malaysian businesses making the shift to online and digital platforms, their exposure to vulnerabilities remain omnipresent. There is exponentially more data generated and shared across the ecosystem between partners, customers and the organisation," said Goh. "Balancing the opportunities of potential market growth while keeping security issues in check becomes more important than ever. Businesses and the public alike must continue to be aware of the evolving security threats, especially in light of an increase in worldwide ransomware attacks."

Mark Weaser - OutSystems

Mark Weaser (pic above), Vice President, OutSystems Asia Pacific, sees the budget as a progressive one. “Particularly, the initiative concerning talent development for the future of work. The technology sector has always faced challenges with attracting the right talent, as many people gravitate towards sectors perceived to be more rewarding and exciting like finance. However, the investment made to transform 2000 classes into smart classrooms to increase creative and innovative learning, and also foster digital production and innovation will help to produce skilled technology talent needed to support a digital economy."

“The proposals will help to entice much-needed talent into the technology sector, and ensure that there are enough technological specialists to support Malaysia's Digital Economy,” he said. “Innovative technologies such as the Internet of Things and Analytics will help with driving automation.”

“These technologies will take on prosaic tasks such as data collection and interpretation, while allowing employees to focus on more pressing tasks, such as critical decision making,” he explained. “The initiative that allows computer software expenditure to be claimed back would encourage organisations to spend on new innovations that can help to boost productivity and drive growth."
 
What would be on his wish list for the future? “As the demand for products and services increase, even with an influx of talent, IT departments will be stretched thin. Businesses should consider investing in tools that help with the more granular aspects of their jobs, such as pattern finding, number crunching or basic coding. Having machines or software that can take on these granular tasks that would otherwise eat into valuable time, would free up IT departments to take on more high-level tasks, like critical decision making or developing more tailored, personalised products and services for customers. This would bring about improvements in productivity and in turn, drive growth and contribute to the overall digitalisation of the economy."

“Digital transformation is not just the remit of an organisation's IT department, but it is the responsibility of the entire organisation,” he summarised. “Business users with no technological knowledge should also be part of an organisation’s digital transformation efforts. There are platforms and tools that organisations can invest in that not only reduce the workload of IT departments and free up resources to take on other critical tasks, but also empower business users with resources to meet business demands more efficiently. An organisation that is holistic in its approach towards digital transformation will be well equipped to contribute towards Malaysia's Digital Economy."

 

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