Effendi Azmi Hashim (pic above), Malaysia Business Leader, Cognizant, said: “The technology services and consulting industry in Malaysia has certainly had an interesting year as businesses stepped up their efforts to defend against digital disruptors, while simultaneously innovating to create new areas of growth. One thing that is becoming increasingly evident is the growing adoption of digital technology in the country.
According to MDEC, Malaysia’s digital economy currently contributes about 17.8 percent to the country’s overall GDP and research shows that it is set to grow to 18.2 percent by 2020. We see a big surge in interest, dialogue and activity around digital business transformation, whether it be banking or marketing.
With more technology in every product and behind every customer experience, and more data generated at every turn, Malaysian businesses are becoming increasingly technology-intensive. This has paved the way to advances in technologies required for businesses to compete and win in today’s data-intensive world. The shift to digital has come to encompass a wide range of transformational initiatives as the strategic focus moves from ‘doing digital’ to ‘being digital’.
We are seeing greater interest and engagement in digital not just from expected markets such as banking, but also from non-banking sectors. For example, while the current investments of Malaysian oil and gas companies focus on mobility and cloud, there are growing signs of a shift over the next few years towards big data and analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Cloud computing continues to remain an area of growth — it is seeing accelerated adoption in areas such as banking and has received further fillip with some regional regulators exploring the use of public cloud.
In addition, the following initiatives undertaken by the Central Bank, Malaysian banks are getting increasingly interested in the use of next-generation digital technologies, as evident in growing activity around regulatory sandboxes, digital wallets, and NFC (near field communication) transactions for contactless payments.
We continue to be upbeat about the opportunities ahead of us. The 11th Malaysia Plan listed four key challenges confronting the IT industry: enhancing and sustaining its competitiveness, developing talent, improving the coverage, affordability and quality of digital infrastructure, and bridging the digital gap. Key among these is the continued supply of ICT human capital, more so given the advancements in digital technologies. That said, the Malaysian market continues to focus on capabilities in areas such as digital content, software development and testing, the Internet of Things (IoT), data centres and cloud services, cyber security and big data analytics, all of which aligned very well with Cognizant’s strategic focus on digital business, operations and systems.
One of Malaysia’s key achievements has been the growth of digital infrastructure nationwide over the last few years. The rapid rise in the penetration and coverage of high-speed broadband, in both urban and rural areas, has laid the foundation for Malaysia’s digital economy. Concerted government focus and investments augur well for Malaysia’s digital future.
Talent development is a key area that needs significant attention from both the ICT industry and nation-building perspectives. Graduates coming into the workforce need to be better equipped to support and drive the digital economy. The measures being taken to improve the quality of graduates and the workforce in general are heartening. Towards this end, government agencies such as MDEC have rolled out a number of initiatives, which have been replicated by other agencies and organisations."
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