Developing Malaysia’s Digital Transformation 

Digitalisation is key to Malaysia’s overall growth and development—and its business sectors need to take the lead.

May 2021 , by Alexandra Santiago

In 1996, the Malaysian government launched the Multimedia Super Corridor to catapult the country into the information and knowledge age. Since then, Malaysia has been heavily focused on becoming a digitally powered nation: the country was second in Southeast Asia on Huawei’s 2019 Global Connectivity Index, and boasted a high internet penetration rate of 83% and digital payment rate of 63% in 2018. 

But while the public has enthusiastically embraced digital changes, Malaysia’s business and economic sectors are not as receptive. In 2017 Malaysia’s Department of Statistics found that only 73% of the country’s economic players are internet users, with the manufacturing industry the highest at 90% and agriculture the lowest at only 61%. It has been the country’s long-standing agenda to become a knowledge-based society, led by technological advancements—and there is a need for more businesses to adopt a digital agenda to achieve this goal.  

Start small, start now 
In Malaysia six out of ten companies are still at the basic stages of digitalisation—and while 91% agree that being digital-led will boost company revenue and reduce operating costs, only 55% have a digital strategy. Companies cite lack of digital competency and ineffective change management as barriers to accomplishing digital growth. 

But with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing more industries around the world to shift their practices towards more digital-led means, Malaysian companies are also beginning to realize the importance of creating a long-term digital strategy. Manufacturers, for example, might use digital solutions to lower production costs, while a B2C business might focus on increasing customer penetration.  

In the white paper “Accelerating Your Digital Transformation: Are Malaysian Companies Geared to Digitalise?” YCP Solidiance identified four key strategies for businesses looking to create an incremental digital transformation plan, which focuses on one transformation at a time: 

Unlocking a digital-powered tomorrow 
With Malaysia wanting to become a knowledge-powered nation and the world’s shift to a “new normal” because of COVID-19, digital is now an essential part of any business, no matter the sector. Digital acceleration is the optimal solution to business continuity and development, and should be embraced as a long-term investment that allows companies to further their specific objectives and needs.  

To learn more about how digitalisation is impacting different economic sectors in Malaysia, download our full paper here.

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