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:
- Identify one key area that is the highest priority for digital transformation, illustrated here in three actionable pillars:
Pillar 1: Process or operation enhancement
Pillar 2: Sales, CRM, supply chain
Pillar 3: Tools for external stakeholders like e-commerce and mobile apps
- Map out the needed resources when setting objectives and the desired results. These resources may be digital infrastructure, human resources, and costs to upgrade software and hardware.
- Evaluate existing workflow and analyze the potential impact of digital solutions. A digital partner may be required to help close any existing gaps and make the process smoother for all stakeholders involved.
- Implement easily deployable digital tools or measures, transforming company practices and operations one key sector at a time. As the company becomes more ingrained in digitalization, other business areas can be rolled out in easily operable phases.
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.