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Malaysian SMEs gather to share experience on digital adoption

According to a recent report, a broadsheet newspaper company and a social enterprise focused on leadership are organising a CEO Conference to be held, entitled “Malaysia Living Dangerously”.

The Minister of Communications and Multimedia noted that as the whole world goes digital, Malaysians and Malaysia must as well.

And, Malaysia has been doing exactly that decently. In the IMD’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2018, Malaysia ranked 27th, which was actually a drop of three spots from 24th in 2017. And there are other global rankings that place Malaysia higher.

However, the focus is not so much on how Malaysia ranks but rather how fast the country adapts to a fast changing digital world to seize the opportunities that open up from this disruption.

The fact that Malaysia slipped three spots in the recent IMD rankings is not because the country is not moving ahead, rather that other countries are moving faster – Malaysia has to move faster.

One area wherein Malaysia’s Digital Economy struggles is with its SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). Making up 98.5% of all Malaysian business establishments and numbering at 907,065 a recent study that was released as part of the SME Corp 2017/2018 Annual Report gave a glimpse into the current state of digitalisation among Malaysian SMEs sector.

Titled, “Accelerating Malaysian Digital SMEs: Escaping the Computerisation Trap”, the study highlights challenges being faced by SMEs in order to be completely digitalised.

SME Corp worked with a massive telecommunications equipment company, which sponsored the study; it was conducted during the period of May to June 2018, supported by IDC Malaysia and University Consortia in conducting the Malaysia Digital SME Study.

The study found that SMEs are caught in a computerisation trap, not realising that they have stopped short of greater productivity gains and sales growth from investing further. To be truly digitalised, SMEs must re-engineer their businesses by ensuring that their business strategies, processes, and infrastructures are aligned and fully integrated to support their digital transformation, the study noted.

The results of the study do not surprise the keynote speaker at the CEO Conference, who thinks factually, at the end of 2017 SMEs contributed 37% of GDP, yet only 20% have adopted some manner of digital tools – and it is even lower for the manufacturing sector. So there is a real risk for Malaysian SMEs to be left behind, warn the Partner and head of Communications, Media and Technology practice at a major management consulting company.

The keynoted speaker will talk about the consequences for Malaysia and the companies that remain low in using technology to improve their competitiveness during his keynote.

One SME owner noted that a data-driven method helped her identify an effective way to engage customers in terms of keeping the retention rate up and ensuring customers come back more often.

She noted that the data extracted was ‘like gold’ as the owners were able to grow the customer lifetime value to almost triple what it was before. However, the owner would like to see even more growth.

The aforementioned SME owner is not the only SME owner to come share her experiences in adopting digital to increase revenues. Many SME onwers, like the owner of a forklift business who twice failed to apply an e-commerce layer to his own family’s flower business but is now succeeding at the third attempt, will be joining in the discussion.

The various SMEs that have been invited to come share their experiences are not household names or great speakers, they are just SME owners who are using whatever tools they can to help their businesses be more competitive and ultimately more successful.

It was noted that in the current era, with the Digital Economy being a mega-trend, going digital is a logical path forward and upwards.

Thus, SME owners of all sizes who are reluctant still to adopt digital in their business are encouraged to attend the conference.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.