Arjuna Chandran Shankar / The Edge Markets
July 17, 2020 14:18 pm +08
KUALA LUMPUR (July 17): A digital transformation executed correctly by corporations could lead to businesses seeing a 10 to 20 times increase in business volume, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) chief operating officer (COO) Datuk Ng Wan Peng.
Ng added that digital transformation is not only necessary, but also beneficial both in the present and future for Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
During the AmBank BizRACE Season 3 webinar on digitalisation today, Ng noted that digital transformation will help businesses catch up with customers today who are already in the digital space.
Meanwhile, AmBank Group business banking managing director Christopher Yap said that like it or not, SMEs have to start embarking on their digital transformation journeys as the market needs and wants are changing.
“The time is right to move into this segment,” he said, explaining that the disruption caused by Covid-19 had changed operating conditions and consumption habits as well as channels.
Microsoft Malaysia national technology officer Dr Dzaharudin Mansor pointed out that technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence had already been in existence for many years, and now access to such technologies had been democratised or, in other words, the barrier to entry had been lowered.
“If you can’t create your own platform, ride on someone else’s platform. We need to think about how we address consumers in the right way. We have to adapt. We have to ensure our teams are enabled to deal with changing customer needs,” he said.
According to Ng, digital transformation has to start internally, and any consultants in the area can develop solutions so long as companies are willing to be committed to the process.
As far as costs are concerned, Ng said it is a misconception that it is costly to start digital transformation, adding that SMEs can start small first.
She also noted that there are grants being offered by MDEC, as well as other agencies and the private sector that can help address this process.
“You have to couple digitalisation with manpower planning, reskilling and upskilling,” she said.
Dzaharudin noted that according to a survey commissioned by Microsoft, Malaysian companies that had already made headway in their digital transformation journey made 58% more in returns.
Agreeing with Ng when it comes to the issue of costs, Dzaharudin added that digital transformation and the accompanying investment must make sense for the goals of such a transformation and the business itself.