63 Years of Unity and Perseverance

By Catherine Lian, Managing Director of IBM Malaysia,

Fuelling the Digital Economy to Deliver Sustainable Growth for the Nation 

The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing unprecedented change upon leaders to maneuver into the new norm within their organizations. However, it has been a “turning point” for governments, industries, and businesses. Then, how can organizations quickly learn and adopt critical drivers in digital transformation and emerge stronger as a nation?

There is an opportunity to re-evaluate how technology and analytics can accelerate future growth. To move forward, it will require a new perspective from leaders in every organization regarding priorities, deployment of resources, and future-proofing the workforce.

Over the past decade, Malaysian enterprises have embraced emerging technologies such as Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT), which helped the country’s digital transformation effort. According to IDC, Malaysia’s overall IT spending is forecast to be approximately US$11billion this year. A large proportion of that spending has shifted to managed and cloud services.

The pandemic has underscored every organization’s need to continue modernizing operations to realize the immense benefits of cloud-native capabilities: location independence, talent flexibility, scalability, resilience, and seamless transition to a virtualized engagement and delivery model.

I see the acceleration of the nation’s digital transformation journey like nothing before in history. The crisis has taught us that choosing which technology platforms to power the business is the most consequential decision a leader can make. The imperative nature of innovative technologies such as cloud and AI allow us to operate, respond, more resilient, and emerge stronger post-crisis.

When people talk about technology like Cloud computing, AI, and Cognitive, it’s always looked upon as a game-changer. Organizations can get a real-time view of their data, thus bringing about instantaneous insights. Therefore, it is no longer considered as a cost-saving investment alone, but also more a driver for business innovation.

Governments and businesses can take the full benefits of cloud on its scalability, flexibility, security, and cost advantages. For example, IBM’s cloud services portfolio, including cloud infrastructure, platform services for the development, file sharing and collaboration services, event management, analytics, and security services for countering cyber threats, is positioned to support businesses for their sustainability, growth, and innovation agenda.

Public-private partnership propelling Industry 4.0 in Malaysia

Malaysia is working to build a fully connected digital economy. The government plays a central role in successfully implementing a robust Industry 4.0 strategy by creating clear policies and priorities to support the private sector. Direct support for public-private partnerships is necessary to focus on Malaysia’s resources and boost the country’s digital economic growth.

Doing so not only helps accelerate the development and deployment of new-age digital solutions for the rakyat but also ensures that the public sector also gets the support they need to develop their digital capabilities fully.

Hence, to make the adoption of Industry 4.0 a success, a sustainable approach must be taken to ensure Malaysia’s digital economy’s continuous growth. I firmly believe as the country moves forward and navigating post-crisis, companies will look at ways to fully embrace cloud-based support systems along with their remote working strategies.

In this context, there are three things leaders in Malaysia need to be thinking about to ensure they realize the necessary radical agility for future recovery and resilience – and ensure they drive value for Malaysia business, government, the economy, and society at large:

  • Partner with others to ensure the future’s necessary skills – there are already some smart partnerships between industry, government, and academia to fuel the pipeline. Still, equally, organizations need to look at reskilling for a world where every company is a cloud company, and automation and AI will drive future modernization.
  • Continuing to tap into our global network, learn from other countries and apply those learnings, just as we have been already doing through the crisis phase.
  • Malaysia strives to accomplish common and prime objectives by leveraging AI to formulate workforce policies in an automated economy. Such as job creation across emerging sectors that leverage new technologies; build data ecosystem to be leveraged by cross-verticals to foster innovations and intelligent mitigation of impact on workers impacted by adopting AI and risk reduction. The need for digital governance and a collaborative approach with the private and public sectors in Malaysia would further facilitate enterprises’ scaling up and government priorities in the AI industry chain.

IBM has been supporting the Malaysian government and businesses in their transformation journeys. It has recently announced the continuation of its public-private collaboration with IBM Malaysia in accelerating Penang smart city initiatives and enhancing State Government service delivery to the public to the business sectors.

Under this collaboration, IBM will continue to “digitize” the city council by providing advisory, technical expertise, and consultation around four key technologies, namely Cloud Computing, AI, Blockchain, and IoT related to MBPP’s smart city implementation.

Having partnered with Malaysia for over 50 years now, IBM’s mission is to consistently support the government’s vision to develop a knowledge-based digital society and transform it into a high-income nation through the socialization of transformative technologies.

IBM is working closely with MDEC, Invest KL, MITI, MAMPU, and more to support the government’s objective of preparing Malaysian businesses for the challenges and opportunities arising from trade liberalization and globalization.

IBM is embracing the role as a trusted technology partner in designing and deploying the technologies that can help the Malaysian businesses navigate this crisis and begin operating more efficiently, more sustainably, and equitably for the people. IBM brings the whole of capabilities to our engagements with clients in Malaysia from start to finish, from providing leading-edge technology to solution design, to project implementation and delivery and to follow-up support.

Selamat Hari Kebangsaan ke-63! Malaysia Prihatin. IBM Sentiasa Bersama Malaysia.

Together, we will overcome challenges and continue developing our digital economy to benefit the people and the nation.


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