How AI Will Shape The Malaysian Tech Landscape In 2024

By Saqib Sabah, Managing Director, SAP Malaysia

In 2023, the Malaysian government revved up its efforts to grow its digital economy, one of the fastest growing  sectors in the country. In the third quarter of 2022 alone, the sector received an impressive US$15.7 billion of  investment. 

As a key pillar of the recently unveiled New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030), digitalisation and automation has never been more important to Malaysian businesses as it transforms into a digitally driven,  high-income nation and a regional leader in the digital economy. 

Here are some of the biggest trends that SAP Malaysia expects will unfold in 2024.  

1. Specific AI use cases will emerge and vary according to industry 

In 2024, businesses will no longer ask if businesses will adopt AI technology, but rather how quickly they can  deploy it and realise its benefits. Businesses leaders will look beyond the industry buzz for solutions that  deliver real-life, AI-based use cases. They’ll also see first-hand that AI is only as effective as the quality and  availability of their data.  

But fundamental differences in how every industry adopts and implements AI will emerge. 

Predictive analytics for example, is already playing a key role in retail and manufacturing by providing  businesses with valuable insights and trend forecasting . In the year ahead, organisations will have better insight  into consumers’ preferences and shopping habits, allowing them to make more personalised recommendations  and increase sales.  

In financial services, for example, AI-driven chatbots and applications will provide consumers with personalised financial advice and stock-price forecasting, changing the way consumers, investors and brokers manage  finances.  

In logistics, AI will take supply chain resiliency to the next level, enhancing organisations’ ability to sense,  recognise, and react to disruptions and opportunities in new and exciting ways.  

The key common thread running through all these business uses cases that is necessary to unlock all of these  benefits: connected data across the enterprise

Organisatios data is notoriously complex and often sit in multiple systems and siloes, resulting in a high risk of  losing valuable context when they are extracted and combined. Companies that can best combine their own  business data with generative AI to provide the strongest context to the models will have a significant leg up on  the competition.

Business leaders must ensure AI is built-in, relevant, and responsible to achieve measurable business  outcomes. 

With the huge number of data and transacLons running through SAP’s systems and business network, the  company is uniquely posiLoned to help organisaLons access the data they need, visualise it, and take decisive  acLon to drive their success.

2. AI will further accelerate development of new skills and talent 

Conversations around job displacement are common whenever new technologies gain traction. To address  concerns on the effects of digitalisation on the workforce, it’s vital to pair thoughtful implementation with  workforce development programs and safety nets to ensure a balanced approach that benefits both businesses  and workers. 

A World Economic Forum study found that the majority of those impacted by digitalisation and automation are  the semi-skilled or low-skilled employees such as technicians, service workers and domestic workers. On the  other hand, the shift towards Industry 4.0 will result in increasing need for data scientists , cloud professionals  and cybersecurity experts.

Jobs are already a priority under Malaysia’s digital economy push. For example, the Malaysia Digital Economy  Corp (MDEC) aims to attract RM1 billion worth of digital investments and generate 49,000 employment  opportunities across nine promoted sectors by 2025 under its Malaysia Digital Catalytic Programmes  (Pemangkin).

As Malaysia conLnues to accelerate the development of digital skills, expect the advent of AI will empower  even more Malaysians to kick-start their careers in the digital economy. AI will further level the playing field,  giving anyone with an internet connecLon with equal access to tools and information they need.  

Some of the future jobs that AI may create include specialised Generative AI Prompt Engineers, for example.  Just as a sommelier is better at describing and pairing wines than the average person, a generative AI prompt  engineer has expertise at prompting large language models (LLMs) to achieve better business results that are  relevant, reliable, and responsible.  

One crucial way workers can enhance their employability in the digital economy is through acquiring trusted industry-recognised cerLficaLons. SAP, for example, has a certification programme that validates real-world  skills with certifications that are recognised across the world.  

3. Growth takes centre stage for more SMEs 

Small and medium entities have traditionally been unable to embrace modern technologies quickly due to  budget and resources.  

In 2024, double-digit growth will become a reality for more growth-focused companies, as they turn to the  democratisation of AI to innovate, scale, and streamline operations faster and more efficiently than ever  before.  

We already see this already in action. We launched GROW with SAP in Malaysia earlier this year, which  combines a comprehensive suite of integrated modules covering critical functions like finance, sales, marketing,  procurement, and HR into a single platform. These modules, based on industry best practices, give growth focused companies access to powerful tools to streamline operations, eliminate data silos, and get the holistic view of their business that many business organisations struggle with. 

GROW with SAP users will be able to tap on new generative AI capabilities are they’re introduced by SAP,  further supercharging their growth. 

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