By Arlene Wherrett, Vice President and Managing Director, Sage Asia (picture)
In 2018, Malaysia has made leaps in tech adoption, with more companies adopting technology solutions and transforming its operations. Investments from Alibaba into Malaysia’s City Brain, in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, an artificial intelligence-based smart city solution, to manage traffic at Kuala Lumpur is one of it.
The allocation of RM210 million for the Readiness Assessment Programme and RM3 billion for the Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund in the 2019 Budget to improve the adoption of Industry 4.0 related technologies is another leap. However with the new taxation law; the Sales and Services Tax (SST) here in Malaysia can pose significant challenges for businesses operations.
What are the trends that will take place in Malaysia?
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been on the radar for years now but we see it being key in helping businesses cut back on time spent on repetitive tasks and better allocate resources to boost productivity in the coming year. At the time of writing, Sage’s real-time productivity tracker estimates that lost productivity due to administrative work has cost businesses in neighbouring Singapore over S$8 million, in 2018.
2. Cloud-based solutions
As businesses continue to drive towards efficiency and better cost control, cloud-based solutions such as pay-as-you-use software as a service (SaaS) will become more popular and readily adopted, especially here in Asia.
According to a recent IDC report, the Asia Pacific SaaS market is set to reach US$4 billion by 2019, with 80% of new software from independent software vendors (ISVs) being delivered in a SaaS-based model.
3. Connected platforms
Several Asian cities have already embarked on connected platform projects that spans across the public and private sectors in a bid to transform themselves into smarter cities, eg. taking a leaf out of their book, businesses will increasingly invest in connected platforms that enable them to combine data across business units, allowing them to generate real-time insights, make faster and better-informed decisions and quickly increase business opportunities.
A study by PWC on smart cities in Southeast Asia indicated that Singapore and Malaysia are far ahead of all other Southeast Asian countries in terms of communication infrastructure and connectivity.