By Raymond Siva, Chief Marketing Officer, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
Throughout the ages, major extraneous circumstances and calamities have been the key factors that catalysed rapid innovation, both in society and industry.
The situation in the world today has businesses in Malaysia, like elsewhere, feeling the impact brought about by the widening threat of Covid-19. The Movement Control Order (MCO) is now firmly in effect to counter the pandemic, and businesses are innovating to deal with the disruption to how they operate. The following trends are fast becoming mainstream.
- Internal Teams Are Organising Around Remote Working Apps
Digital meeting apps including Zoom, BlueJeans, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts have quickly grown into the world’s largest ‘work from home’ experiment. The world seems to be working remotely. Virtual client meetings and group discussions are furiously being organised in an attempt to overcome movement and physical barriers to business, brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. App-based or online video conferencing have become indispensable, being fairly reliable, easy-to- use and accessible. The workforce is organising itself to be a ‘Work From Home’ force. In a previous report by Regus Global Economic Survey Globally, 48% of execs said they have been working remotely for at least half their working week; in Malaysia it is 53%, says DNA. The survey also said that 65% of the respondents used video communication between managers and employees. In May 2018, Zug, Switzerland-based serviced office provider IWG found that globally, 70 percent of professionals work remotely.
- Businesses Are Hiring Digital Specialists
Agility is now an imperative to survival; businesses who previously were inclined to postpone digital alternatives to routine business process and sourcing talent, find themselves quickly transitioning to digitalise key business functions, including supply chain management, invoicing and marketing – all requiring specialised digital skills such as data and AI, developers, coders and digital marketeers. On the flip side, daily or weekly wage workers will be most affected by the pandemic according to Monash University Malaysia’s Prof Mahendhiran Sanggaran Nair, in a news report in the Star. This opens up a pool of potential talents available for hire and re-skilling.
- Outsourcing and Freelance Jobs
Hiring workers on a need-to basis will grow as businesses explore ways to reduce physical office spaces and fixed headcounts. in an uncertain economic environment, a core business and operations team is more likely to manage a team of experts specific to a project. Programmes like MDEC’s GLOW (Global Online Workforce) was launched to assist Malaysians leverage on crowdsourcing platforms generate income. In addition, there is a treasure trove of talents that businesses can look at for their next freelance or remote worker hire.
Here are some Malaysian job sites and portals to explore:
- 123RF Limited
- Supahands Dotcom Sdn. Bhd
The Future Is Digital
Some 90% of future jobs will require digital literacy. Presently, there is a shift from traditional job roles to building ‘composite’ capabilities that require a mix of technical and professional skills. Technologies such as AI/big data analytics, cloud computing and intelligent automation are already mission critical roles in future-savvy organisations.
MDEC’s Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTIs) fills the demand by providing a pipeline of skilled digital talents for future jobs. A result of a collaboration between MDEC, the Ministry of Education Malaysia and industry leaders, the PDTI branded academic institutions deliver end-to-end solutions to ensure that future graduates are educated and trained into becoming dynamic members of an innovation-driven and digital-powered Malaysia.
Several PDTIs are also offering eLearning courses worthy of note during the MCO period, and they may just be where you find your next Cybersecurity or Data Science hire during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s for a moment consider this; the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that by 2022, over 21% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) will be contributed by the digital economy.
Even as we expect bumps on the year ahead, the digital economy certainly has the ability to weather challenges and will be one of the main areas driving Malaysia’s economic progress to deliver shared prosperity. The time is ripe to re-consider current plans and redirect businesses towards the digital economy, and encourage the digital businesses to tread new ground.