Digital Disruptions for Malaysia’s Digital Economy: Opportunities for IoT Solution Providers

Based on the interview by Computerworld Malaysia with MDEC’s Chief Executive Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, Part 1 and Part 2

Since our first Internet of Things (IoT) business event in Malaysia (the 2nd edition of Asia IoT Business Platform) at KLCC, we have witnessed a steady growth and improvement in the ICT and IoT landscape of the country.

Back then, in 2014, we received support and endorsement from MIMOS, Malaysia’s National ICT R&D body, together with local telecommunication companies and large IoT players such as Celcom Axiata and Intel. Despite being in the nascent stage of IoT development, we saw much interest in IoT in Malaysia and we saw vibrant engagement between solution providers, telcos, government, and enterprise IoT buyers alike. This initial gathering in 2014 became a catalyst for what was to come over the next couple of years that would transform not only the IoT and ICT space in Malaysia, but the country’s economy as well.

From 2015 onwards, we saw heartening digital initiatives being pushed out (and we have written extensively on these). One of the most significant of these initiatives is, clearly, the implementation of the National IoT Strategic Roadmap, in which interoperability has been identified to drive IoT growth in Malaysia. With the initiative, the market potential of IoT is set to generate a GNI of RM9.5 billion by 2020.

Making good on their plans, several IoT-based projects have been tested and launched, including the Smart Lock-Up to monitor safety in Police lock-ups, iComm to develop applications like flood monitoring, and taxi booking applications such as iTeksi and GrabCar.

This year, more government strategies are being pushed out to meet digital disruption across different sectors, including corporate and civilian sectors. This was mentioned by Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, chief executive officer at national ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporate (MDEC).

In her exclusive interview with Computerworld Malaysia, Dato’ Yasmin said that despite the volatile global operating environment, industry leaders pointed to digital transformation (DX) as a major factor in feeding the continuing growth of local industries. ”All sectors of business and civil life in Malaysia must act on the challenge to either – disrupt or be disrupted,” she said.

While a critical focus point in Malaysia’s Digital Economy is the nurturing of talents to ensure better digital adoption in the coming years, Dato’ Yasmin also pointed to Big Data Analytics and IoT as some of the biggest technology trends in Malaysia. “The ways in which data is transforming from being prescriptive to being predictive is changing lives at an amazing rate – and that Malaysia needed to take advantage of this,” Yasmin said.

What caught our attention the most is the launch of the Digital Hub by MDEC. The Digital Hub is described as ‘a master cog in Malaysia’s digital economy ambitions,’ with a focus on driving disruption and facilitating local and overseas disrupters. Dato’ Yasmin described the strategy to be a proactive approach to transformation and that the key is to build up a strong pillar for entrepreneurship as part f te drive towards the digital economy.

According to Computerworld Malaysia’s report, the Malaysia Digital Hub will support tech and digital co-working spaces, their startups and communities with support from the government and a bigger opportunity to connect to ASEAN and global digital ecosystems.

Governments continue to play a number of key roles in facilitating the adoption of IoT. Apart from being regulators and adopters, governments are critical in setting the agenda. In this case, Malaysia has taken steps in the right direction to ensure its vision of a digital economy comes to realization. Following the launch of Digital Free Trade Zone and its Digital Hub, opportunities for IoT solution providers continue to emerge in Malaysia, signaling important areas for collaboration and partnership for an IoT solution provider’s business development in the country.

Asia IoT Business Platform will continue to play a significant role in driving the adoption of IoT in Malaysia and connecting IoT solution providers with their partners and enterprise IoT buyers in the country. Join us at the 14th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at Hotel Istana on 27 – 28 July.

Abdullah Zaidani

May 9, 2017

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