Saturday, September 18

SME Corp, Huawei reveal SMEs face ‘computerisation trap’


Seen during the whitepaper launch are (from left) SME Corp chief executive officer Noor Azmi Mat Said, Mohd Hatta, SME Corp member of corporation Datuk Seri Syed Hussin Al Habshee and Zhou.00

KUCHING: In yet another initiative to promote digitalisation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), SME Corp Malaysia and Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd yesterday announced a whitepaper on the current state of digitalisation in Malaysian SME sector.

Titled ‘Accelerating Malaysian Digital SMEs: Escaping the Computerisation Trap’, the whitepaper highlights challenges being faced by SMEs in order to be completely ‘digitalised’.

It also proposes way forward to help SMEs cross the ‘digitalisation chasm’ and to uncover their full digital strength with the help of the government and private sectors.

SMEs in Malaysia represent 98.5 per cent of all establishments which contributes to 37.1 per cent of the Malaysia gross domestic product (GDP) and 66 per cent of employment in 2017.

However, SMEs are unfortunately caught in a computerisation trap with just having a computer and internet connectivity alone and not realising that they have stopped short of greater productivity gains and sales growth from investing further.

To be truly digitalised, SMEs must re-engineer their businesses by ensuring that their business strategies, processes, and infrastructures are aligned and are fully integrated to support their digital transformation.

“This digital revolution has also brought a drastic change in trading across borders.

“Digitalisation has made the world more connected and accessible through a more cost-effective way,” said Datuk Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneurship Development.

“Businesses, particularly the SMEs can now reach to new customers and international markets with relative ease through e-Commerce, mobile commerce and social media platforms.

“Full digitalisation of commerce could lead to as high as six-fold increase in the number of businesses that export goods.”

In June 2018, SME Corp Malaysia, together with Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd, sponsored a study of 2,033 SMEs representing all sectors (services, manufacturing, construction, and agriculture) and regions to explore the state of ICT adoption as well as to examine the drivers and barriers of digital transformation through the lens of SMEs in Malaysia.

The study involved a survey that was administered by International Data Corporation (IDC) and a consortium of universities in Malaysia.

According to CEO of Huawei Technologies Malaysia, Baker Zhou, “Huawei’s vision and mission is to bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected intelligent world.

“Huawei has been committed in empowering SMEs with better connectivity and digital knowhow, which is in line with Huawei philosophy of building digital ecosystems for the nation which will lead to the sustainable development and a better-connected Malaysia.”

After the exchange of the Memorandum of Understanding between Huawei Technologies and SME Corp Malaysia in November 2017, both teams have continued their efforts to pave the development journey of Malaysian SMEs.

These initiatives, include building an incubation laboratory program that promotes innovation, workshops on digitalisation, Talent Program to enhance skills on digital competency amongst others.