VOICE OF THE MALAYSIAN TECH INDUSTRY
my VOL. 4 • NO. 3 • 2021 RM10
FUTURE OF CYBERSECURITY 2021
Cybersecurity in the Next Normal
PIKOM LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2021
OM TRAILBLAZES GBS INDUSTRY IN MALAYSIA
Anthony Raja Devadoss Managing Director & Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry Malaysia, ISSN 2637-0964
Driving Enterprise Leadership:
New Leadership For A New World
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Cover Story Anthony Raja Devadoss Managing Director & Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry Malaysia
Developing New Leadership For A New World Anthony Raja Devadoss, Managing Director & Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry Malaysia speaks about His Foray into Human Resources consulting and Korn Ferry’s holistic approach to understanding, assessing and developing enterprise leaders
Anthony Raja Devadoss Helms OM As It Trailblazes Malaysia’s GBS Industry
Pikom Leadership Summit 2021
Future Of Cybersecurity 2021 – Cybersecurity In The Next Normal
Digital Transformation Leadership Blackbox (DTLBB) – Malaysian Context
Cloudmile Opens Up The AI and Cloud Market in Malaysia
Vol 4 No. 3
DEVELOPING NEW LEADERSHIP FOR A NEW WORLD Anthony Raja Devadoss, Managing Director & Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry Malaysia, speaks to Christina Thomas about his foray into Human Resources consulting, and Korn Ferry’s holistic approach to understanding, assessing and developing enterprise leaders.
nthony’s journey into HR consulting has been an interesting one. A people-oriented leader by nature, Anthony credits his businessman father for his rich international exposure. During his schooling years, Anthony’s father despatched him and his siblings to an international school in India. “That journey allowed me to build my capabilities and competitiveness, while gaining a better understanding of other cultures, languages, and I began to appreciate people,” he explains.
FROM TECH TO HUMAN RESOURCES An accomplished man both educationally and professionally, Anthony completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Science at Loyola College, India, and subsequently earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Computing from De Montford University, UK. He also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Maharishi International University. Having completed an internship in a Digital Tech firm in the US and armed with the experience from a Telecommunication & E-commerce group in India, Anthony
EVERY ORGANISATIONAL LEADER TODAY HAS TO BE A DIGITAL LEADER. YOU HAVE TO BE CONNECTED.
– Anthony Raja Devadoss, Managing Director & Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry Malaysia
Agile. Transformative. Impactful and rare. Meet the Enterprise Leader
ENTERPRISE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPING NEW LEADERSHIP FOR A NEW WORLD
returned to Malaysia and started his journey in the IT industry. “I believe that the more involved I was in tech, the more I realised the gap in interacting with people,” he said. While running a tech company during the 1999 market crash, Kelly Services, a global recruitment company reached out to Anthony to set up the IT, scientific and engineering recruitment business – this propelled him from the IT, telco and e-commerce domain into
the HR field. For the next 20 years, he continued to build recruitment, outsourcing and consulting business in Malaysia, expanding operations from just one country to 12 countries. “I began to be more appreciative of HR, and learnt how to engage and connect with different audiences; and also, to help HR uplift their professional standards,” he shares. To sharpen his edge in HR, Anthony then obtained certifications such as Senior Certified Professional from the Society of Human Resources Management and HRCI Senior Professional in Human Resource Management. He has also attended the Global Leadership Programme at INSEAD Business School, Asia Campus in Singapore.
ENTERPRISE LEADERSHIP IN TECH Having experienced the best of both worlds – tech and HR – Anthony has been very effective in building leadership capabilities in tech companies. “My motivation to take on the HR field is more towards building leadership,” he shares. Armed with a foundation in
tech, Anthony was attracted by the connectivity he envisioned between HR, tech and leadership. “Every organisational leader today has to be a digital leader. You have to be connected,” he stresses. The outsourcing field helped him bridge the gap between tech and HR. In order to stay relevant in both tech and HR, he constantly updates and upskills himself in digitalisation, creative technologies and HR capabilities. At Korn Ferry, Anthony engages with leaders in the digital and non-digital fields comprising board members, C-level, top management and senior management levels, to build organisational and talent strategy. He is also responsible in building HR and talent capabilities for global technology markets in the region. Anthony stresses that Korn Ferry collaborates with Malaysia’s top public-listed organisations to identify leadership throughout the organisation, helping them acquire, develop and assess good talent, as well as evaluate the right compensation, using technology.
KORN FERRY – DEVELOPING WORLDCLASS ENTERPRISE LEADERS Korn Ferry is a global consulting firm that works with clients to design optimal organisation structures, roles, and responsibilities. The company helps clients to hire the right people and advises them on rewards, and in motivating their workforce, while developing professionals in various fields. Korn Ferry has 7,000 experts in more than 50 countries delivering on five core areas: Organisation Strategy, Assessment and Succession, Talent Acquisition, Leadership Development, and Total Rewards. In view of today’s challenging and disruptive business landscape, Korn Ferry has developed an
Enterprise Leadership Framework, providing a robust, researchbased, multidimensional model, linked to the strategic impact needed to future-proof businesses. The Framework is built on three interconnected dimensions namely Enterprise Impact, PerformTransform Capabilities, and Agile Mindsets. Korn Ferry believes that to succeed in today’s hyper-connected environment, leaders need to have wide reach within and beyond their business units. CEOs have to take a big-picture view of both their organisation and its broader network, understanding deeply how all of their diverse parts interrelate, and then maximising interdependence. This is the crux of Enterprise Leadership: transcending the borders and interests of self, function, company, community, and even geography, to serve and create lasting value for the whole enterprise and ecosystem. Simply put, enterprise leadership sees beyond current obstacles to new value-creating realities; while helping build better organisations and a better world.
MALAYSIA’S TALENT EVOLUTION Over the last two decades, Anthony has been involved in a cross spectrum of Board and Executive Search, HR Business Transformation Consulting, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Leadership Talent Development and Assessment within the region and globally across industries; with expertise in Digital Technology, Business/Professional Services & Telecommunications. He observes that the talent landscape in Malaysia has been very dynamic, moving from an industrial focus into a digital journey. “The talent progression has changed from skills related to only functions or verticals to horizontals,” says Anthony referring to banking, telco
and manufacturing among others, as verticals. He adds that from a manufacturing economy ten years ago to ten years later as a digital economy, Malaysia is still progressing and has much room for growth and development. “Malaysian talents have evolved to be more accommodative culturally, multilingually and also resilient,” he notes.
Leader Download our paper
The future of work needs new leaders who can simultaneously perform and transform. Who can lead vertically and horizontally. Who influence beyond the organizat ion and impact the entire ecosyste m. We call them the Enterprise
than 6.7%faster their peers 14%ofexecutives
HARNESSING THE POWER OF DATA ANALYTICS IN HR Anthony elaborates that data points are often used to match capabilities, expertise and competencies with job requirements as well as aid in talent development. He adds that digital skills, leadership skills and analytical skills should be coupled with functional skills within the organisation in order to optimise effectiveness.
Luckily they can be developed
But less than
can be considered Enterprise
We have identified the capabilities and mindsets that make up an Enterprise Leader.
DIGITAL READINESS AMONG MALAYSIAN TALENTS “We are at early adoption stage but I think there is significant opportunities for us to speed it up,” expresses Anthony, reminding that the evolution of technology is increasingly accelerating. He adds that Malaysia’s digital readiness still has room for growth in terms of cybersecurity, and digital literacy among students in schools, universities as well as in corporate entities. “Every school and corporate organisation has the responsibility to teach digital literacy and undertake cybersecurity,” stresses Anthony. He reiterates that Malaysians today need to be careful with personal data. All it takes is a phone call to obtain personal information from people nowadays. On that note, he cautions that digital literacy and cybersecurity have to be aligned to avoid cyber breaches and intrusions.
And our research shows that they grow organizations
of Enterprise Leaders
Run the organization
Change the organization
1 2 3 4
Extrapolate from current state, optimize existing business models, and scale innovation.
Manage risk, make prudent decisions, drive performance today, and deliver consistent results.
Create structure and process, align people and accountabilities, and ensure commitment.
Develop talent at scale, build mastery, and partner across networks to support shared objectives.
Anticipate trends, envision possibilities, disrupt the business model, and create the new and different.
Make bold decisions that push the envelope, pursue breakthrough results, and build for tomorrow.
Build flexible and agile organizations, embrace differences, and inspire purpose across.
Generate new talent and capabilities and create and harness ecosystems to amplify impact.
of Enterprise Leaders
Purpose Enterprise Leaders believe they should apply and grow their gifts in order to more powerfully give to others, the enterprise, and beyond.
Awareness of self and impact Enterprise Leaders believe that their ability to deeply understand and continuously learn about themselves and their impact is foundational to maximize their impact across the enterprise.
Courage across and beyond Enterprise Leaders believe in identifying and addressing enterprise problems and opportunities, even when unpopular, fear‑provokin g, challenging, or outside their control.
Inclusion that matters Enterprise Leaders believe they can multiply impact through connection and inclusion.
Enterprise Leaders believe that situations and people need to be interpreted in their dynamic relationship to the enterprise and beyond, balancing the interaction of multiple tensions, and generating creative resolutions that are more than the sum of parts.
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ANTHONY RAJA DEVADOSS HELMS OM AS IT TRAILBLAZES MALAYSIA’S GBS INDUSTRY As the new Chairperson of OM, a chapter under PIKOM, Anthony Raja Devadoss talks to Christina Thomas about OM’s direction for the future and the mission of taking it to the next level.
nthony, newly elected Chairperson of OM, as well as Korn Ferry Malaysia’s Managing Director and Senior Client Partner, aims to take OM to the next level in the next 2 years. OM, which was established by PIKOM together with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in 2006, is mandated with promoting and developing the country’s global business services (GBS) and to improve its position as a global hub for high-value services. Under Anthony’s leadership, OM is set to strengthen its role in expanding its objectives for greater industry representation. In addition to that, the new OM committee is geared to channel greater industry recognition and thought leadership towards the country’s GBS industry.
MALAYSIA’S TALENT LANDSCAPE Sharing his perspectives about Malaysia’s talent landscape where GBS is concerned, Anthony explains, “In many areas Malaysian talents are very strong, and that is why we are identified as the top 3 in the world for GBS locations.” He adds that now is the time for Malaysian talents to refine their digital skills, however, to remain competitive the country has to sharpen its edge to stay ahead in the GBS industry. He highlights, “We are performing
but we also need to ensure that we continue to perform and do well by upskilling and reskilling ourselves in technical and digital skills.” “Malaysian human capital needs to be on a constant learning curve – which means digital, analytical, automation upskilling and reskilling – so that they can better ‘futureproof’ their careers while contributing towards the growth of our country’s digital economy. This is further reinforced with our recent Digital Global Business Services Talent Market Report and the launch of the Digital GBS Skills Framework,” Anthony explains.
GLOBAL BUSINESS SERVICES (GBS) OM recently launched the Digital Global Business Services Talent Market Report in 2021 and the Digital GBS Skills Framework, the first in the world, which is aimed at positioning Malaysia as a global leader in the GBS industry. “The GBS industry is the fastest growing and hires the most talents in terms of volume and various specialisations,” Anthony stresses. According to the Industry Skills Framework, GBS is an abbreviation for shared services and outsourcing enabled operating model. It is an important focus for Malaysia, especially as one of OM’s key initiatives is to strengthen Malaysia’s position as an ideal location of
choice for digital services. Malaysia is currently home to over 600 GBS companies, and has proven its mettle in rising to the challenge of transitioning organisations into remote working arrangements. Speaking about the key thrusts in the GBS digital industry skills framework, Anthony explains that there are 9 thrusts namely content, customer service/ experience, back-office operation, finance and accounting, technical support, human resources, sales and marketing, procurement/supply chain services, and technology. This was commissioned jointly by OM, PIKOM, MDEC and HRDCorp. For instance, contact centres – one of the main components of the nation’s GBS industry, have moved from business as usual to work-fromhome mode within a short span of time. However, Anthony stresses that contrary to common perception, GBS is not only about contact centres but a host of other services as well. Now, GBS is rapidly becoming a value adding partner to businesses by offering insights based on a thorough understanding of services delivered, as well as optimised by digital technology such as automation and data analytics.
OM’S FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC ROADMAP FOR GBS INDUSTRY OM is currently embarking on a GBS
WE ARE HOPING THAT IN THE STRATEGIC VISIONING REPORT FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS, WE WILL BE ABLE TO PROPAGATE ABOUT HOW THE INDUSTRY WILL EVOLVE, BE DIGITALISED, AND BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE WHERE DOMESTIC AND GLOBAL COMPANIES, JVS, M&A’S, AND TALENTS ARE CONCERNED.
Strategic Vision Report which will be launched within the next few months. The report will contain a five-year strategic roadmap (20222027) for the GBS industry, and involves strategic public-private partnerships. Spearheaded by OM with strong support from MDEC, these partnerships include, among others, Invest Penang, Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), Invest KL, Invest Selangor, Cyberview, Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) and the Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM). “We are hoping that in the strategic visioning report for the next 5 years, we will be able to propagate about how the industry will evolve, be digitalised, and become more competitive where domestic and global companies, JVs, M&A’s, and talents are concerned,” he elaborates.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE Expressing his views for the future, Anthony explains that OM needs to refresh its identify in order to stay
relevant, while practicing inclusivity and achieving growth. He adds that over the next 2 years, OM aims to accomplish the visioning report launch, the growth of domestic companies including DDI and FDI, and inclusivity with the involvement of all digital agencies and organisations. Anthony highlights that another key factor in the future direction of OM is the talent agenda for GBS in order to create employability and job creation. Aside from a greater emphasis for inclusivity in the current term, he added that the OM committee’s goals for the current term include a target of increasing the number of members and industries they represent. It also plans to nurture greater collaboration with academia and HRD Corp on a single platform to ensure the Malaysian workforce continues to upskill and reskill to achieve greater employability for all citizens. “GBS is a job creating engine. Those impacted and unemployed currently, if given the opportunity,
can be upskilled and employed in the GBS industry,” he adds. He explains that the GBS industry has the potential to hire more than 25,000 people annually, and thus it is a worthwhile effort to build skills to support the growth this industry. “It is a high-potential, high-growth and highly innovative industry,” Anthony points out. “The GBS industry is growing steadily, but in the 4 to 5 years, we expect the industry to grow at a rate of almost 6.3 percent CAGR. This is driven particularly by the demand for organisations to be more resilient, to create more support for them and, developing local as well as global capabilities and efficiency. With this, GBS is able to serve the different needs of various industries,” he explains. Anthony says that the GBS industry helps organisations to deliver more efficient value. He adds that GBS will soon experience a paradigm shift from customer experience to digital experience.
FEATURE / PIKOM LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2021
PIKOM LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2021 Themed ‘Transforming for the New Normal’, the Summit addressed the transformation process towards digitalisation in the new normal.
The PIKOM Leadership Summit (PLS) kicked-off with bang with an energetic launch presentation followed by a host of speakers across various industries, academia and regulators.
Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh, Organising Chairman of PLS & Group Chief Executive Officer of Fusionex In his welcome address, Dato’ Seri Ivan expressed his pleasure in welcoming guests and delegates to the summit after a long hiatus due to pandemic movement restrictions. He pointed that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented and pervasive disruption which has impacted and transformed lives, jobs, education as well as interactions and communications. Dato’ Seri Ivan said that amidst these adverse effects, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, artificial intelligence (AI) and
various technologies, such as cloud computing, IR4.0, cryptocurrency, fintech, digital wallets, and online payment, among others. “As we observed for the last year and a half, there are many things that have changed and all of us are viewing things with a new lens; and that is why today’s theme ‘Transforming for a New Normal’ is apt,” said Dato’ Seri Ivan. In analysing the response of people towards the pandemic, he pointed that there are different categories of characters. The first being those who say that the pandemic has not affected them adversely, with not much changes
to their lives. The second category are people and businesses that have been severely impacted by the pandemic, be it mentally, physically, socially, economically and financially. The third category are businesses and people who have thrived amidst the COVID-19 and benefitted during the pandemic such as those offering video conferencing tools, e-commerce providers and online businesses, among others. He expressed that we should all learn from the past lessons and prepare for the future, and consider what we can do together as a community and ecosystem to do much better for Malaysia.
“It is my hope that over the next few years we can come together – we believe that Malaysia has all the right ingredients, support from the government, great industry players like yourselves and abundance of talent, and academia, not forgetting funding and financing to make our economy and digital transformation thrive,” stressed Dato’ Seri Ivan. “If there is one silver lining that came from the pandemic, it is evidence that digital transformation is inevitable and it has helped us to stay connected,” he added. He pointed our several prominent trends in today’s environment which include hybrid work in a flexible environment; a need for a hyperconnected business environment that transcends omnichannels that are connected through a data fabric; the need of businesses for a powerful productivity platform with digital tool and collaborations; and, looming cyber security threats which call for data protection. Dato’ Seri Ivan reminded that whilst we are passionate about the work we do, work and opportunities can come and go, and hence, not to be disheartened by challenges.
Danny Lee, PIKOM Chairman In his speech, Danny expressed that IT has become an integral part of work, life and leisure today. He says that transformation through digital technologies is definitely the way forward. “What we hope to achieve is this – no matter how challenging technology adoption and advancement seems to be amidst the global pandemic, there is always space to focus on new solutions, business agility, and create new success stories,” Danny stressed. He explained that the PIKOM Tech Fair, launched in 2021, is the first-ever large-scale online exhibition in Malaysia featuring an inclusive, consolidated digital
government for providing grants to SMEs to assist them in migrating to digitalisation. Danny lauds the recent Budget announcement on how it strikes a balance between the people, businesses and the economy.
platform comprising an e-commerce marketplace, exhibition space, B2B matching space, and meeting avenue. The fair is an advanced digital interactive space that brings exhibitors, business and the tech community together on a single platform, connecting businesses virtually with customers and exploring new opportunities. “Moving forward, as we live in the new normal it is also important that we provide this avenue for businesses to go on,” said Danny. He added that it is imperative that technology has to benefit everyone, be inclusive and embrace the new culture of doing business, and businesses must be agile enough to leap towards digitalisation as well. He expressed his gratitude to the
Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Digital Corporation (MDEC) In his keynote address, Mahadhir said, “To enable digital transformation, we need to change the way we think and reframe our mindset. Being able to affect this change will greatly determine the success of our digital future.” “For 25 years, together with your support and dedication, MDEC has been leading the way forward, changing the way we think and operate, and ultimately leading the charge towards our digital future – and, that future is now,” he added. Mahadhir also highlighted that the way to successful digitalisation is to prepare for the journey ahead. “MDEC has set out to chart the course by equipping our people and businesses with essential digital skills, means and know-how. Under our “#SayaDigital Keluarga Malaysia” movement, we will strive to uplift the digital skills required,” he explained. He shared that MDEC will be reaching out to as many Malaysians
FEATURE / PIKOM LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2021
as possible through the ‘Jelajah #SayaDigital Keluarga Malaysia’ programme. MDEC’s MyDigital Workforce programme is set to incentive companies up to RM23,600 to hire and train unemployed Malaysians for digital jobs. This programme also addresses the discrepancies between the skills that are sought by employers and the existing skillsets possessed by the local workforce. MDEC’s Digital Skills Training Directory is a programme that guides talents to meet career needs for jobs in the digital economy with approximately 250 courses across focus areas such as data science, cybersecurity and animation. These programmes are available for business owners to future-proof their teams through upskilling. “The digital economy’s contribution to the country’s GDP is expected to reach 25.5 percent by 2025 according to the 12th Malaysia Plan. To achieve this, it will require a whole-of-nation approach as we stand guided by the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint or MyDigital,” Mahadhir said. Recognising the power of collaboration, he stressed that MDEC welcomes all forms of collaboration, technology solutions providers or even joint efforts in any digital national projects. “The contribution from the private sector in nationbuilding is of extreme importance, and we commend you for standing with us through tough times,” Mahadhir said. Talking about two campaigns which have benefitted over 500,000 local entrepreneurs, he explains, “The ‘Go e-Commerce’ onboarding and the ‘Shop Malaysia’ online campaign under the Ministry of Finance’s Belanjawan 2021 is a perfect example of a successful public and private partnership. While MDEC may have provided the resources for local businesses to be onboarded
onto e-commerce and e-payment platforms, it was the buy-in from the SMEs and e-commerce platforms that made it possible.” Highlighting WCIT 2022 as the event that will propel Malaysia as the digital hub of ASEAN, Mahadhir said that the event will not only foster knowledge-sharing and partnerships that are necessary to drive further innovations in the IT industry, it also serves as a platform for countries, societies and businesses to come together and catalyse solutions that will uplift those that were severely impacted from the pandemic. He acknowledged the Summit as a well-aligned initiative that follows MDEC’s vision to enable a progressive, innovation-led digital economy. In his concluding
statement, Mahadhir stressed, “MDEC with the full support of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia will continue to lead the digital economy forward, centred on ensuring shared prosperity for the ‘rakyat’.”
NOT THE NEW NORMAL BUT THE NEW FUTURE – TECH CHANGING THE WORLD
by Jacob Isaac,
Managing Director, Fusionex Group Jacob pointed out that the pandemic has resulted in people taking digitalisation and transformation seriously, with the majority of companies accelerating their digitalisation activities by months instead of over 2 or 3 years. He
pointed out that many companies have begun to use technologies that they previously resisted with nearly two thirds accelerating their pace of deployment. Highlighting the lifespan of the top global companies, Jacob said that in 1964 these companies were predicted to last 33 years, and in 2016 that number reduced to 24 years, and in 2027 these companies only have a tenure of 12 years. “That’s how fast business is changing, so the question for us is ‘if the world’s leading organisations can’t keep up, what makes us think that our businesses can survive?”, Jacob asked. Although there is a strong fear of change, Jacob points out that change is now the future. He shared that successful entrepreneurs love change or have grown to love change. Jacob reminds that businesses have to be built around the wants, needs and desires of customers, and offer personalisation. In saying this, he points out that technology is key to the transformation of every organisation. “An enterprise is only as effective as its IT organisation or its technology partners,” he stresses. Jacob highlighted that today organisations have to combine people and tech to harness the best of both worlds, ensuring people’s jobs and careers remain meaningful. He advises that organisations have to go beyond their comfort zones to succeed.
RANSOM-WHERE? YOUR LAST LINE OF DEFENCE by Alicia Joseph,
Regional Director (SEA), Commvault Systems Alicia said that COVID-19 is a gamechanger for digital transformation. She shared Gartner’s findings that seven in 10 boards of directors have accelerated digital business initiatives in the wake of COVID-19 disruptions. Amidst the acceleration in digital transformation, there is also the threat of ransomware. Alicia explained that this is due to data silos and lack of consistent policies leading to the increased risk of data leaks, ransomware and threats. She pointed out that 64 percent of CISOs feel at risk of suffering a cyberattack, and 75 percent of IT organisations will face one or more attacks. A security reality check highlights that 58 percent of threats originate from within the organisations involving employees, ex-employees and partners; while 75 percent of companies infected with ransomware were running up-to-date endpoint protection. Meanwhile, 34 percent of businesses hit with malware took a week or more to regain access to their data. In talking about data risks and the stalling of business growth, Alicia
pointed out that business integrity gaps need to be addressed. The questions are ‘how much to invest for unplanned disruptions?’ and ‘where do the threats come from?’. Alicia highlighted the need for a multi-layered security system for data; and that a ransomware protection and recovery framework should include identifying risks, protecting data, monitoring threat patterns, responding with strategic actions and recovering data. She adds that keeping data secure requires simple administration, flexible protection and recovery options, and efficient recovery.
CONNECTING THE DOTS: MAKING THE MOST OF MY TECH INVESTMENTS
by Muhammad Izlan Farid,
Systems Engineer, Veeam Malaysia Izlan said that amidst the pandemic, many organisations have shifted to hybrid cloud solutions. He pointed out that COVID-19 has changed the IT landscape leading to 60 percent in cloud service growth, 48 percent in SaaS usage acceleration, and 715 percent increase in ransomware. In talking about modern data protection, Izlan explains that this involves modern backup and recovery systems, reliable ransomware protection and data security, app agility with Kubernetesnative backup, and accelerate Office 365, AWS, Azure and Google. Speaking about Veeam’s ecosystem, he explains that it involves cloud mobility, monitoring and analytics, orchestration and automation, governance and compliance, and backup and recovery. Izlan shared a user case whereby Veeam enabled the data recovery time to be slashed by more than 90 percent for a company in Malaysia, with a hyper-availability platform that is easy to use, stable and cost effective.
FEATURE / PIKOM LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2021
MEGATRENDS by Isabella Kusumawati, Vice President & Managing Director, Southeast Asia, SUSE Isabella pointed out that one of the key trends today is innovation in terms of virtual and future work. She also said that consumer behaviour has also changed, such as a 44 percent increase of in-house social media consumption; 70 percent of people spending more time on their smart phones and mobile devices; 80 percent higher traffic on media sites; 67 percent watching more news coverage; 28 percent more video streaming users; and, 39 percent increase in US video games sales in 2020.
HOW TECH IS SHAPING THE NEW NORMAL – Panel Session I Justin Anthony, Executive Director of PIKOM moderated the session which featured three panel speakers who touched on the new normal and how tech empowered businesses and people during the pandemic.
Alex Hii From an entrepreneur point of view on the impact of the pandemic on businesses, Alex explains that even before the pandemic his company
Another trend Isabella highlighted is the digital tsunami and technology that has engulfed the world. She explained that COVID-19 is expected to push spending for trend technologies including cybersecurity and cloud. The fourth trend she highlighted is the shifting of healthcare and supply chain, with digital healthcare capabilities while most supply chain use cases focus on provenance (track-and-trace). She advises that businesses need to be agile and nimble, with the use of technology to scale businesses. Isabella also stressed that innovation must never stop, and applications need to run everywhere.
had already embarked on the data security journey amidst providing business process outsourcing to its clients. This called for ensuring the company’s data infrastructure is secure, which is an on-going process.
Tay Chia Chia, Country Director, Veeam Software Tay explained that being in an IT company that is constantly vigilant of threats and impacts to data, Veeam’s business did not face much adverse impact during the pandemic. They already practiced mobile working,
with the processes and infrastructure prepared for mobility. She explained that staying connected with customers was extremely important.
Amar Chhajer, Senior Director APAC and Country Head, Malaysia UST Global Amar said amidst the pandemic, UST was enabling many digital transformations. There was more to do, supply faced constraints, demand increased and there was emotional impact, with a lot of churn in the market with high attrition rates around the world.
HARNESSING HUMAN CAPITAL FOR THE DIGITAL AGE – Panel Session II The session featured a discussion on human capital amidst the digital age.
Dato’ Ariff Farhan Doss, Chief Operating Officer, HRDCorp In talking about redesigning human capital for the future of work, Dato’ Ariff said that there is a need to relook the roles and responsibilities we play. HRDCorp is involved in upskilling and reskilling of employees, and developing the potential in every Malaysian. He explains that we have the human resource but are not sufficiently developing human capital that we have due to development inequality. He points out that many Malaysians are monoskilled and collaboration is lacking among employees. For this reason, he stresses that soft skill is a priority. At the same time, employees are not given the opportunity to apply their soft skill learnings, thus Dato’ Ariff says that this has to be pushed topdown.
developing talents compared to neighbouring countries. Despite various blueprints, he adds that the country does not have an enabling framework for the digital era. He stressed that Malaysia needs to reimagine developing and harnessing our talent. He explains that industry and academia have to become smart partners in the education and training ecosystem is important in narrowing the gap in skillsets.
However, she highlights that the organisation is not moving as fast compared to technology, and that technology and employee experience needs to be aligned in order to achieve success.
Founder & CEO, Brandt International Dato’ Munirah explains that the rate of change versus the growing gap in talent is real over the last few months. The technology curve is moving very fast which is impacting our people.
Founder & CEO, Forest Interactive Johary explains that to embrace technology, people have to have the right mindset. He talks about his company’s journey in scaling their talent, starting with mindset, bringing them together through a universal language which is English, and technology. Johary stresses that technology is here in Malaysia but people fail to adopt it, hence it needs to be addressed.
have to keep up with the trends of technology. Malik explains that people can come up with creative ideas but the CIO has to evaluate the value that the idea can bring to the business.
of people towards the changes. He adds that often, the challenges faced by CIOs is that employees with conservative work practices pose a challenge in acceptance of technology.
Ngoh Chee Hung,
Director of Corporate Information Centre, Help University Ngoh explains that digital adoption is a must in today’s environment, however in many organisations, adoption has to be considered from the perspective of the acceptance
Isabella said that CIOs have evolved in their roles by becoming more strategic, productive and efficient. She explained that it is important for CIOs to understand the challenges faced in the respective industries.
Dato Munirah Looi,
Professor Dato’ Dr Ansary Ahmed, Founder President, Asia e-University Professor Dato’ Dr Ansary said that Malaysia is falling behind in
THE ROLE OF THE CIO IN TRANSFORMATION – Panel Session III Moderated by Stan Singh, PIKOM Councillor, the session addressed the role of the CIO in transformation.
Malik Murad Ali, IT Director, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad Malik shares that the toughest role of CIOs is evaluating people because people are delivering the solutions. He stresses that CIOs and the senior people of the organisation
FEATURE / CYBERSECURITY 2021
FUTURE OF CYBERSECURITY 2021 – CYBERSECURITY IN THE NEXT NORMAL
The conference addressed the main challenges surrounding cybersecurity preparedness, with case studies on real-life situations discussed, the management of these incidents and measures to prevent a recurrence, among other salient topics.
he Future of Cybersecurity 2021 was launched with a bang by Alex Loh, Country Manager of Fortinet and Organising Chairman of the event, and Danny Lee, Chairman of PIKOM, when they placed their palms on a sensor to initiate the launch gimmick.
WELCOME ADDRESS by Alex Loh
In his welcome address, Alex shared that the last few months have been tough despite the recovery efforts, coupled with many uncertainties. He expressed that digital transformation had already begun way before the pandemic. However, with the acceleration of digitalisation, cyberthreats have also increased. Alex pointed out that cyberattacks increased in 2020 compared to 2019. “Cyber resilience is more than just cyber security, it is about business
continuity,” he explains. “Companies, government agencies, educational institutions and regulators are trying to rely more on digital services and stable connectivity. Above and beyond that, we need resilient cybersecurity measures to protect ourselves and the systems we use,” Alex adds. He highlights that this year, the Global Cybersecurity Index ranked Malaysia at eighth place out of 194 countries globally. Alex explains that Malaysia has been successfully addressing cybersecurity because it has in place policies focused on deploying a solid national strategy, and the industry must continue to support these policies. For Malaysia to continue remaining strong, experts in this area are needed. He pointed out that in 2020, there was a shortage of over 7,900 cybersecurity experts in Malaysia, and this is expected to
increase if nothing is done to address the issue. Alex explains that for this, collaboration is needed with the relevant government agencies and institutes of higher education to produce more cybersecurity experts.
Danny Lee Danny explains that agility is key to implementing changes, while resilience is key to surviving the challenges faced in the constantly evolving business environment. He notes that disruptive technology has caused a significant rise in cybersecurity threats. “Everything that has happened in the last 2 years has disrupted our ecosystem, our business operations, business strategies, and this has amplified the urgency towards transformation, and for companies and organisations to become more agile and resilient,” Danny explains.
He explains that companies are not only forced to reassess their priorities but also their mindsets. Now when companies are required to have their people work from home, this automatically means that “physical” has become optional. He highlights that the right technologies and systems are necessary to support the primarily digital workplace and workforce. “In the post-pandemic world and amidst recovery efforts, there are implications on how best companies can perform and deliver. Digital transformation not only brings a company up to speed with today’s technologies, but also makes it vulnerable to security breaches. This results in cybersecurity itself to become a comparative differentiator,” Danny elaborates. Danny points out that digital transformation and cyber resilience cannot be separated; while data protection has become paramount. He adds that we need a holistic cyber-resilience approach including measures to recover fast regardless of the size of the organisation. This is because cybercriminals are not concerned about the size of the company, and often go after those that do not have security systems in place. More than 8,500 cybersecurity incidents were reported this year alone which include data theft, spam, cyber harassment and fraud, among others. At the same time, more than 1.8 million malware infections were reported up to September this year. Danny highlights that while more organisations have taken measures to enhance cybersecurity and become more cyber-resilient, attacks have also become more sophisticated. Danny explains that long before the pandemic the government had already been pushing for SMEs to be digitally enabled and technologically equipped to meet the demands of an increasingly connected world. “PIKOM, representing the
industry, has upped the ante by taking a step forward to promote cybersecurity awareness, establish international co-operation and also drive more local cybersecurity companies and industry players to improve their competitiveness,” he says. “Cybersecurity is the No. 1 megaindustry trend that is going to shift industry and shape the economy as well and also playing its greatest role in many years to come,” Danny adds. He points out that there is no-stopping cyberthreats as long as technology is accessible, borderless and continuously facing disruptions. “Malaysia as a country does have the potential ability to shape cybersecurity not only for our country but also offer our knowledge and capabilities regionally,” Danny explains. He adds that as long as we continue to form alliances, partnerships and collaborations, and as long as we are able to reach out to global players with similar interests, cybersecurity will remain as a leading subject within the digital economy.
CYBER THREAT LANDSCAPE
by Abbas Kudrati, APAC Chief Cybersecurity Advisor, Microsoft Abbas touched on the latest threats observed by Microsoft and how it is mitigating the threats. He explains that Microsoft collects over 21 billion signals on a daily basis which are analysed using machine learning and artificial intelligence, and come up with trends such as which countries are being targeted, what kind of attack vectors are used, and techniques used by criminals. Abbas points out that with no technical knowledge of how to conduct a cybercrime attack, an amateur threat actor can purchase a range of services to conduct their attacks with one click. He explains that the supply chain of the attack can be complicated and targets all kinds of sectors. Despite this, Abbas says that there are positive trends which include transparency which comprise the creation of laws, partnerships, collaborations and knowledge transfer to battle cyberthreats.
FEATURE / CYBERSECURITY 2021
Abbas says that Microsoft has been engaged to address cyberthreats in various sectors such as manufacturing, insurance, agriculture and the government; and surprisingly, healthcare is also one of the top 5 targeted sectors for cyberattacks. He explains that Microsoft works with its clients in these sectors to limit the scope of damage and prevent future attacks. He advises that using a mix of technologies to deter attacks and slow them down will eventually tire cybercriminals and make them move away. He points out that the number one target for phishing and other malicious email, using various techniques, is the wholesale distribution chain, accounting firms and capital companies. He also cautioned against malware that is spread using search engines. He highlights five cybersecurity paradigm shifts that include the rise of digital empathy, the zerotrust journey, diversity of data, the resilience of business in association to cybersecurity and a greater focus on integrated security.
BUILD ZERO TRUST FOUNDATIONS
by Ahsim Nisar, APAC Cybersecurity Specialist Ahsim says that the topic zero-trust foundations architecture is currently abuzz in the market. He highlights that attack services is cheap and that COVID-19 has brought about unexpected IT challenges which
include a sudden spike in the need for remote access to apps; on premises VPN scalability constraints; a surge in demand for most of the workloads and the need for new apps and websites; and, bad actors exploiting the pandemic and increase in attacks. Also, there has been an increase in the importance for high availability, protection and performance for applications, and a huge spike in the usage of cloud native offerings. Zero-trust architecture has become important due to IT security complexities, ‘trusted network’ security strategy, assets increasingly leaving the network, and attackers shifting to identity attacks. Ahsim points out that zero-trust architecture has been around for a while. However, there has been slow mainstream adoption for both network and identity models. He advises to increase security assurances for critical business assets with security enforcement policies. He highlights that zero-trust starts with securing the people and the devices they use to get work done because 80% of breaches involve the use of lost or stolen passwords and 60% of BYO devices are not secured by IT. Migrating to a zero-trust security model allows organisations to simultaneously improve security over conventional network-based approaches and better enable users where and when they need to access. A zero-trust model requires signals to inform decisions; policies to make
access decision; and, enforcement capabilities to implement decisions effectively. Ahsim also talks about the zero-trust maturity model which involves the traditional stage whereby most organisations are today; the advanced stage, where organisations progress with hybrid identity, access policies, secured devices, protected networks and cloud, and the use of analytics; and, the optimal stage, whereby organisations have made large improvements in security. Zero-trust implementation is currently at 76% across the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and APAC. Ahsim explained that the barriers to zero-trust implementation include resource challenges, leadership, technology challenges, lack of the right vendors and budget constraints.
CONVERGENCE, THE FOURTH UTILITY, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF A ROBUST PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE by Frank Straka, Director of Business Development, Enterprise, Panduit
Frank talks about the trends in convergence and infrastructure involved. He notes that systems keep converging and that there are new areas for cybersecurity threats to target. Hence, it is critical to protect systems. For this, physical infrastructure is key. In talking about the trends in convergence, he highlights that the impact of COVID-19 includes truly enabling the hybrid office, and making the office somewhere you want to go with smart buildings, customised settings and a better building experience with convergence. The benefits of converged network and smart buildings include reduced provisioning costs with shared resources, reduced use cost with less networks to administer and maintain, and flexibility. Meanwhile, smart
on revenue between 2019 to 2020, at 23.5% market share.
THE STATE OF RANSOMWARE IN MALAYSIA – DÉJÀ VU IN THE NEXT NORMAL
by William Phuah, Director of Product Marketing for Security, Sangfor
buildings offer simple and flexible settings. In naming the network as the fourth utility aside from electricity, water and gas, Frank points out that the network has become a necessity that can provide data and power, for which a robust cabling infrastructure is needed. He highlights that a highquality infrastructure is crucial to reduce downtime. Frank explains that the future of convergence includes single pair ethernet which is expected to be adopted starting from 2022.
REIMAGING ENTERPRISE CYBERSECURITY AND MANAGING RISK
by Goh Chee Hoh, Managing Director, Trend Micro Malaysia and Nascent Countries Goh says that in digital transformation, there are several concerns that organisations face which include surrendering security control to users working from home; whether or not security solutions are built for cloud applications; and, striking a balance between IT security and operations. Today, digital transformation encompasses omni-channel, IoT, augmented reality and hyper-personalisation to drive customer experience and revenue. Goh pointed out that in 5 years, 25% of malls will be gone and that mobile payments will hit USD1 trillion in 2020. Mobile, blockchain and big data AI is expected to drive customer engagement at a lower cost. Meanwhile, automation, robotics
and AI is set to improve efficiencies and operations in unsafe working environments, while also reducing planned outages by 50%. Digital transformation is also delivering digitally-enabled tools for diagnosis, treatment and management of illnesses, while also preventing up to 95% of adverse drug events. Goh pointed out some of the most worrisome risks for organisations with the top three being a prolonged recession of the global economy, a surge in bankruptcies and a wave of industry consolidation, and cyberattacks and data fraud due to a sustained shift in working patterns. According to the Cyber Risk Index in 2021, the top risks include loss of data, shortage of qualified personnel and organisational misalignment and complexity. It was found that 71% of organisations had at least one breach involving customer records and 71% had 7 or more breaches. Goh highlights that with diverse digital platforms comes a broader attack surface and new vulnerabilities. Talking about Trend Micro’s security platform, Goh highlights the optimised enterprise threat defence the company offers comprising the Trend Micro Vision One ecosystem offering the Trend Micro Cloud Nine, Trend Micro Network One, Trend Micro Apex One and Trend Micro Service One. The platform offers smart, layered security that maximises protection. Today, Trend Micro is the global leader in Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS) based
William explained that Sangfor has spent more than 4,000 manhours conducting investigations into ransomware and breaches, and has identified 6 common gaps. The company has delivered more than 8 solutions through in-house developed applications to address common security gaps identified from the investigations. To-date, 10 industry leading sectors have required their services and 12 countries have benefitted from its services. A key observation the company has made during its investigations include the lack of good security control in many organisations. He highlights that ransomware now comes in packages that make it easier to attack organisations. Goh highlights that cyber attacks are leveraging AI to be more intelligent and more efficient, ensuring high hit rates and more devasting results, which include almost guaranteed pay out and double extortion. Nowadays, ransomware is also targeting backed up data. Sangfor provides a holistic anti-ransomware solution that encompasses cyber command and security services features, complemented by neutral X-cloud threat intelligence and analytic platform, Sangfor NGAF, Endpoint Secure, Engine Zero AI-powered malware detection engine, and Sangfor HCI solution to build backup infrastructure. One of Sangfor’s key approaches to stopping ransomware is the Ransomware Honeypot which carries out network-wide malware hunting and one-click mitigation. In
FEATURE / CYBERSECURITY 2021
detecting and blocking propagation, William explains that the NGAF and Endpoint Secure solutions carries out suspicious traffic isolation, among other interventions. William said that early indicators of a ransomware attack typically include suspicious traffic behaviour, repeated suspicious failed login attempts, illegitimate network scanner traffic, presence of known attack tools, and unauthorised access to critical servers. He explains that Sangfor Security Service provides pre-attack, midattack and post-attack solutions.
CYBERSECURITY COLLABORATION WITH ASEAN
The session featured distinguished speakers from Japan and was moderated by Ruy Hayashi, Director of OMC Incorporated Nobuhiro Watanabe, Counsellor for International Strategic, NISC addressed the issues and direction of Japan’s Cybersecurity Strategy 2021. He shared that ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Policy Meeting is a framework of Cybersecurity Authorities among ASEAN member states and Japan for promoting cybersecurity policy cooperation. The meeting encouraged joint efforts in creating a secure business environment, building a secure information and communications network, and enhancing capacity for cyber security. He highlighted that NISC coordinates cybersecurity cooperation.
Koji Nakao, Advisor of Cybersecurity for the Cabinet Secretariat in the Japanese government touched on the trend of cybersecurity threats and national security measures including ASEAN support. He explained the types of malware commonly encountered, malware infection behaviour, and Darknet monitoring. He shared that many IoT devices are already infected by malware. Koji also explained about DRDoS attacks and security measures to monitor these attacks. He shared that starting February 2019, MIC and NICT, in cooperation with ISPs, have been carrying out “Notice” project to survey vulnerable IoT devices, and to alert users to any problems found. National security measures to address malware include research and development on IoT malware removal or nonfunctionalisation technologies for effective use of the radio spectrum. Other measures include virtual workshops, collaboration with ASEAN countries and cooperation with domestic and overseas organisations. Seiichi Ito, Deputy Chairman of the International Committee, JISA shared on the topic of All for One and One for All in ASEAN Cybersecurity. He said that the Japanese cabinet approved the Cyber Security Strategy Policy to actively promote international cooperation. JISA’s vision is to overcome language and cultural barriers for international exchange of products, information, business and human resources. JISA also hopes to create opportunities for
overseas members to get training in Japan, to encourage active exchanges, while also driving the sharing of best practices as well as to initiate industry-government-academia collaboration and unification.
PANEL SESSIONS The first panel session featured 5 distinguished speakers who shared their thoughts on cybersecurity in the next normal from the perspectives of people, process and technology. The panel session was moderated by CF Fong, CEO of LE Global Services Sdn Bhd; while the speakers included Sivanathan Subramaniam, Deputy Director (Risk Specialist), Cyber and Technology Risk Specialist Unit, Bank Negara Malaysia; Victor Lo, Head of Cybersecurity, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); Eric Foo, Vice President, Hitachi Sunway Information Systems; Sandy Woo, Country Director, CA Technologies; and, Kenneth Lee, Technical Manager, Westcon-Comstor Asia. The second panel session featured a discussion on cybersecurity in the next normal from the perspectives of CIO and CISO. The session was moderated by Jason Yuen, Partner, Technology Consultant, EY. The speakers for the session comprised Muhd Dawud Saifullah, Head of Cyber Security, Maxis; Eznurein Hazri, Executive Vice President & Head of Group Information Services, Ambank; Abid Adam, Group Chief Risk & Compliance Officer, Axiata; and, Alan See, CEO and Co-founder of Firmus.
FEATURE / CELEBRATION CNY
PIKOM CELEBRATES CHINESE NEW YEAR WITH A ROAR More than 150 guests and members of PIKOM came together to welcome the Year of the Tiger.
n 10 February 2022, PIKOM members and guests gathered for a Chinese New Year celebration at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) Banquet Hall. The event presented an excellent opportunity for networking and socialising after a long hiatus due to pandemic restrictions. Honourable guests and members were treated to an exhilarating spread of specialty cuisine including ‘yee sang’ to commemorate the Year of the Tiger. PIKOM Chairman, Dr Sean Seah and the executive committee members were at hand to welcome
the guests. During his welcome speech, Dr Seah encouraged all PIKOM members to continue to actively participate in the upcoming activities that the association has lined up for the year, such as WCIT 2022 and other exciting events. All guests were subjected to a COVID-19 self-test at the registration counter before they were allowed into the event hall, to ensure the safety and health of all attendees. The celebration was a meaningful event with members and guests enjoying a wholesome evening of entertainment, excellent food and great company.
FEATURE / APU
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION LEADERSHIP BLACK BOX (DTLBB) – MALAYSIAN CONTEXT
GO DIGITAL – THE NEW NORM
rom just another business buzzword, today, the force of digital is affecting almost every industry. Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture highlighted in World Economic Forum (2016), digital is the main reason just over half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000. Current businesses are characterised by rapid, dynamic evolvement, powered by technological advancements like the IoT, virtual human-machine interfaces, and AI (Dixon et al., 2020). Businesses today, are at crossroads; whereby, in order to survive, or thrive, they are facing restructuring and transformational decisions; in view of rapidly advancing technology. Digital Transformation (DT) refers to a business’ assimilation of information, infrastructure, practices, and individuals; with digital facetsto become more effective and efficient with fast turnaround targeted impact. This multi-staged process is also about organisations providing enhanced values to stakeholders via digital portfolios (Rossi, 2015). The cases of LEGO and Starbucks present an excellent example of digital transformation. LEGO moved up the value chain post restructuring and digital transformation with a new revenue channel from movies, mobile games, and mobile applications. Starbucks focused on building a digitalised customer experience by focusing on their loyalty. Mobile Order and Pay App became their primary digital transformation agenda by providing a convenient and easy buying experience (Petersen, 2016).
(Left) Professor Ir. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam (email@example.com), Deputy Vice Chancellor & Chief Innovation Officer, Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU). (Right) Dr. Murugappan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Head, Human Capital Division, Malaysian Communication yjk,./1Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
In essence, companies such as LEGO and Starbucks experienced new business value exchange and competitive advantage (IDG, 2018) facilitated by digital transformation. From a Malaysian perspective, the Dell Digital Transformation Index (2018) reported that nearly 55% of Malaysian businesses lack adequate resources to effect digital transformation. In addition, 48% were worried that they would lag behind in the transformation process; with 27% indicating that they were not prepared at all to initiate the transformation process. Marketing interactive also reported in the same report that, 3% of the respondents agreed to have embedded
digitalisation fully in their business. Such businesses were the only ones to have successfully undergone any kind of transformation lifecycle. Amidst this background setting, DT in Malaysia is supported by the government through the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, which postulated the digital economy’s role in driving economic growth as indicated by MEA (2019). The launch of the Malaysia Digital Economic Blueprint, or MyDigital, on 19 February 2021 provides a road map to the digital economy’s role in pushing forward its economic recovery. By 2025, Malaysia expects the digital economy to contribute 22.6% to its GDP by creating 500,000 new jobs,
Internet access for every household, and complete access to an online learning environment. Malaysia is also keen to invest around RM70 billion for the national digitalization agenda, which is expected to foster e-commerce adoption by 1.2 million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in the next 5 years. The MyDigital agenda aims to integrate with the global value chain through a sustainable digital ecosystem that facilitates high-value jobs, innovative and productive firms, and narrowing the digital divide phenomenon. This is yet another milestone in Malaysia’s digital transformation evolution. With the above focus, the government launched the “Jalinan Digital Negara” (JENDELA) focusing on optimizing the existing digital infrastructure and enhancing the connectivity for the entire nation. Further to this, initiatives like “Program Pemerkasaan Pendigitalan Usahawan Kecil” (Pupuk) is seen to be catalyst to spur the growth of local micro entrepreneurs by leaps and bounds spearheaded by Kementerian Komunikasi Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM), through the support of various government agencies, led by MCMC in-cooperation of MDEC, SME Corp, INSKEN, HRD Corp, BSN and private entities like Shopee, AEON, Telekom Malaysia, among others, working together to provide
training programmes and conduct on-boarding sessions to assist micro entrepreneurs, specifically to spur the growth of digital economy. The efforts to further strengthen the digital economy is also driven by MDEC and SME Corp led by MITI and MEDAC through various other initiatives that focuses on the developmental scope for SMEs as well. All these efforts are inclusive of the digital matching grants by BSN, values up to totaling RM 300 million worth of allocation provided by the government. Further to this, towards the aspiration of Pupuk, Pusat Internet Komuniti (PIK) is being transformed as Pusat Ekonomi Digital Keluarga Malaysia (PEDi) with five (5) key transformational initiatives. The branding and objective of the PEDi focuses on digital economy with each PEDi having “IKON USAHAWAN” to empower and motivate local entrepreneurs, “PANEL PENASIHAT” consisting local leaders to support PEDi in planning and implementing socio economic programmes at PEDi for the benefit of local community. Six hundred (600) Rakan Digital PEDi will be engaged to nurture local entrepreneurs as well as drive implementation of PUPUK at the PEDi sites. In short PEDi has been activated as one of the touch points to reach out to micro entrepreneurs, digitalisation adoption of businesses
towards participating in the digital economy. In addition, the exponential growth of e-commerce proves that the industry is one of the key drivers of growing Malaysia’s digital economy. Thus, “Pelan Accelerator Kurier Negara” (PAKEJ) is another government initiative to support the three times growth of the e-commerce industry from seven (7) parcels per capita to twenty one (21) parcels per capita by 2025. PAKEJ will complement the ecosystem for digital economy by establishing the complete network for last mile delivery for e-commerce logistics support. Thus, having infrastructure mapped out, developmental scope of digital economy strengthened and finally the last mile delivery completed, it is well mapped out vision in driving digital economy to Shared Prosperity for all Malaysians. The inclusion of technology and connectivity is an indication of the awareness at a national level of the increasing importance of the digital economy as a major influence in shaping society. With such potential, emphasis is being placed on growing the required digital talent to realise the economic benefits of these projections as well as grow the leadership to ensure the success of both private and public digital transformation endeavours.
Authors Professor Ir. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam (dr.vinesh@ staffemail.apu.edu.my), Deputy Vice Chancellor & Chief Innovation Officer Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) Dr. Murugappan (email@example.com) Head, Human Capital Division Malaysian Communication Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
FEATURE / CLOUDMILE
CLOUDMILE OPENS UP THE AI AND CLOUD MARKET IN MALAYSIA
loudMile, a leading AI and cloud technology company in Asia, focuses on digital transformation for its corporate clients and driving growth, empowering businesses to accelerate digital transformation through cloud technology and machine learning. Since CloudMile’s establishment in 2017, the company operates across Asia with its Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore offices, assisting more than 400 companies across 20 industries with business forecasts and industrial upgrades on digital transformation. “As a leading technology company in Asia, we currently have 5 offices in Asia, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. The CloudMile Malaysia team is a shining example, which was established in 2021, and rapidly won a lot of attention from different verticals such as Enterprises, Financial Sectors, Manufacturing, Public Sector, Education, Digital Natives etc. The Malaysian market is optimistic about AI and cloud technology. We are investing into Malaysia to find new tech talents and expand the business roadmap in the ASEAN digital hub,” said Spencer Liu, founder and CEO of CloudMile. The company, a Google Cloudmanaged service provider, offers its clients exclusively Google services to digitally transform their businesses. Lester Leong, CloudMile’s Malaysia Country Manager, gives us an indepth insight in the company’s mission and plans for the Southeast Asian region. “ Our mission is to make digital changes possible for every enterprise, commercial or government customers by helping them modernize, integrate their mainstream IT and deploy digital
Left: Spencer Liu, CloudMile Founder & CEO. Below: Lester Leong, CloudMile Malaysia Country Manager.
solutions at scale for a successful digital future for these organisations and vertical industries.” As the winner of the 2020 Google Cloud Public Sector Partner of the Year - APAC award, CloudMile also holds four professional specializations: Machine Learning, Infrastructure, Data Analytics, and Cloud Migration. The company has been recognized by the Google Cloud ecosystem in helping customers across various industries, including the public sector to achieve digital transformation. “We are the ONLY Google goto expert for you in Malaysia that can take on any Google services from sales to pre-sales, business proposals, deployment, support, maintenance up to managed services,” states Lester. “We are a single-stop shop for full Google solutions to the client.” Clients of CloudMile no longer have to worry about finding separate system partners or integrators to help with different parts of their businesses as CloudMile provides end-to-end Google services.
CLOUDMILE PROJECTS Having explained what CloudMile is as a company, Lester divulges some notable projects that CloudMile has completed within its four years as a company, along with some of its upcoming projects. One of the most significant to date is CloudMile’s efforts for the No 1 taxi company in Taiwan, creating an AI application for taxi drivers on hotspot prediction to decrease the vacancy rate and advance the passengers’ satisfaction. Upcoming projects planned for the company revolve around streamlining the security and forensics of a large organisation in Malaysia over the cloud. CloudMile has also begun interacting with the education sector to create an e-learning platform for tertiary education institutions to assist their educator-student interactions during online learning.