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Upskilling staff tech skills a priority for Malaysian companies

Upskilling the tech capabilities of employees seems to be a prime focus for many Malaysian employers, finds a new report by CPA Australia.

The 2021 Business Technology Report surveyed 725 professionals in different industries in Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, and Singapore. Respondents were also asked about their businesses’ past and expected technology use.

Over the past 12 months, Malaysian businesses focused on upskilling their employees’ technology capabilities, looked for opportunities to improve their existing technology, and developed long-term technology or digital strategies.

CPA Australia Malaysia Division Digital Transformation Committee Chairman, Bryan Chung FCPA, said that improving the technology they deployed in the past 12 months contributed to many Malaysian businesses’ strong performances in a difficult environment.

“Malaysian businesses in our survey used technology to improve their operational efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer experience. This is a prudent approach given current market conditions and placed them in a good position to adapt to rapidly changing conditions and needs of consumers and employees,” he said.

The report revealed that businesses with a positive outlook on growth are looking to invest in data analytics and visualization software, business intelligence software, and cloud technology in the next 12 months as opposed to other businesses.

It was also found that most businesses are planning to invest in technology tools in the next 12 months, which signals a shift from cost savings to revenue growth. However, not all businesses may be in a position to seize this opportunity. Small businesses in our survey cited financial constraints as their main challenge to technology adoption.

Chung said that there are actually many funding opportunities available to Malaysian businesses to help them access technologies that high-growth businesses are much more likely to use.

“The Malaysian Government has committed to making Malaysia a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators by the end of the decade. To better compete, small businesses in Malaysia should fully embrace the 5G rollout by Digital Nasional Berhad over the next few years. This will enable them to participate in upskilling initiatives to grow their businesses, especially in the technologies that high-performing businesses are using or investing in.

“Small business owners would benefit from accessing upskilling initiatives that enable them to grow their businesses over the next year, especially in the technologies that high performing businesses are using or investing in,” he said.

Currently, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is offering several initiatives to help build digitalization knowledge such as the SME Business Digitalisation Grant, 100 Go Digital, and Smart Automation Grant.

As part of the MDEC 100 Go Digital, a set of guidebooks to help SMEs get on board digitalization of their businesses was released earlier this month. Aimed at retail and F&B SMEs, it includes the latest trends impacting them, as well as a quick guide for an overview of the methods and tools, and well as a more comprehensive guidebook for a more structured, detailed approach.

By Jamilah Lim

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