Business Insight: What Will Power Malaysia’s Digital Transformation?

8 March 2021

More than just #WFH, cloud computing can vastly improve business operations and public services

In partnership with Going Places by Malaysia Airlines

The Covid-19 crisis has changed the status quo in every way – from how we socialise and shop to how we travel and access public services. When Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) went into effect on 18 March 2020, most organisations, no matter the sector, size or degree of readiness, were forced to virtualise their operations overnight and send their staff home.

In the following months, we have realised both the cost savings of Work from Home or #WFH arrangement as well as the infrastructural challenges of serving employees and customers virtually.

Despite the rising demand for virtual services, many organisations are still reliant on their internal IT environment to host their business-critical applications.

The new normal? Not so fast

Surveys and media reports show that interest in remote work is stronger than ever. According to Buffer’s annual report - The State of Remote Work (2020), respondents “almost unanimously want to continue to work remotely (at least for some of the time) for the rest of their careers.”

Yet the situation in Malaysia is more nuanced. An informal survey by TM One, the enterprise and public sector business solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), drew an immediate flood of comments on LinkedIn, many of which favoured WFH. However, the same straw poll on Twitter showed an almost 50-50 split between WFH and the workplace.

These findings suggest that the new normal in Malaysia is slowed by mindset as well as gaps in technological infrastructure that will make remote operations possible.

What’s it going to take?

The day the MCO went into effect, Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) reported the highest internet traffic peak of 532Gbps, a 6.4% jump from 2019. During the MCO period, TM reported a 30% increase in usage. At the same time, many businesses and services were overwhelmed due to the sudden spike and experienced service outages.

The reality of the situation is that many organisations in Malaysia are still reliant on their internal IT environment to host their business-critical applications, lacking the stability and support of cloud computing. According to Global Data, Malaysia’s spending on cloud computing is forecasted to reach RM10 billion in 2020. While that’s an 18% increase from 2019, it amounts to merely 12–15% of all ICT spending, compared to 70% globally.

TM One believes cloud computing is an urgent growth area across many sectors of the Malaysian economy, and a key driver in the digital transformation. Migrating their operations to the cloud provides organisations with more speed, stability, flexibility and room for innovation. Leveraging on the capabilities of the cloud, organisations can make pivots more easily and roll out new products for their customers without being mired in back-end development.

RM10 billion: Malaysia’s forecasted spending on cloud computing in 2020

How we’re getting there

TM One aims to empower enterprises and the public sector to realise the full potential of their digital opportunities. As the ecosystem enabler for digital business, digital society and digital government, its goal is to enable the Malaysian public sector and enterprises to be more agile, deliver better and more comprehensive services to their end customers - whilst achieving cost efficiencies, as well as further strengthening their resilience in their digital transformation journey - which is in line with TM Group’s role in powering Digital Malaysia.

Its Cloud Alpha service offers quick and comprehensive cloud strategy solutions and 24/7 support, powered by an ISO/IEC 20000-certified Tier III data centre. Cloud Alpha supports infrastructure, platform and software needs, providing everything from remote servers, development platforms for web and mobile applications as well as collaboration and file-sharing applications. Businesses that are new to the cloud can migrate easily and cost-effectively, with pay-as-you-grow models, competitive pricing and ready support from the largest pool of IT experts in Malaysia.

The challenge for many enterprises is to ensure their IT infrastructure can accommodate a sudden increase in traffic, with most if not all of their employees working from home

“The new reality is that connectivity has become an essential resource. Whether for news, shared experiences or maintaining business – connectivity joins the list of shelter, food and clothing for most of us,” Ahmad Taufek Omar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), TM One, said. “At the same time, the resilience of cloud computing is being out for the test as never before as a critical enabler of remote operations and continuous innovation.”

Malaysia, like the rest of the world, has changed in the last few weeks. A new chapter has begun, featuring a sharp rise of digital technology adoption, which will help illuminate a path forward for our businesses. Once widely implemented, these improvements will have a range of positive implications on the Malaysian economy and the Malaysian people – extending far beyond the comforts of working from home!

To learn more about TM One’s Cloud Alpha services, click here.

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