Paving the Way for Digital Transformation in Malaysia Business Environment
Malaysia is currently undergoing a digital transformation as national agendas such as the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD) are encouraging the use of emerging technologies to fast-track industry improvement and stimulate economic growth.
An Exemplary Example
Mimos Bhd is an example of how far the country has come. The national applied research and development (R&D) centre has its goals set on innovating new ways to compete in the technology development race and drive digital transformation. The centre, which employs up to 800 talents, has already filed more than 1,200 patents, with around a quarter of them attaining commercialization.
Technology adoption needs to produce a return on investment (ROI) between three to six months in order to encourage small and medium enterprise (SME) investment in digital transformation. This has been stressed by industry and trade associations and is something that Mimos has followed through on.
Leading the Way to Digital Transformation
Mimos is now taking up the mantle and leading the movement to encourage SMEs and start-ups to adopt new technologies and upskill themselves. This is in line with their 2020 goal to build more partnerships and linkages with SMEs in and drive the Industry4WRD. With support from MITI, it has been working with SMEs and larger corporations to create ‘living labs’ to drive a local movement towards technology adoption.
Examples of such technology include artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data Analytics (BDA), cybersecurity, blockchain, cloud and edge computing amongst others. The results have been very encouraging. In three short months, Mimos has six ‘living labs’ in four states that showcase a spectrum of different manufacturing areas.
According to Mimos chief technology officer: “The idea is to create a centre of excellence that SMEs can visit, which demonstrate real world applications bringing results following implementation. SMEs are very cost sensitive and manufacturing is very labour dependant. Our job is to promote the compelling business reasons for technology adoption, starting with small projects that will quickly show results and encourage SMEs to invest and digitalise more.”
To achieve these goals, Mimos champions several technology reference centres (TRCs) for specific technology focus areas. An example is the Centre of Artificial Intelligence for Future Industry (CAIFI), which was jointly established by Mimos and Microsoft. CAIFI aims to build a better AI R&D ecosystem to help accelerate national digital transformation and move towards Industry 4.0.