KUALA LUMPUR – In recent years, Malaysia has been driving headlong on its journey towards becoming a high-income knowledge-based economy.
Accordingly, policies implemented in previous budgets have seen the ICT industry as a whole taking incremental steps towards a unified vision in elevating the country’s national competitiveness on 4 November.
The Covid-19, pandemic, however, has derailed such efforts which is why SAP Malaysia supports ‘people first’ policies and initiatives to aid in the recovery of the economy and for the wellbeing and sustainability of livelihoods.
Hong Kok Cheong, Managing Director of SAP Malaysia, is hopeful that upcoming Budget 2021’s focus would be on up skilling and youth employment, together with small-medium enterprises’ (SMEs) readiness for Industrial Revolution 4.0 (4IR) along with the transition to intelligent technologies on the cloud, will initiate much needed recovery for the country.
With automation threatening various existing jobs coupled with a shortage of qualified talent in emerging roles, Hong emphasised the immediate need for up skilling of present employees to become what industry terms as ‘workforce of the future’.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for companies to move towards a ‘digital first’ workforce,” said Hong, adding that he looks forward to training and technology-enabled learning initiatives to be announced within Budget 2021.
He added that, given the current employment situation, every member of the workforce – from frontlines to the C-suite – should to continually enhance their skills to help them survive and thrive in the ‘new norm.’
According to a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) study, the percentage of core skills that would change by 2025 is 40%, with some 50% of all employees needing re-skilling by that time. Hong said that these percentages could increase even more due to rising demand for digital tools and processes.
“We support the Malaysian Government’s lead to continuously promote access to digital technologies coupled with digital literacy and transferable skills,” said Hong. “Youth employment should be prioritised coupled with initiatives to improve online learning experiences.”
SAP is collaborating with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) on the MyUniAlliance programme which provides training for some three thousand students per year. Eighteen higher learning institutes, including two foreign universities, have participated in the programme.
In collaboration with the ASEAN Foundation, SAP also hosts the ASEAN Data Science Explorers initiative at both national and regional levels. The objective, here, is to encourage youths to embrace analytics skills to see through various projects to benefit communities and countries.
Encouragement for SME readiness for 4IR is also an important priority for businesses to embrace cutting-edge digital technologies to realise productivity and efficiency gains.
Many solutions that were once the exclusive domain of large corporates have been scaled in capacity – and price – and are now within reach of local SMEs. One such affordable solution currently available is the SAP Business One Starter Pack offering developed by a local solutions provider priced from RM1,488.