Digitalisation shaping up to be part of new norm
02 Feb 2021
PETALING JAYA: Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing movement restrictions, digitalisation is shaping up to be part of the new normal as the process is being pushed to the forefront by businesses.
In this journey, home-grown tech startup Exabytes’ founder and CEO, Chan Kee Siak (pix), observed that one of the primary challenges in digitalisation is the lack of understanding on its implementation and objective, exacerbated by a lack of digital talent in the company as well as being stuck in the traditional channels and methods.
However, he noted that the obstacles of digitalisation are not limited to businesses alone, as there are also shortcomings on the infrastructure side of things.
“Many key areas and locations in towns or commercial buildings still have blind spots of coverage. Without a mobile signal, it causes inconvenience to daily transactions such as the usage of ewallet payments,” Chan told SunBiz.
Similarly, many households in the country are still stuck with slow broadband connections and unable to upgrade to faster generation broadband.
On the regulatory side, privacy issues relating to a consumer’s digital footprint still exist, for example, the concerns over WhatsApp sharing its data with Facebook MY suggestions.
On this issue, Chan suggested a nationwide digital master plan that spans across all government and agencies and setting minimum criteria or requirements, key performance indexes as well as objectives and key results for each initiative.
To address the issues, the CEO said government ministries and agencies should work towards raising the bar on their digital standards.
“When the government takes the lead, the private sector will follow through and it also creates a lot of new economic opportunities for the business sector,” he said.
“There is a need to ensure that priorities are given to local suppliers and to have better transparency.”
Chan favoured the provision of tax rebates over grants – which he said are often abused – to spur improvements in digital infrastructure.
He argued that tax rebates are the better approach as there is an emphasis towards being profitable and this would motivate businesses to be more profitable.
In regard to its ‘Sama-Sama Digital’ initiative with Ekuinas’ Dana Ihsan Covid-19 Iltizam, which provides an additional RM5,000 subsidy on top of the SME digitalisation grant for a total of RM10,000 per company for selected Exabytes digital solutions, the CEO said the initiative was well received by its customers.
He noted that the initiative has allayed the fears of entrepreneurs and business owners who are hesitant to go digital due to the initial upfront cost.
“With our Sama-Sama Digital initiative, we are helping them not only to fund but support them to validate their ideas and grow further.”
Looking ahead, Chan is certain about the growth of the internet and digital economy. He said it will continue to represent a bigger part of the overall economy as people’s behaviour has already changed towards things online.
He pointed out that students and teachers have coped with learning and teaching online, groceries and household shopping online has become more common and office workers are able to work with cloud technology.
Even most government-related applications are also now online.
“Online/digital has now become our real world,” the Exabytes founder stated.
Source: The Sun Daily