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SMEs, traditional firms still face challenges in digital transformation

29 Apr 2020 / 23:10 H.

PETALING JAYA: The implementation of the movement control order (MCO) due to the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on commercial activities have forced many companies to look at ways to digitise their businesses but most small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and traditional industries still face a number of challenges in digital transformation.

Speaking at the Digitalization of Current Biz #MCO webinar, Selangor Information Technology and E- Commerce Council (Sitec) CEO Yong Kai Ping said these challenges include lack of relevant knowledge/overall strategy, lack of human resources, lack of resources, uncertain return on investment, and lack of willingness on the part of top management for full implementation of digitisation in the company operation.

To that end, Yong said, Sitec and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will jointly launch a digital centre in May to help SMEs digitise through consultation and provide relevant information such as the SME Digitalisation Matching Grant.

He also explained the digitisation is the way forward to ensure business sustainability after this crisis, and that the process is fairly simple. This includes concepts such as digital sales tools including web-store platforms, online user behaviour, understanding user consumption patterns and competitors through data and the online to offline marketing model.

Biztory founder and CEO Bryan Soong said the pandemic has led many SMEs to switch to e-commerce. He encouraged micro and small enterprises to move to e-commerce, which could not only reduce costs but also achieve sustainable development.

“Small and micro enterprises could use big data to adopt an omnichannel retail model, selling goods or services by integrating physical and e-commerce channels, and providing customers with a non-discriminatory buying experience,” he said.

Soong also strongly encouraged micro and small enterprises to upload data to the cloud for security, so they do not have to worry about losing critical data and business applications, and can view data at any time.

Meanwhile, Beckhoff Automation managing director Daniel Tay pointed out industrial automation is very important to further development of Malaysia’s manufacturing industry.

However, most of the country’s manufacturing industry is still between 2.0 and 3.0, with only a few manufacturing industries having moved toward 3.0- 4.0.

He said adoption of open technologies in industrial automation is critical to sustainable development, and computer-based control is one of the open technologies.

The Digitalization of Current Biz #MCO” webinar was organised by the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Committee.

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