PETALING JAYA: A quarter of Malaysian firms have accelerated their digital transformation plans as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, while 60% have slowed down, according to a study by Workday.
The study titled “Workday Digital Agility Index” found that due to a lack of digital agility, 90% of the 900 business leaders and C-suite executives across nine markets in Asia Pacific surveyed, have struggled to make changes to their financial plans for the year, with 83% unable to realign their organisational structures.
In terms of people and processes, it revealed that 79% of organisations have been unable to track their people’s skillsets to form special taskforces in response to the pandemic, and 56% were not able to manage new approval and business processes.
The enterprise technology company found that Malaysian organisations identified customer engagement (65%), the workplace (52%) and the human resources function (38%) as the hardest hit areas in their business.
It pointed out that a shortfall in digital skills has proven to be a significant barrier for Malaysian organisations to perform better digitally amid the pandemic, as 69% of them lack an enterprise-wide culture of agility and 67% of organisations also say that less than half of their people are equipped with digital skills and capabilities.
Furthermore, Workday’s study revealed that 13% of local respondents stated that they have almost no employees with digital experience or skills.
“The lack of digital expertise may be due to a prevailing mindset within Malaysian organisations of not viewing talent as a source of competitive advantage and therefore not investing in finding and nurturing it.”
This is reflected in the survey, which found 79% of Malaysian organisations do not see talent as an important strategic asset and lack the proper tools and processes to manage it.
On the other hand, it found that 92% of respondents see digital transformation as a priority, with 96% using digital technologies to execute their business continuity plans.
Workday Asia’s president Rob Wells observed that the recent events have brought the importance for businesses to be digitally agile into focus, as organisations can no longer adapt to rapid change without the right technological backbone.
Meanwhile, IDC Asia Pacific’s associate vice-president Daniel-Zoe Jimenez noted digital transformation is no longer an option but it is a matter of survival.