Business leaders in Southeast Asia must crack three key areas when using digital technologies to secure future growth
In partnership with TM ONE
Digital transformation continues to be a top buzzword in Southeast Asia. IDC’s 2020 Digital SMB Pulse Survey confirms that more than 90% of small and medium businesses in Asia Pacific increased their reliance on technologies in the search for increased market share, customer engagement and higher employee morale – and, of course, to enable remote working.
But while setting up remote work, e-payments and teleconferencing are a solid start, analysts warn there is much more to digital technology than meets the eye – such as understanding the best uses for automation, artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT) and big data analytics, among others. In fact, a Boston Consulting Group white paper warns that successful digital transformations are rare, but getting that certain factors right can flip the odds of success from 30% to 80%.
The urgency for getting it right is significant: another study by the group, involving more than 200 companies, revealed that “digital leaders achieved 1.8x higher earnings growth than digital laggards – and more than double the growth in total enterprise value.” To ramp up speed to market, discerning business leaders are turning to partnerships as a preferred approach.
As a one-stop centre, TM ONE – the enterprise and public sector business solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad – is an ideal partner, supporting you in the key digital areas of cloud computing, cybersecurity and smart services.
Here are three ways a partnership with TM ONE can make your digital transformation a success.
Step One: Cloud computing at the heart of transformation
Cloud computing has proved to be the primary enabler of remote work during pandemic lockdowns. More employees than ever before are using cloud-powered applications such as Google Workspace, iCloud and, of course, email.
Even before this, on a business level, cloud computing occupied a powerful role in fast-tracking the digitalisation of both the private and public sectors. According to IDC, Southeast Asia’s cloud computing market is growing and is expected to be worth US$40.32 billion by 2025. Reflecting this trend, the Singapore sovereign fund recently announced plans to invest US$3.9 billion in building a data centre portfolio to respond to the booming cloud computing demand.
And when the pandemic caught much of the world off guard last year, the Malaysian government, for example, was able to quickly scale its digital capabilities via cloud computing and disperse relief funds to vast numbers of businesses in need.
The same holds true for education ministries around the world that had to quickly upscale online learning with limited in-house digital infrastructure. In countries like Mexico, cloud computing mixed with AI was able to monitor hospital waiting rooms at a time when medical resources were overstretched.
Another prime public sector example, the government of Malaysia has said its Cloud First strategy aims to move 80% of public data to private-public cloud systems by the end of next year, as part of a move to improve the efficiency of its services.
Offering cost-effective, easily scalable, high-speed digital infrastructure, TM ONE is the only Malaysian provider selected to help build this necessary infrastructure in the coming months in a group that includes Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
In addition to government ministries, TM ONE delivers cloud computing services to healthcare organisations and financial institutions, all of which understand the importance of digitalisation to stay competitive, secure and resilient in an age which demands greater agility and resilience.
A cybersecurity partner can protect against attacks and ensure regulation compliance. Photo: Adobe Stock
Step Two: Robust cybersecurity measures are a must
During the pandemic, Malaysia, Singapore and the rest of the region started experiencing a sharp rise of different types of cybercrime. Ransomware has been particularly pervasive and sophisticated. Remote working, especially with unsecured networks and unlocked devices, has seen malware more easily infiltrate organisations.
A Microsoft study showed that APAC had 1.7 times higher-than-average encounter rates for ransomware attacks than the rest of the world. Interpol’s 2021 cyber threat assessment expects cybercrime’s upward trend to continue exponentially in the ASEAN region.
As businesses and government bodies handle more personal data than ever before, a cyberattack poses a devastating risk to public trust, brand equity and revenue. Yet many organisations persist with reactive rather than proactive cybersecurity programmes, often entrusting these entrusted to already overstretched IT teams.
Analysts have warned that increasingly sophisticated, automated attacks demand advanced specialist cybersecurity skills. You can expect that the coming months will see a rise in specialised third-party cybersecurity partners offering real-time and comprehensive protection to your organisation’s devices, networks, applications, email systems and other digital properties.
On a more positive note, it is also worth noting that Singapore and Malaysia ranked among the top 10 nations in cybersecurity, coming in at the fifth (5) and eighth (8) spots respectively, according to this year’s Global Cybersecurity Index. Malaysia, in particular, punches well above its weight due to strong alliances with digitally advanced countries such as the US and the UK, have established a robust regulatory framework.
The right cybersecurity partner will help to ensure your organisation stays in compliance with these robust regulations and help to secure your digital journey.
Step Three: The power of smart services
The third essential step is the real goal of digitalisation. Tapping the intelligent, smart aspects of technology – smart services – draws together many capabilities. These result in improved efficiencies, reduced costs, as well as creating an innovation space to develop new products and services.
“Smart services transform enterprises and the public sector by embedding intelligence into critical infrastructure and everyday objects,” TM ONE’s Head of Innovation Solutions Maznan Deraman told Business Today back in July this year.
In the business space, smart services are boosting collaboration, efficiency and security by drawing together an array of solutions including digital document management, payment platforms, e-learning and even body-temperature screening.
Echoing a Harvard Business Review paper that highlights the transformation of companies across all sectors into service companies, industry experts foresee that smart services will impact a wide range of public and private functions.
In urban planning for example, harnessing smart services helps make public spaces safer. Manufacturing and logistics can more efficiently harness the power of IoT and AI technologies to improve operations, process data and increase revenue. Meanwhile, healthcare services will benefit from collaborative end-to-end platforms that bring together medical stakeholders and provide seamless service to patients.
With 5G connectivity on the horizon, businesses, cities and countries are gathering the tools to design integrated ecosystems that ensure data can be shared in almost real-time through smart services.
With its experience of 5G demonstration projects over the past two years, TM ONE is well poised to provide smart services such as city-wide and in-building surveillance, traffic analytics, smart street lights and smart public parking.
For most businesses, coming to practical terms with technologies can be intimidating. Malaysia’s TM ONE, which already uses its expertise and experience to help government and enterprise clients create their smart services vision, is well-positioned to partner with you to establish your digital journey.