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IBM Optimistic on Budget 2021 to Help Malaysian Businesses in Their Digital Journey
November 18, 2020 News


As parliamentarians continue to debate on the Budget 2021, IBM is already beginning to look at the positive outcomes from the budget allocation for technology development in 2021. Having been supplying solutions, be it hardware or software, to businesses and government agencies in the country, IBM continues to be an important vendor in the nation’s development.

For IBM, they see the Budget 2021 as a strategic impetus towards economic recovery. According to Catherine Lian, Managing Director of IBM Malaysia, there are three key highlights from Budget 2021 which will not only help businesses in their digital transformation journey but also enable them to be ready for any eventuality.

They are:

  • Achieving a target recovering economy growth of 6.5% to 7.5% in 2021.
  • Allocation towards industrial digital transformation schemes.
  • Allocation towards the reskilling and upskilling of employees.

“The comprehensive measures unveiled in [the] budget clearly prioritises digitalisation, transformation and education. IBM’s vision is consistent on this and we support the government’s vision as well. IBM intends to help Malaysia navigate this crisis by building resiliency and driving competitiveness”, said Catherine.

At the same time, she also mentioned that two dominant forces driving digital transformation are the hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence. More organisations, large or small, from any industry are looking to see how they can transform themselves with the use of these technologies.

Catherine explained that while IBM continues to help businesses in their transformation journey, the challenge most of them face is in ensuring they have the right skillsets with them. Be it SMEs or even government agencies, there is a huge lack of skills especially as the demand for modern applications and AI increases.

Which is why, IBM feels that programs like P-tech which was launched last year, enables them to train more students to fill the gap. Also, IBM is hoping to offer more training towards the upskilling and reskilling of employees through MDEC and the many other government agencies once the budget has been approved. This includes running base-education programs on the transformation journey of AI and the hybrid cloud.

With 19% of Malaysian organisation’s IT spend allocated to the cloud, a large chunk on public cloud and a significant percentage of that spending on hybrid cloud environments.

“A scalable, flexible and cloud-based IT infrastructure is key to transformation. Financial service institutions, government agencies as well as GLCs adopt transformation the fastest. The services they look for include HR procurement and finance”, said Catherine.

The diagram below shows how IBM has been partnering agencies in the adoption of technology.

Interestingly, for SMEs, Catherine said that they are looking more towards secure payment portals and how to become more effective in retraining skillsets due to current situation. Most SMEs are not transformation skills-based, which is why many businesses suffered during the pandemic. SMEs are also looking at how they can drive the supply chain more efficiently.

With that said, Catherine pointed out how both IBM and RedHat are also collaborating on providing cloud-based opportunities to businesses here. The hybrid, multi-cloud platform is a testament of the collaboration to manage business infrastructure savings, workloads, applications and business flexibility. Together, they hope to foster open source innovation and the open hybrid cloud model.

As Catherine puts it, “having partnered with Malaysia for almost 60 years, IBM’s mission is to consistently support the government’s vision to develop a knowledge-based digital society and transform it into a high-income nation through the socialisation of transformation technologies”.