The Malaysian government should focus more on public-private collaborations as a means tor achieving its Vision 2020/25, according to IDC.
Malaysia’s Vision 2020 is a national initiative by the country to uplift not just the local economy but Malaysian society as well.
IDC believes the public sector should focus on setting the direction and move towards building a balanced ecosystem through collaborations and creating an advanced economy.
“As the nation aims at establishing a scientific and progressive society, this requires the most cutting-edge research, innovations and technologies for us to achieve these goals,” said Sudev Bangah, managing director of ASEAN at IDC.
"Ultimately, the public sector should start considering how the ICT industry can fully benefit from the “digital economy” as well as create economic areas of new growth whether in jobs, sectors or physical locations.
“A joint effort between the public and private sector will create the foundation to increase the GDP, foreign investment, technological experience and expertise in the country."
The technology sector drives much of Malaysia’s GDP, a far cry from the traditional agriculture and commodity-based economy that once outperformed other sectors in the country.
Malaysia’s IT spend is expected to reach an estimated US$10 billion by end of 2018 according to a previously released IDC report, with an estimated 70-75 per cent of that still in hardware.
Regionally, spending on new technologies are expected to reach US$1.5 trillion by 2021, but with 60 per cent of regional businesses classified as digitally distraught, there are still many challenges ahead.
To take Malaysia to the next level, the public sector will need to drive much of this change and invest heavily in not just digital infrastructure but in software and expertise too, according to IDC.
These should be the areas that the public sector should focus on to bridge the digital divide in the country towards its Vision 2020/2025.
“Malaysia is one of the countries that has organically been moving towards being extra opportunistic in the utilisation of ICT,” added Randy Roberts, research director of IoT and telco at IDC Asia Pacific.
"The new government should implement new ways to achieve the vision especially in areas of research and development, infrastructure and science and technology (S&T).
“We have to start identifying how emerging technologies or IDC’s 'innovation accelerators', such as augmented and virtual reality, cognitive/AI systems, next-gen security, IoT and robotics can create new value for Malaysia to be on the same footing as other developing countries."
There have been some positive moves by the Malaysian government to improve their position in the digital economy, including a recent proposal to include internet access as a fundamental right in the country’s federal constitution.
Malaysia should not stop there and continue to improve its position in reference to their digital readiness through progressive policy moves that will positively impact the country’s GDP and better engage citizens through technology.
The government should set a target to be equivalent to leading countries in the region such as South Korea and Singapore, believes IDC.
Based on the findings of an IDC study - IDC’s Market Perspective: Nations and Internet of Things: A Comparative Assessment - Malaysia is ranked number eight out of 12 Asia Pacific countries in terms of IoT readiness based on nations’ GDP, government effectiveness, innovation, IoT spending and ICT spending.
As a result of these findings, IDC has encouraged the expansion of wired and wireless broadband networks to provide improved internet access for consumers as well as local enterprises in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, 2018 saw Malaysia slide three sports in the world digital competitiveness ranking from 24th position to 27th.
To help increase the country’s digital competitiveness and avoid a further slide, IDC urges an increase in public-private partnerships and the investment in building essential digital skills and knowledge by the public sector.