Low technology readiness a concern, says Pikom

  • Pikom concerned with weaknesses highlighted in WEF Competitiveness Report.
  • Leadership Summit held from Sept 27-28 will coincide with release of Pikom ICT Strategic Review 2012/2013.

PIKOM National ICT Month PCTHE National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) has expressed concern over the issues highlighted in the information and communications technology (ICT) space, from the recently released Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The report saw Malaysia fall down four notches this year to 25th place, behind other developed Asian countries such as Hong Kong (9th), Japan (10th), Taiwan (13th) and South Korea (19th).

Pikom chairman Woon Tai Hai (pic, left) said that in particular, the low level of technological readiness, with Malaysia ranking 51st, was of concern along with the rate of ICT adoption.

For Malaysia to improve its technology readiness ranking, the WEF report stated that three areas require improvement: international internet bandwidth (ranked 83rd), broadband internet subscriptions (68th) and mobile broadband subscriptions (64th).

“We believe that there are many challenges that need to be overcome, and this will be a key focus moving forward especially with only eight more years to go to achieve the nation’s goal of being a high income economy by 2020,” said Woon.

He was speaking during a press conference after the launch of Pikom’s National ICT Month 2012, themed “Innovation for Digital Opportunity”, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

However, he was quick to add that he believes it was not a question of a lack of strategy or plans, as the government has already put in place initiatives such as the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Digital Malaysia programme.

“It’s a question of ‘can we execute these plans fast enough?’ Perhaps we have been a bit slow in that regard, falling behind not because we don’t have a vision, but because we have not been as quick as the others in execution.  

“The show must go on and ICT industry is eager to get things done and to do our part to help improve the ranking.” 

ICT month events

As part of the month’s activities, Pikom has organized two signature events namely the Pikom Leadership Summit (Sept 27-28) and Smart Sourcing Summit (Oct 10 – 11). The Leadership Summit is now in its fourth year and will be held at Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur.

The two-day conference and will see over 500 industry leaders, thought gurus, analysts, Government decision makers, academia and IT users attending, Pikom noted.

Speakers include Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili and the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) CEO Datuk Badlisham Ghazali. MDeC is the the country's ICT custodian.

The first day of the summit will feature a panel discussion on the National ICT roadmap and Digital Malaysia plan. Topics on e-commerce, mobile and social media will feature heavily on the second day of the conference.

“The highlight of the summit will be the release of our ICT Strategic Review, with this year’s edition featuring a detailed pullout dedicated to Digital Malaysia along with a new section on data privacy and the legal implications,” said Pikom president, Shaifubahrim Saleh (pic, right).

On what was on the association’s wish list for the upcoming budget, Woon said that key items submitted this year was the proposal to resurrect a PC purchase scheme, funding to address the lack of market surveys and statistics to aid industry growth along with the cost, coverage and quality of broadband in the country.

“We remain committed to our stand for the government to establish a single ICT ministry but have not included that in this year’s proposal in favor of more pertinent issues,” said Woon.

PIKOM Digital Lifestyle ExpoThe launch event today (Sept 7) also kicked off the World Cyber Games Asian Championship 2012, the first time the regional gaming competition has been hosted in the country, and the Digital Lifestyle Expo, a showcase of lifestyle gadgets and applications.

Present to officiate the launch was Datuk Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad, deputy secretary general (Policy & Innovation) of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), who reaffirmed the government’s commitment to support the ICT industry.

“The Ministry continues to support the remarkable work done by Pikom, which has played an important role in setting the stage for local companies to succeed and to forge ahead confidently in the ICT arena,” she said.

Sharifah added that IT spending is forecasted to grow at 9 to 10% this year, which is a positive jump especially when global IT spending is forecasted to have a 5% growth rate.

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