The ICT outlook for 2014: Pikom
By Cheah Kok Hoong December 24, 2013
- Local organisations receptive and experimental towards ‘transformational technologies’
- Pikom’s six strategic core thrusts closely aligned to the country’s ICT vision, says its chairman
THIS past year was one of opportunity for Malaysia’s ICT (information and communications technology) market, against a backdrop of a recovering global economy and despite the temporary slowdown leading up to the country’s 13th general election (GE 13) in May.
The latter part of 2013 also saw a national Budget that is expected to play a key role in reducing the country’s fiscal deficit; as well as the controversial GST (goods and services tax) finally being pushed through and which would take effect in 2016.
This will place a very large emphasis on the ICT industry to support the successful adoption of this ‘developed country taxing model.’
In 2013, Pikom expects the ICT market spending to pose single-digit growth. Also, according to our latest job market report, ICT continues to be one of the top-paying sectors in the country, with salary increments and the job market outlook remaining positive.
2014 tech trends
Within the business world, local organisations have been receptive and experimental in some cases, towards ‘transformational technologies’ such as cloud computing, and big data – developments that are being fuelled by the on-going enterprise mobility trend.
At a more granular basis, there is increased interest from both enterprises and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) for ICT business applications that can improve their customer relationship management (CRM) to reflect the expanded business coverage into e-commerce, social and mobile.
With the 4G spectrum rollout, the interest in the adoption of smart devices such as smartphones and tablets shot up, demonstrating the dynamism of the consumer IT retail market in relation to the advancements in the local telecommunication and connectivity segments.
The Malaysian Government’s Youth Communication Package (YCP) also played a role in boosting smartphone demand since January 2013.
From a broader point of view, ICT remains the primary enabler of Malaysia’s transformation into a knowledge-based and high-income country.
However, we are more acutely aware of our neighbours such as Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as the keenest competitors that are aggressively vying for international and multinational companies’ attention for ICT investments and contracts in this region.
Gearing up for 2014
To strengthen the current ICT market state to achieve the RM95 billion revenue target by 2017, Pikom’s five-year strategic plan outlines six core thrusts to realise more digital opportunities for its members.
They are: Globalise the Malaysian ICT industry; Increase competitiveness of the ICT industry; Develop human capital; Lead the digital trend; Enhance value to members, and; Accelerate the growth of Malaysian ICT demand.
Globalise Malaysia’s ICT industry
All of Pikom’s strategic core thrusts are closely aligned to the country’s ICT vision that is also being carried by various government bodies and ministries.
But a highlight would be our advocacy for local data centre and outsourcing services under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA)’s EPP3 initiative for Malaysia to be a regional world-class outsourcing hub; as well as the introduction of the Uptime Institute’s Data Centre certification programme to measure the reliability of Malaysian data centres to encourage more related IT investments here.
In 2014, Pikom will focus on building the professionalisation of the ICT sector and enabling more ICT engagements in the private and public sectors.
As the first step, ITO Consortium, a core effort between the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and Outsourcing Malaysia (a chapter of Pikom), has been established to bring together key outsourcers in Malaysia to collectively and more strongly bid for large and global IT outsourcing projects.
Next year, Pikom will also champion two more industrial certifications and strategic international alliances to augment Malaysia ICT industry’s positioning in the Asia Pacific market.
Apart from this, the talent gaps in local ICT fields are becoming more apparent. Pikom is looking to address the demands of IT skilled talents and knowledge workers via an ICT career campaign, a certification programme and collaborations with tertiary educational institutes.
On the consumer IT end, Pikom will continue to expand regional footprint via PC Fair in the same manner as how we brought PC Fair to Cambodia this year.
Enhancing value to the Industry
Today, the association is consciously courting memberships to create a wider level of stakeholder involvement in the country’s ICT stewardship for greater national impact.
Besides Pikom’s networking value, we are looking at to provide value extension to our members via sharper market updates, feedback, reports, talent surveys – all put together so that our members can benefit from deeper representation of the local ICT industry.
Pikom will continue to be the foremost and largest forum for ICT practitioners, managers, entrepreneurs, researchers and policy-makers to share knowledge and experience in the Malaysian ICT sector.
As the biggest voice of Malaysia’s ICT industry, PIKOM will continue to offer grass root industry insights that form its advisory services to the Government on policy, regulatory and economic issues.
Cheah Kok Hoong is chairman of the National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom), with 1,400 member companies which command about 80% of the total ICT trade in Malaysia.
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