COVID-19 shows importance of digitalisation for SMEs, says MDEC

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Kuala Lumpur, 11 August 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that digitalisation is key for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to continue being able to deliver good customer experience and has accelerated the momentum of digital adoption, says the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Chief executive officer Surina Shukri said pre-COVID, there was a notion that digitalisation was optional as businesses back then felt that their businesses had been smooth even without much digital adoption.

She said businesses started to consider embarking on this journey when they realised, on the macro standpoint, that the world keeps on changing, there are new competitors in the market and a new business model.

“We started to see that momentum building up in 2019, but what COVID-19 has done is really accelerated and demonstrated that digitalisation is key because it helps businesses to be better, faster and cheaper (to run), at the same time continuing to deliver good customer experience.

“Right now, SMEs are no longer at the ‘why’ stage of the journey, but more towards the ‘how’ part – they are trying to figure out how to embark on this journey, and we are here to address that,” she said during a panel session at the SME Digital Summit today.

Another panellist, Malaysia Productivity Corp’s (MPC) Champion of Digital Productivity Nexus, Datuk Wei Chuan Beng said the first step in the digitalisation journey is for the leaders of organisations to take the lead.

He said any big undertaking would need to come from the leadership level to guide the organisation to overcome any obstacles and bring the awakening within the company.

“Leaders need to develop the people if they do not have the skills and find the funding if the company lacks funding.

“There is no such thing as something that is ready for usage because there will always be a need for tweaking, customising, adopting, training and finally achieving the breakthrough together,” he added.

The SME Digital Summit, a week-long digital event organised by MDEC, engages local SMEs, digital solution providers, corporates and other players via curated digital sessions with practical takeaways needed to thrive in today’s changing business climate and economy.

-BERNAMA