Some of Malaysia's leading industry practitioners' such as Multimedia Development Corporation [MDeC], PIKOM's Outsourcing Malaysia, Symantec Corporation, Akamai, Hitachi Data Systems, Oracle Corporation, Brocade, The AIMS Group, Fujitsu, VMware, and Microsoft participate - in random order - in this 'virtual roundtable' to present their take of 2013 as well as a look ahead to 2014.
A version of this feature, together with a companion feature Malaysia Budget 2014: ICT industry reactions, has been included in the January-February 2014 print edition of Computerworld Malaysia, which is available to subscribers.
Photo - YBhg Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, Chief Executive Officer, Multimedia Development Corporation Berhad (MDeC)
As the lead agency responsible for the development of the ICT industry in Malaysia, MDeC is pleased with the growth of the ICT industry in the country this year and we are enthusiastic about the possibilities that await us and our local technology players in 2014.
In 2013, we continued on the momentum of 2012 and achieved another record breaking year with MSC [Multimedia Supercorridor] Malaysia delivering its best revenue performance to date, RM33.53 billion [US$10.37 billion], an increase of 5.7 percent from the previous year, while also drawing RM2.92 billion [US$0.9 billion] in investments, a 17 percent increase from 2011.
Furthermore, the average salaries for employees working with MSC Malaysia companies have risen by more than 52 percent between 2009 and 2012. At RM5,317.08 [US$1,644], it is 2.5 times higher than the national average salary of RM1,984.00 [US$613.58]. This further cements MSC Malaysia's ability to create high value jobs that attract top industry talents, in tandem with Malaysia's vision of becoming a high income nation.
In 2014, we will continue our aim of elevating the local ICT industry through the following areas;
#Focus 1 : Going Global - Local MSC Malaysia players establishing firmer footing in the international landscape
Having established new international partnerships and collaborations in 2013, we believe 2014 will be the year where such partnerships go into maturity, allowing our MSC Malaysia companies to establish a firmer footing in the international landscape.
Of notable mention are partnerships between MSC Malaysia companies and American companies in Silicon Valley which have resulted in the launch of MOL online game and digital goods distribution and payment platform in North and Latin America and a collaboration between JOOTA, a Malaysian technology start-up in the social media space, with BrandX, a digital communications agency based in Silicon Valley, to reach out to the North American and global audience.
On the other side of the pond, a Malaysian company is also making a name for itself in the advanced medical informatics space. iGene through its UK subsidiary iGene Ptd Lte has launched the first of its 18 state-of-the-art digital autopsy facilities for the United Kingdom, in Sheffield, this year. In 2014, we will see the establishment of more of these facilities in the UK while also paving the way for greater collaboration between iGene and potential European partners.
To this effect, MDeC will look at advancing our Go-Global Initiative in the coming year, especially with the establishment of the new MDeC office in Silicon Valley. This is the next logical step to enable us to further build on the foundations that we have laid with venture capitalists and technopreneurs in the region, and the United States. Having a physical presence in the heart of one of the world's most innovative places will definitely enable us to continuously facilitate these linkages in the most efficient manner.
#Focus 2 : Bigger push for Big Data
There is no denying that Big Data is the new Cloud, with IT analysts the world over predicting that more companies and organisations will seek to leverage on the insights and power of big data analytics to chart organisations' vision and strategy in the coming year. Thus, we are pleased to announce the collaboration between local outfit Pulsate with Dell, Intel and Revolution Analytics to develop a Big Data Centre of Excellence and Big Data Academy in Malaysia.
To complement this, MDeC will also aim to unlock the opportunities arising out of Big Data by introducing the Big Data Analytics Initiative Funds. This move will allow local companies to quickly adopt big data analytics and facilitate the development of Malaysian talents into a strong pool of data scientists, which is fast becoming the most sought after job in the global IT industry.
#Focus 3 : DM354 - The next phase of Digital Malaysia
In 2012, we unveiled Digital Malaysia and its first wave of eight projects aimed at moving Malaysia towards a high-income nation with digital economy at the core. In August 2013, the initial eight projects under Digital Malaysia have cumulatively contributed RM288 million [US$89.07 million] in Gross National Income (GNI) and saw the creation of 3,335 high value jobs.
In 2014, there will be a greater push for Digital Malaysia's adoption in focus communities through the Digital Malaysia roadmap, DM354. DM354 is an all-encompassing plan that addresses three ICT areas; access, adoption and usage across five key subsectors; ICT Services, eCommerce, ICT Manufacturing, ICT Trade, and ICT Content and Media, which specifically targets the four important Digital Malaysia communities. These communities include; the B40 group (the lower 40 percent of the Malaysian population in terms of household income), digital entrepreneurs, small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), and youths.
Over the years, MDeC has been quick to respond to global IT trends and industry market demands and has executed various programmes to drive the development of Malaysian ICT industry. The focus outlined above will indeed allow us to do this further while also creating an environment that supports the pervasive adoption of ICT across all citizens and industry. No doubt Malaysians across all walks of life will go further and do more with technology in 2014 and MDeC is deeply honoured to be a part of this transformative journey.