Image (CIO) - Cloud security
In the spirit of Computerworld Malaysia's recent set of features on the country's prospects for the coming year, [see What's really in store for Malaysia in 2017?), the spotlight now narrows down on the part security is playing across the industry in the country.
Computerworld Malaysia reached out to Fitri Abdullah, who recently took up the helm as Country Managing Director of Oracle Malaysia, which itself is transitioning rapidly into a cloud infrastructure provider. This interview features a cloud service provider's take on security and is part of an inaugural leadership insight series prompted by the forthcomng 11th annual Computerworld Malaysia Security Summit on 20th April 2017..
Photo - Fitri Abdullah, Country Managing Director of Oracle Malaysia
We asked Fitri to start with his take on the 'highs and lows' in the local economy iver the last 12 months.
[Fitri] There have been a number of highs over the last year driving the technology industry in Malaysia. First is the Government's continuous efforts to improve Internet connectivity with its recent decision to allocate RM1bil to this effort. Second is the increased focus by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) on the development of the country's digital economy, which extends to industry partnerships to grow the talent pool to meet the demands of the future digital workforce.
The most significant impact is coming from more local companies focusing on transforming their business digitally. According to IDC, 34 percent of Malaysia-based organisations are undergoing digital transformation programs in their efforts to improve their overall competitiveness in the marketplace.
As an example, UEM Group is an Oracle customer who is using Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud to support its digital transformation journey. With more than 14,000 employees and operations in several countries around the world, UEM Group required an integrated ERP Cloud platform to better manage all its information and accommodate the requirements of its internal and external stakeholders.
What's your view on Malaysia's Digital Economy ambitions and the aim to achieve developed nation status by 2020?
Malaysia should actually be proud of its technological progress. Sitting high up on the Asia Cloud Computing Association's (ACCA) Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2016, Malaysian companies are better poised to adopt cloud technology compared with many other Asian countries.
However, it is not a time to be complacent, especially as we move nearer towards realising Malaysia's aspiration to be a Digital Nation by 2020.
For example, IDC recently highlighted the need for the benefits of cutting edge technology transformation be clearly demonstrated beyond the IT department, and called for the need for a stronger partnership between the CIO and the Lines of Business (LoB). Currently, Malaysia has a clearer demarcation between the business and the functions it supports shown by the fact that from a recent survey conducted by the analyst house, 82 percent of the IT spend funding originated from the CIO's office, while only 18 percent was driven by LoBs. This is in stark contrast to countries like Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and even China.
Our businesses, and especially the CIOs within them, need to prepare for that. What we can learn from the experience in other nations where that has not happened is that business transformation tends to be impacted by becoming siloed, and the CIO becomes side-lined, as the LoBs take back control of their budgets and drive ahead themselves.
Moving on to Security, what can be done to better allay CxO security concerns in 2017?
The black hats are increasing in sophistication, expanding their activities on a scale unseen before and putting a strain on organisations' abilities to identify and prevent them. As a result, anomaly detection is often the only way to spot the needle in a haystack.