Covid accelerates SME’s digital adoption

MDEC says digitalisation will help businesses be better, faster and cheaper to run and still deliver a good customer experience.

KUALA LUMPUR: 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 had been operating smoothly even without much digital adoption.

She said businesses only started to consider embarking on this digital journey when they realised, from a macro standpoint, that there were new competitors in the market and new business models.

“We started to see digitalisation momentum building up in 2019, but what Covid-19 has done is really accelerate and demonstrate that digitalisation is key because it helps businesses to be better, faster and cheaper to run, while continuing to deliver a good customer experience.

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

Another panellist, Malaysia Productivity Corp’s (MPC) Digital Productivity Nexus champion 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 leadership to guide the organisation to overcome any obstacles.

“Leaders need to develop the company’s workforce 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 use because there will always be a need for tweaking, customising, adopting, training and finally achieving the breakthrough together,” he said.

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.