What Budget 2017 means for Malaysia's IT industry

(NEW UPDATE) A new commentary from IDC has joined CyberSecurity Malaysia, MaGIC, VMware, MDEC, PIKOM, Gartner, iMoney, Cisco, Symantec, Microsoft, CA Technologies, Autodesk, Canvas Instructure, and Uber.

By AvantiKumar
Nov. 21, 2016

Albert Chai - Managing Director for Cisco Malaysia

Albert Chai, (pic above) managing director, Cisco Malaysia, said the industry applauds the continued focus on the digital economy and that this should bring "new economic opportunities being realised from public and private partnerships, namely in the areas of infrastructure, talent and cybersecurity."

In addition to the allocation to MCMC mentioned earlier, Chai said: "As announced during the 28th annual MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting, the setting up of more locations as Malaysia Digital Hub will provide startups, innovators and technopreneurs with a platform to collaborate with like-minded digital-ready organisations. This will create an ecosystem that will continuously bring fresh and disruptive ideas to the market, and accelerate the creation of new products and services."

He also joined the general call to address ongoing talent gap issues. "To unlock the value from all these initiatives, Malaysia needs the right talent. The introduction of a new pass category, Foreign Knowledge Tech Entrepreneurs, is one encouraging measure as it will help us build a digital ready workforce swiftly, allowing our country to establish another critical foundation for Digitized Malaysia."

"Cybersecurity is [also] another building block for our nation's digitisation journey as the growing concern of more sophisticated threats will hinder the adoption of innovative technologies in Malaysia," Chai said. "Cybersecurity can no longer be an afterthought for businesses and companies. They will need to regard it as a prerequisite in order to capture the US$24 trillion (RM100 trillion) potential value enabled by digitisation. In fact, effective cybersecurity strategies alone will have the potential to fuel an estimated USD5.3 trillion (RM22.55 trillion) in value in the private sector globally over the next decade. A third of this estimated value, US$1.7 trillion (RM7.1 trillion) will stem from the protection of intellectual property and the avoidance of data breach costs.

Sanjay Rohatgi Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Symantec

Sanjay Rohatgi, (pic above) senior vice president, Asia Pacific and Japan, Symantec, said, "The 2017 Budget is reflective of Malaysia's rapidly-transforming Digital Economy. Rohatgi also pointed to cybersecurity concerns. "As more Malaysians embrace the Digital Economy via government initiatives such as eRezeki, eUsahawan and eCommerce, there needs to be an increased awareness on cybersecurity. Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report 21 shows that cyber attackers are not slowing down. Malaysia ranks 47th globally in terms of ransomware attacks, with 5,069 attacks in 2015 alone."

 "To improve Malaysia's digital threat landscape, Malaysians need to educate themselves about security risks and best online practices," he said, and called for "industry to play its part in the nation's on-going cybersecurity development as Malaysians continue to embrace the Digital Economy."

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