What Budget 2017 means for Malaysia's IT industry

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By AvantiKumar
Nov. 21, 2016

K Raman, MD, Microsoft Malaysia

K Raman, (pic above) managing director, Microsoft Malaysia, echoed the industry welcome and especially that the Budget "recognises the contribution of the digital economy to the country's GDP. Initiatives such as the Malaysia Digital Hub and the creation of the world's first Digital Free Zone are steps in the right direction to bolster the country's strategic ICT thrust."

"With the announcement of the first ever Digital Free Zone in the world, set to stimulate growth and drive efficiency in the digital world by merging physical and virtual zones to facilitate international eCommerce, Raman said. "This is a very exciting time for Malaysia, as a growing digital economy needs a strong support structure and ecosystem to thrive. Initiatives such as the Digital Free Zone will set the country apart as a key differentiator amongst other competing nations."

"Microsoft Malaysia also lauds the announcement of the Digital Maker Movement and the Malaysia Digital Hub, which will help nurture talents and create innovators, while enabling the country to be a fully sustainable digital economy," he said, pointing to the RM4.7 billion (US$1.12 billion) allocation for 20 public universities to ensure higher education will be on par with global standards. Additional funds were also allocated for scholarships and to foster a stronger research culture in the country.

Not forgetting educators, the Budget also tabled that 430,000 teachers will get free tablets to aid in their profession, said Raman. "While we're equipping students with the skills to compete globally, we're also looking at creating new innovative experiences and scenarios for our teachers in today's 21st century classrooms. This is in line with the Government's initiatives to provide the tools necessary for this to take place."

Commenting on the SME proposals, Raman said: "Some 97 percent of business establishments in Malaysia are SMEs, and at Microsoft, we understand the value they lend to the nation. They account for 57 percent of the country's total employment, we are committed to ensuring that their transformational journey is complete via initiatives like the Cloud Solution Providers (CSP) Program. The allocations will provide the necessary innovation and advance solutions for SMEs to improve their competitiveness within the industry."

Nick Lim - Vice President, ASEAN and Greater China, CA Technologies

Nick Lim, (pic above) vice president, ASEAN and Greater China CA Technologies, said the company was "impressed with the digital and innovation-related incentives announced during Budget 2017."

"Businesses today after all are using software to innovate, differentiate their services and respond to customers' needs in a high-demand and fast-paced environment with greater agility and efficiency," said Lim.

"The application economy has significantly raised customer expectations and is bringing disruption to every industry. Businesses can no longer continue with their status quo in order to own the customer experience," he said.

 "To succeed and leapfrog their competitions in this digital era, it is imperative for businesses to integrate software into all aspects of their operations and embrace digital transformation. All of the above (incentives) bode well for Malaysia's digital transformation agenda, which is already well underway," Lim added.

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