​Digital Transformation: Shape Up or Ship Out Short

| 10th August, 2015

Malaysia's business leaders can no longer ignore the call for business transform to capture opportunities for growth. 

By Roger Ling 

The World Bank Group, through its Doing Business 2015 report, recently highlighted that Malaysia ranks 18th worldwide when it comes to the ease for a local entrepreneur to set up a business that complies with the country's regulations. While the report cited limitations such as the economy’s proximity to large markets and the quality of the country's infrastructure services, it is clear that Malaysia has relatively healthy fundamentals to encourage entrepreneurship, and this is an improvement from 2014 when Malaysia was ranked 20th. In fact, Malaysia is ranked above the regional average of East Asia and Pacific countries. Considering that other Asian economies such as Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea are in the top 5, it only spells one key message: increased competition leads to industry disruption. 

As traditional industry incumbents feel the heat from the mushrooming of innovative competition, what is at stake is the viability to not only maintain leadership but to evolve in such a way that green field opportunities are captured. Organizations need to be faster to market and improve customer service, so as to increase market share. Against the backdrop of new competition, rising costs, and the inherent issues in legacy systems, the key question is: Where does one invest?

IDC is of the opinion that having a digital transformation (DX) strategy is fundamental for any organization to survive and thrive in today's fast-changing marketplace. Therefore, it is shape up or ship out. Without a clear strategy, today’s leaders risk becoming tomorrow’s followers instead. While the idea of digital transformation may not necessarily be new, it is imperative that organizations look at it from a more holistic manner. Business leaders need to master not only the disciplines but also the alchemy of combining and managing their interactions to create digital gold. IDC suggests addressing DX along 5 key dimensions: 

1. Leadership DX 

2. Omni-Experience DX 

3. WorkSource DX 

4. Operating Model DX 

5. Information DX 

While Malaysian businesses decide on how they plan to shape up, one thing is certain: With disruptive market forces at Malaysia’s doorstep, this thousand-mile journey is an opportunity for digital transformation, and at the end of the day, anyone’s game.