Understand importance of digitisation, Malaysian SMEs told

KUALA LUMPUR — Small and Medium enterprise (SME) business owners looking into adopting digitalisation and technology have been urged not to sideline the importance of digitising their data.

Bosch Rexroth Sdn Bhd director Royce Tan said as most data acquisition is still in paper form, this may not present real-time data for companies to make reasonable decisions as it could be outdated or incorrect.

Besides, he said, usage of the right software that analyses real-time data is also crucial as it would be the key to manage and process data in the company’s effort to achieve cost-effective and efficient production.

“Although they (SMEs) may want to have the latest machines such as robots and other automated machines, data must first be presented in digital form that is real-time and correct.

“You also need to know what data that you need to process to get the intended results before you invest in digitalising your business,” he said at a forum titled ‘Technology Platform: Towards Affordable & Cost Effective Digitalisation Process’ organised by SIRIM Bhd today.

Tan also urged SMEs to change their mindset and understand the stages of the Industrial Revolution to make better and informed decisions when transforming themselves through the learning of case studies of SMEs in more advanced countries.

“SIRIM can take the lead to support SMEs by getting more big companies or multinationals to be part of this by sharing experience and using the incentives given by the government to guide local SMEs in terms of improving management and knowledge, besides providing grants,” said Tan.

Meanwhile, another panellist, Hitachi Malaysia managing director Chew Huat Seng, encouraged SMEs to constantly review their business plan to ensure that they are on track and are achieving the intended results.

He said if a problem occurs, the SME should be able to understand the problem through correct data analysis and identify how technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) can help the company.

“Do not rely squarely on your solutions provider or the system supplier. This is because they may understand your objective but may not help solve your problem,” said Chew.

Before making a big investment, he said, smaller companies that are just starting to transform should understand and identify how to collect data using the easiest method, which in turn would cost them less in frustration and financial investment.

On another note, Huawei Malaysia’s Cloud & AI Business Group vice president Lim Chee Siong said in moving forward to assist Malaysian SMEs to adopt the digitalisation environment, the government could create a simple portal that gives access to information in understanding the concept and direction of digitalisation.

“Through this portal, SMEs can seek help and find out what kind of assistance that they need, through a task force that comprises government agencies and the private sector, where both parties collaborate to consult these SMEs, as most SMEs cannot afford to appoint a consultant themselves,” said Lim.

The forum, moderated by SIRIM president & group chief executive Ir Dr Ahmad Fadzil Mohamad Hani, was also broadcast live on Facebook.

— BERNAMA