“MODIFICATIONS are currently occurring. And as magnate, we have no choice however to adapt to these modifications,” says Perdana Leadership Foundation (PLF) Board of Trustees chairman Azman Hashim.

This statement, which was part of his opening speech, perfectly encapsulates PLF’s CEO Forum 2019. Held on April 4, the online forum is themed around the requirement to speed up the 4th Industrial Transformation (IR4.0) in Malaysia.

And the requirement is crucial. In the forum’s very first panel conversation, entitled “Understanding and Speeding Up the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the panellists tension that if Malaysia does not welcome and hasten their development into IR4.0– an industrial revolution marked by automation, data exchange, Internet of Things, cloud computing and expert system– they run the risk of falling back their neighbours.

” If we do not step up to the video game, you will discover that we will not have simply fallen back China, however a lot of our neighbours like Thailand and Vietnam, who are quickly reaching us,” says Dr Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International and Trade Industry (MITI), who was one of the panellists.

” Our relevance in the world is at stake, and this is something that we need to solve.”

Challenges and opportunities

Another of the panellist, Google Malaysia’s nation head Marc Woo, highlighted three crucial challenges that are affecting Malaysia’s venture into the fourth commercial transformation. The first is availability– that is, the speed of the country’s connection and access to the Web and services.

The second obstacle is in empowering little and medium enterprises (SMEs)– which form 98.5% of the country’s organisation facilities– to welcome the fourth commercial transformation and to offer them the toolsets and platform to drive it.

Finally, Woo reveals a dream that Malaysia can produce more “unicorns”– referring to startups with evaluations at US$ 1 billion– at a higher rate. “China produces one unicorn every four days. I believe Malaysia, through harnessing the power of Asean, might produce several unicorns in a year,” he states.

Panelist Ng Wan Peng, who is COO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), keeps in mind another concern to address: Skill. “For Malaysia to truly benefit from IR4.0, we need to have actually people trained as a user along with at the designer level,” she says.

” If you are not knowledgeable about what Industrial Transformation 4.0 has to do with and how it impacts your work, your organisation will not have the ability to take full advantage of it.”

CEO of Fusionex Ivan Teh, the final panellist of the session, says that he finds it “disconcerting” that the majority of action he gets when asking SMEs about IR4.0 is “I don’t know.”

” Their [the SMEs] typical reaction is ‘Where do I begin? What do I do?’ Some state it’s not for them– that IR4.0 it’s something for the MNCs and business, and not for me. This is an extremely stressing circumstance, due to the fact that we’re seeing a disturbance that is blurring the lines in between the physical and digital world,” he says.

By sticking to this mindset, Teh states that we will see merchants shutting down, and producers losing versus the competition.

fusionex ivan teh

Talent and education

Attending to issues about discovering talent to foray into IR4.0, Teh states that SMEs require to look at younger individuals– millennials and those simply entering the workforce– who he says are currently constructed for the innovation and innovations these days.

” If you provide a platform that is suitable, they will develop efficiently. They are naturally born in this digital world. You don’t have to fret that they will drown,” he quips.

When inquired about the worries of automation destroying jobs, Ng states that AI and robotics are said to produce more jobs that they get rid of, mentioning a study by the World Economic Online Forum (WEF) that mentions that the robot transformation will still create 58 million net new jobs.

Woo includes that “mankind is very resilient”, explaining that we’ve gone through multiple industrial revolutions which we’re finding new ways to earn money, an example being YouTubers.

” I think the development of a lot of platforms that are complimentary to utilize on the supply and demand side are creating brand-new jobs, in such a way. Mankind’s resilience and creativity will keep us going.”

Should the education system be overhauled to prepare the younger generation for IR4.0? Ong states that we should not merely take a look at it from the viewpoint of education, but from the viewpoint of frame of mind.

” Individuals, who are going through education whether at school or daily, will need to alter our frame of mind to consider what are the kinds of challenges and task chances in the future,” he states, adding that tasks that are in high need today– social networks managers and huge information managers, for example– did not exist 10 years ago.

” The benefit we have now is that youths today are a lot more in tune with digitalisation patterns compared to in the past.” https://www.digitalnewsasia.com/digital-economy/accelerate-now-ir40-or-risk-falling-behind