According to the latest Dell Technologies Digital Transformation (DT) Index, Malaysia is ranked ahead of Singapore and Japan in terms of digital maturity.

Despite this, approximately 85 per cent of business leaders in the country believe that digital transformation should be more widespread throughout their organisation. Additionally, 51 per cent worry that they will not be able to meet evolving consumer demands within the next five years. 41 per cent voiced concerns of their organisation being left behind in terms of digital transformation.

The index was produced by Dell Technologies in collaboration with Intel and Vanson Bourne. The research consisted of a survey of 4,600 business leaders from mid-to-large sized companies across the globe to score their organisations’ transformation efforts.

The index segmented the business leaders surveyed into five groups: digital leaders, digital adopters, digital evaluators, digital followers and digital laggards.

About 41 per cent of Malaysian business leaders were classified under digital followers, which was defined as leaders who make very few digital investments and are tentatively starting to make plans. This was followed by digital evaluators with 28 per cent, who are gradually embracing digital transformation and investing for the future. Only 3 per cent of Malaysian business leaders were categorised as digital leaders who fully understand the benefits of digital transformation and have taken steps early to adapt.

Digital Leaders
(Digital transformation is ingrained in their DNA)
Malaysia today: 3 per cent
Global today: 5 per cent
Global in 2016: 5 per cent

Digital Adopters
(Have a mature digital plan, investments and innovations in place)
Malaysia today: 18 per cent
Global today: 23 per cent
Global in 2016: 14 per cent

Digital Evaluators
(Gradually embracing digital transformation; planning and investing for the future)
Malaysia today: 28 per cent
Global today: 33 per cent
Global in 2016: 34 per cent

Digital Followers
(Make very few digital investments; tentatively starting to make plans)
Malaysia today: 41 per cent
Global today: 30 per cent
Global in 2016: 32 per cent

Digital Laggards
(Do not have a digital plan; limited initiatives and investments in place)
Malaysia today: 10 per cent
Global today: 9 per cent
Global in 2016: 15 per cent

On a global level, emerging markets such as Thailand, India and Brazil are the most digitally mature. Developed markets such as Denmark and France are shown to be falling behind in this regard. The index also stated that emerging markets are more confident in their ability to disrupt rather than be disrupted at 53 per cent, compared to just 40 per cent in developed nations.

According to the index, 91 per cent of those surveyed are held back by persistent barriers. Globally, the top five barriers to digital transformation success are data privacy and security concerns, lack of budget and resources, lack of the right in-house skillsets and expertise, regulation and legislative changes, and an immature digital culture.

“In the near future, every organisation will need to be a digital organisation, but our research indicates that the majority still have a long way to go. Organisations need to modernise their technology to participate in the unprecedented opportunity of digital transformation”, said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies.