Many have stated that COVID-19 is the catalyst that finally ushered businesses into the digital age. While this statement is true in some cases, most businesses had already begun their digital transformation journey before the world was even aware of the COVID pandemic. Satanu Dutt, Chief Technology Officer of Amazon Web Services, SEA, believes that COVID-19 merely served to accelerate a process that was already taking place.
“The digital transformation journey in Malaysia, and throughout Southeast Asia, continues to follow the pattern that we’ve been seeing in the last 18 months,” he said.
Based on a report by the Malaysian Institute of Accounts “MIA-ACCA Business Outlook Report 2020“, 25 percent of organisations in Malaysia say they are setting aside at least 10 percent of their budget on technology, including investing in big data analytics (64 percent), cloud computing (57 percent), machine learning and artificial intelligence (33 percent), and robotic process automation (27 percent).
These results are based on research conducted in 2019 and were published in February of 2020, before the threat of COVID-19 caused nations to shut their bodies and supply chains to slow to a crawl. As noted by the data, there was already an increasing urgency from many SMEs and enterprises to take part in the digital revolution.
To AWS, the ‘new normal’ that is being spoken of today, is in fact already the norm. Dutt explains how terms such as these will soon fall out of use within a few short years, as it will become redundant as businesses adapt. The same can be said of technologies such as IoT, analytics, and machine learning; all of which can be expected to be the norm when conducting online business in the future.
On the topic of machine learning, Dutt says that it is now a relatively mature industry 4.0 technology. It is no longer a case where it’s in the initial stages of adoption. There are industries across in Malaysia and Asia that are adopting it in a tangible manner.
On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of their cloud journey, Dutt hazards a guess that companies are somewhere between one and five in Malaysia and in Southeast Asia.
“We will continue to engage with them to help them through this journey,” he concluded.