16 December 2019
Emerging economies across Asia are well aware of the necessity to innovate, evolve, and be more technology-literate, especially among countries that aim to meet the Industry 4.0 standards.
Small and medium businesses (SMEs), however, are struggling to evolve and are unaware of their role in driving economic growth amid the digital disruption.
As a result, government interventions are pushed forward to get these SMEs on the right track and help them embrace technology.
Malaysia, in particular, is not slowing down when it comes to realizing its digitalization and transformation agenda.
Through a collaboration between the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) and the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), 100 micro-enterprises and SMEs will receive training to understand digital solutions and develop technology capabilities.
A program called the ‘MED-MTDC Industry 4.0 SME Accelerator Programme’ has been launched with the aim to get at least 50 of the participating SMEs to meet the standards of Industry 4.0.
Enterprises that have achieved the Industry 4.0 standards will be contributing to the program by sharing their knowledge and experience to help SMEs realize the unlimited growth potential simply by going digital.
Further, local technology providers that possess expertise within the space of Industry 4.0 solutions will be actively involved as well in helping SMEs achieve and scale their commercialization targets.
The country is evidently keen on delivering on expectations and has been using proactive measures to mentor local SMEs to be more aligned with the industrial revolution needs.
This is because new-age technologies will present significant challenges to businesses and SMEs that are unprepared will ultimately fall behind.
“SMEs’ adaptation to I4.0 technology will increase their capabilities to face market challenges, doesn’t matter in the local market or international market,” said MED Secretary-General Wan Suraya Wan Md Radi.
It is important that SMEs respond to these changes by improving traditionally manual processes to gain speed, efficiency, and productivity – all important features of an advanced, adaptive and highly capable business.
By automating and digitalizing processes to scale efficiency and elevate productivity, SMEs will inevitably gain a competitive edge.
Radi explained that “local SMEs now cannot just focus on marketing and production solely for the local market but must ensure their products, as well as services, are able to penetrate the global market.”
Malaysia has promoted impressive digital growth and maturity this year with progressive transformation programs and strategic incentives offerings.
Overall, it is hoped that more Asian countries will scale their efforts in going digital and develop greater technology capabilities to elevate the global market standards of the region.