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Malaysia’s 5G push

April 23, 2019
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Out of the different industries, respondents from Malaysia felt that manufacturing, financial services and public safety would benefit the most from the roll-out of 5G in that order.

2019 will be the year where the transition from 4G to 5G in Malaysia is expected to kick into higher gear. By September, the National 5G Task Force set up by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission is expected to recommend a holistic strategy for 5G deployment in the country.

As the 5G era dawns, the promise of massive bandwidth, lower latency and large connected device ecosystems is prompting an R&D flurry as companies explore new use cases. From smarter cities to futuristic factories and autonomous vehicles, all technology categories will be upgraded by 5G.

A report by IHS Markit predicts that 5G, which could be up to 100 times faster than 4G, will enable $12.3 trillion of global economic output by 2035.

Within Malaysia, Cyberjaya and Putrajaya will become the first 5G testbeds. “The aim is to explore the practical uses and modes of implementation of 5G as well as to learn and iron out policies, regulations and spectrum planning of 5G,” said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo in October.

In a survey produced by MIT Technology Review alongside Huawei last year, some 69% of respondents from Malaysia said they expected 5G to be available by 2020. Survey respondents are also proactive regarding the 5G transition, with 65% already discussing how it will impact their business, and 54% investing in technologies that can be deployed when 5G has been launched.

Currently, Malaysia ranks 14th in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Automation Readiness Index from 2018, which measures countries’ preparedness to access the opportunities, and fend off the challenges, of automation. That’s two spots above where the country was previously. The country has a particular strength in education policies where strong career guidance provisions and counsellors were available in almost every Malaysian school.

Unique features of Malaysia’s digital transformation also include its burgeoning partnerships with China, the regional powerhouse, notably collaborations with Alibaba in AI-driven solutions to traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur. It is also a testbed for Tencent as Tencent begins exporting its WeChat digital wallet.

Out of the different industries, respondents from Malaysia felt that manufacturing, financial services and public safety would benefit the most from the roll-out of 5G in that order. However, uncertainties do remain with some 82.86% saying that infrastructure upgrade costs or complexity will be the biggest challenge while some 48.57% think that a lack of business models to integrate 5G use cases is the biggest hurdle.

Hazami Habib, CEO of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences, sees a number of use cases for 5G when it does arrive. “Remote control of robotics in healthcare and manufacturing can be the future for Malaysia once 5G is in place,” she says. “There are pockets of AI initiatives and testbeds for IoT, and with 5G these can be launched and applied. The development of IoT systems for food traceability and halal logistics are all in the works.” The halal economy is a major global segment, with 1.5 billion consumers, set to rise to 2.2 billion by 2030, says Habib.

There is no doubt that technology always takes time to mature and 5G is no exception. While there has been a lot of talk about new network capabilities, commercially 5G is still in its infancy. For Malaysia to truly become a leader in the space, a collaborative 5G ecosystem between governments, businesses and telcos is key. Thankfully, that is already under way.

Rehabilitation of Nation’s Healthcare
Transforming Healthcare through the Post Pandemic Era

September 13, 2021
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The COVID-19 outbreak has placed a massive strain on the global healthcare sector’s workforce, infrastructure, and supply chain. Medical practitioners are exhausted, and healthcare systems are forced beyond limits to the brink of breaking down. Despite the many challenges, a decrease in revenues and rising operational costs, healthcare players continue to push forward, committed in providing high quality healthcare services to patients. Nonetheless, the pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of healthcare systems worldwide. Striking at the nation-building heart of many countries, the pandemic has significantly disrupted social, political, economic and healthcare systems around the world.

However, we have also seen the emergence of foundational shifts arising from COVID-19. Needle mover initiatives are being made globally by both public and private sectors, recognising the need to relook healthcare ecosystem modernisation towards a comprehensive, integrated digitisation and digitalisation. New coping strategies, involving the accelerated adoption of telemedicine, smart health and other technologies, are considered as imperatives. Amid these dynamics, public sectors, healthcare providers, players, and other stakeholders around the globe are being challenged to pivot, adapt, and innovate at speed to amplify the reach and effectiveness of healthcare.

The Digital Front Door 

A smart health approach typically makes use of interconnected technologies to embrace the entire spectrum of healthcare providers, consumers and researchers to ensure the delivery of cutting-edge care that is comprehensive, collaborative, efficient – recognising the needs of patients and their families as well as healthcare practitioners and administrators. The use of telemedicine, complemented by analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), data protection and scalable cloud ecosystem is gaining traction. The pandemic has opened doors for AI and other digital technologies to solve complex clinical and non-clinical problems.

A recent report published by McKinsey & Company highlights that telehealth utilisation has stabilised at levels 38X higher than before the pandemic. Similarly, consumer and provider attitudes toward telehealth have also improved. Investment in virtual care and digital health have broadly skyrocketed. Additionally, virtual healthcare models and business models are continuing to evolve.

However, some hurdles, such as concerns around technology security, need to be addressed. TM ONE has innovated a complete ecosystem of healthcare solutions, which is modular and interoperable with external systems connected via TM ONE Cloud α (pronounced as Cloud Alpha) and TM ONE Cybersecurity (CYDEC) to ensure world class security. McKinsey points out that, the ‘digital front door’ will not be closing as patients and providers have appreciated and embraced the convenience and flexibility of this type of care especially during the healthcare crisis. As we gradually move through and onwards into recovery, a key concern for any health system will be scaling and sustaining these digital interactions.

Driven by Human Experience

Consumers expect industry leaders to leverage on the momentum created in the pandemic to continue to propel healthcare forward, especially as good healthcare services is a key hallmark of sustainable future ready nation building. According to Deloitte, collaborations and the human experience are two (2) of six (6) pressing sector issues that are expected to shape and navigate the healthcare industry into and through the evolving ‘next normal’.

Healthcare technologies, which especially appeal to the digital first generation, has inspired deeper levels of activity, engagement and enhanced patient experience. A visit to the doctor is already a worrying experience for some without having to deal with the paperwork, hours of waiting time and patient care. On a wider front, consumers are using technology to monitor their health, measure fitness, order prescriptions and schedule doctor’s appointments. Eighty percent (80%) of consumers report that they are most likely to have another virtual visit even post pandemic. Pandemic experience has shown that the best path to effectively enabling digital solutions requires various levels of smart collaboration moving away from siloed record systems. Providing a comprehensive end-to-end integrated patients experience management platform with insights, one which is truly beneficial for consumers and patients — calls for collaborative arrangements, which embrace data platforms, disruptive entrants, public/private partnerships, and health system platforms integration.

TM ONE Healthcare understands the complexities of the healthcare industry. It will simplify the electronic medical records platform, and channel patients, healthcare providers and funders into a single, secured, standardised and cost-effective solution. With extensive experience in rolling out clinic management systems and electronic medical records, together with a dedicated team to maintain and provide adequate support to end users and partners, TM ONE Healthcare will ensure the best experience for all stakeholders.

TRENDS AND DIGITAL STRATEGY Is Your Technology Spending Keeping Pace with Competition? – Shazurawati Abd Karim

August 30, 2021
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Shazurawati Abd Karim
Executive Vice President of TM ONE

Digital transformation, a means of ensuring business resiliency, has driven recent global technology spending to new highs. From being a mere buzzword, it has become the top priority for technology initiatives and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) across various industries. Global Information Technology (IT) research house Gartner forecasts that worldwide technology spending will grow by 9% in 2021 to reach an astonishing USD 4.2 trillion. This phenomenon reflects a tactical switch from defence to offence, as CIOs of the world’s biggest tech companies recover from the pandemic and look to extend their technological edge over the competition.

As global lockdowns cripple a plethora of industries, CIOs and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are more pressured than ever to hit the mark on their strategic investments. We at TM ONE are fully aware of the exacerbated need for enterprises to increase their digital capabilities and are well prepared to play our role as a digital technology partner. We believe there are four (4) key pillars to guide companies in ensuring a sound IT investment strategy:

1) Benchmark IT spend with industry standards and leaders

Regardless of which industry you operate in, market competition in today’s digital battleground strips away any luxury of taking technology investments lightly. This further magnifies the need for an incisive tech vision, one that has the backing of necessary dollars to turn it into a reality. With that in mind, Flexera’s 2020 State of Tech Spend Report states that companies from different industries, on average, spend 8.2% of their revenue on IT.

It is common to see technology spending hover around 17% of total operating costs in the banking and financial services industry (BFSI). According to Broadridge’s Next-Gen Technology Adoption Survey, this might well reach 20% by 2023. JP Morgan, for instance, is one of the top spenders, with 15% of its 2020 operating costs devoted to IT spending, which amounts to about USD 11 billion . Other large BSFI institutions such as the Bank of America (18%), Goldman Sachs (16%), and Citi (20%) reported higher proportions of operating costs spent on IT. However, this reflects an overall lower absolute value.

As the pandemic continues to immobilise healthcare institutions around the world, technology is desperately needed to reinforce vital lines of defence. Currently, the global healthcare industry on average spends 4% – 8% of revenues on technology, mostly on maintaining existing infrastructure. Industry leaders are starting to shift IT spend towards introducing new business models with digital health solutions and boosting hospital operations through big data analytics and cloudification.

With the retail and e-commerce space transforming into the forefront of new digital innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (AR/VR), technology spending becomes a key differentiator. Amazon, now known as a tech firm rather than a retailer, spent USD 43 billion or 12% of total operating costs on IT-related expenditure in 2020. With global customers demanding enhanced user experience and on-demand customisation, there are expectations for average technology spends as the portion of revenue to grow from 6.2% to 8% , especially as the competition for e-commerce leadership amplifies.

2) Maintain optimal allocation between growth spend and maintenance spend

Today, the technology stack in companies increasingly provide vital sources of economic moats. CIOs desperately need to rethink their IT spending strategy and effectively prioritise between value creation and value preservation. For many companies, huge chunks of IT budgets go towards maintaining their current business operations, which are becoming intricate due to the intertwining of new technologies. These budgets leave little to no room for innovation investments that allow CIOs to contribute directly to top-line growth, such as introducing futuristic enterprise applications or enabling analytics-driven decision making.

By and large, CIOs report less than 15% of their technology budget have an allocation for fostering innovation. We recommend successful companies set aside at least 20 – 25% of IT spend to reimagine value creation and discover new ways to disrupt the status quo in various industries creatively.

As part of our core principle, we believe that only by employing a growth spending mindset can the returns on these digital investments be seen.

3) Measure effectiveness of technology spending

Besides having to deal with strategically allocating adequate capital towards IT investments, CIOs often face one critical question – what are they getting out of the money they invest and spend? And the truth is this; most can’t give a straight answer to such a seemingly important question.

As companies compete against time to launch more and more digital initiatives, CIOs need to establish clear-cut performance metrics that can evaluate and measure digital progress effectively. With the old saying of ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’, tech spend on different areas need to be attributed to tangible returns. This could range from lowering sale costs/the cost of sales, new customer acquisition, revenue streams, improved customer experience, and other value adds.

We believe that using practical and measurable indicators will help narrow down your IT spending on areas of value creation, be it internally or outside the organisation.

4) Balance insourcing and outsourcing of IT needs

Whether you are a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) or a fast-growing tech company, technology dependence changes dramatically over time. CIOs who want to optimise technology spending must consider the many implications of insourcing and outsourcing their IT needs.

Rather than establishing a fixed spending ratio between buying and building, companies should evaluate the qualitative criteria of technology spend decisions, such as its contribution to overall company growth. Short term cost savings might be attractive in outsourcing, but one must carefully consider the opportunity lost in forgoing long-term digital capabilities. Other key markers to help keep a competitive technology spend are the availability of in-house talents, existing core competencies, security, and technology ownership.

As costly-to-build technological capabilities can sometimes separate winners from losers in today’s digital warzone, taking a hybrid approach could perhaps be the best solution to sustain digital transformation efforts without dissipating technology budgets.

Smart Services Key Towards IR4.0 For Your Business

August 24, 2021
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Maznan Bin Deraman

Maznan is the Head of Innovative Solutions at TM ONE and is an experienced digital transformation practitioner with 26 years of demonstrated knowledge in Telco and ICT business which include research and development, network operation, Go-to-Market strategy, sales planning, product and partnership development. Now embarking to propel the innovation of state-of-the-art IoT, AI-driven smart services, 5G commercial use cases and cybersecurity services.

Q Many Malaysian enterprises are predicted to adopt Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) in the next few years, and smart services can have massive implications to the core elements of a company’s business model. How can smart services integration propel enterprises to the next frontier of the IR4.0 ecosystem?

For enterprises, incorporating IR4.0 means expanding their value-creation capabilities and business models by implementing smart services technologies such as advanced sensors, big data analytics, intelligent robotics, machine learning and Cloud computing, not forgetting cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT). With connected and intelligent ecosystems, transmitting data in near real-time, smart services transform the experience for enterprises and the lifestyle of consumers with smarter living, smarter workplace, smarter business operation and smarter community, by embedding intelligence into critical infrastructure and everyday objects.

At the end of the day, organisations can unleash greater innovation, enhance customer experience, and improve visibility, profitability, and resilience. This in turn enables them to unlock a new generation of revenue streams, efficiency measures, and people-empowering strategies.

Q Some organisations may view smart services as something that is ‘good to have’, especially in this challenging pandemic-laden business environment. Is there a real return to investing in smart services?

Since the pandemic, enterprises must find ways to become more efficient and transform if not all, most of their business operations to digital. Smart services convert manual processes to digitalised and automated processes powered by analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This helps to optimise performance, minimise disruptions, and reduce downtime; in real-time and accurately.

There are countless use cases for smart services across all verticals, and have proven that the investments brought positive returns. A critical success factor lies in a good execution plan. Unfortunately, many organisations failed to extract value from smart services due to lack of expertise and haphazard implementation. When the solutions involve different types of technologies, implementation complexity and operational expertise, you need to have well experienced strategic digital solutions partner(s) with the know-how and proven track record to guide you through the journey, especially during the early stage of adoption.

Q Why TM ONE is the right partner in supporting your digital transformation journey?

As an enabler for the smart service ecosystem, TM ONE focuses on the platform strategy that has been designed to be technology-agnostic. This essentially enables multiple service providers to come on board our smart services ecosystem. Regardless of your vertical – manufacturing, retail, services, healthcare, education, government, or agriculture – TM ONE’s team of experts, ecosystem of service providers and end-to-end digital infrastructure make up comprehensive offerings to facilitate your journey towards IR4.0 more efficiently and easily.

In addition, TM ONE’s Integrated Operations Centre (IOC), part of our smart services offerings, continuously monitors and manages connected solutions to ensure adherence to service level agreements (SLAs), ease management, and lower cost of maintaining a smart services deployment. This is also supported by TM ONE Cloud α and Cyber Defence Centre (CYDEC) as its digital foundation, providing it with infrastructure, software platforms, industry solutions and ecosystems, and services to create and manage connected implementations securely and effectively. As the sole Malaysian Cloud Service Provider (CSP) for the Government, TM ONE through its Smart Services is the most visible ambassador of digital transformation, taking Malaysia a step closer to Digital Malaysia and taking transformation forward for Malaysian organisations.

This article was written in collaboration with The Edge.

Inside Malaysia’s engine for the digital economy

August 18, 2021
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Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM)‘s appointment as the sole Malaysian cloud service provider (CSP) by the Malaysian government last April opens the door for the establishment and reinforcement of public services with sustainable connected data cloud computing infrastructure that is secured with full data residency and sovereignty in Malaysia.

National cloud based education and healthcare platform, agile cloud based tax, transport and registry system, smart services with analytics, disaster warnings, and even solving traffic congestion. The application of cloud computing allows public services to provide data driven services and application to solve many public challenges with the flexibility, agility and speed to respond faster, efficiently and effectively during peak demands at lower operating cost. Many facets of society benefit from the invaluable adoption of the cloud by the public sector.

According to analysts, three of the typical hallmarks of a developed digital economy centre – capabilities, the level of ‘connectedness’, and competitiveness – are well served by the expert implementation and use of Cloud services. TM ONE, TM’s enterprise and public sector business solutions arm, shares how its expertise and comprehensive suite of digital solutions are making an impact on the lives of Malaysians.

Cloud as the key to unlocking innovation

The Cloud is unlocking big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) for governments, thereby opening the doors to improve citizens’ lives. In Malaysia, Cloud services have been used to stimulate economic and health recovery through the MySejahtera app. The Cloud enables the app’s system to handle large amounts of traffic at the same time, compared to on-premises capabilities.

The app allows citizens to record their visits to any business or even private premises by scanning QR codes. If they have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, authorities can communicate directly with citizens and point them to the nearest healthcare provider.

Most other public services in Malaysia have shifted online thanks to the Cloud. Citizens can now register for vaccinations and check national exam results digitally. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has also used Cloud-powered analytics to monitor the implementation of various assistance programmes.

“The possibilities are endless when talking about the innovative public services that can be deployed, powered by Cloud,” said Mohamad Rejab Sulaiman, Head of Product and Innovations at TM ONE. “Whether in public healthcare, digital education, public safety, digital Government, smart cities or empowering communities’ for social and economic wellbeing, countless smart solutions can be rolled out to enhance the lives of all Malaysians. This is one of the objectives of the Government’s MyDIGITAL, and TM ONE is always ready with our comprehensive suite of digital solutions to support this national agenda.”

Apart from being the sole Malaysian CSP, another edge for TM ONE lies in its multi-cloud offerings. Alongside Cloud Connect Sdn Bhd, which was appointed as the Managed Service Provider, the TM ONE-Cloud Connect tag team is able to support Government institutions in Malaysia regardless of their choice of Cloud infrastructure. In addition, its Cloud management platform allows Government agencies to manage their multi-Cloud deployments seamlessly and conveniently from a single console.

Ensuring cybersecurity

Malaysia lost RM490 million (US$119 million) to cybercrime in 2019, according to the Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team. In mitigating this, TM ONE has set up the Cyber Defence Centre (CYDEC) to help strengthen the nation’s defences against malicious cyber-attacks.

“CYDEC can detect, respond, predict and prevent cyber threats originating from a range of platforms and channels including 5G, Cloud, IoT and more. The cybersecurity services offered under CYDEC provide users with added assurance knowing their data is kept secure,” he added.

The geographical location of where data is being stored constitutes an important aspect of the security of a government’s cloud systems. Data is subject to the legislation of the country in which it is hosted, which engenders complications, wrote TechRadar.

For example, in 2016, voter registration data of more than 93 million Mexican citizens were found to be accessible to the public. The country’s election institute held personal information about citizens on an unprotected Amazon cloud server hosted outside of Mexico.

TM ensures that Government data resides solely in Malaysia, said Rejab. This will help “serve and protect the data privacy of Malaysians”, he explained.

Widening broadband access

In the follow up to TM’s appointment as CSP, it will continue its work to enhance internet access across the country. As more citizens work and study remotely in the new normal and beyond, high speed and reliable connectivity have become a crucial utility and enabler of the economy. This was evidenced by the surge in Internet traffic arising largely from the emergence of COVID-19 related lockdowns – but throughflow speeds saw a reduction of up to 40 per cent, according to Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA).

To help address this, TM ONE will serve as “an active and major contributor” to expand Malaysia’s fibre broadband network. It plans to connect public mobile towers to the network, and not just private homes and businesses.

The Cloud has demonstrated its massive potential to positively impact the lives of citizens, not only in Malaysia but across the world. Governments are now better positioned with greater awareness of how digital innovation can unlock real-world improvements for its citizens.

This article was first published on GovInsider.Asia

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