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One in six Malaysians could be automated

December 12, 2019
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According to a recent poll by MIT Technology Review Insights, half of business leaders in Malaysia consider AI to have positive values and are investing on a case-by-case basis.

While AI will bring efficiency and revenue growth to Malaysian businesses, the impact on the workforce is only beginning to be understood.

Malaysia’s economy is poised to embrace AI as a tool for enhancing productivity, improving accuracy, and delivering new digital products and services. According to a recent poll by MIT Technology Review Insights, half of business leaders in Malaysia consider AI to have positive value and are investing on a case-by-case basis. Some 62% consider AI to be one of the top three technologies that will transform their business over the next five years.

But young Malaysians are worried. A YouGov survey of over 1,000 Malaysians showed that a third believe their jobs are at risk of automation. Levels of concern were greater among respondents in lower income brackets.

Recently published data developed by MIT Technology Review and Faethm, a software-as-a-service analytics company that models the future of work, which models hundreds of job roles and tasks against 16 different classes of emerging technologies and taking country and industry tech-readiness into consideration, finds that job roles will be disappear.

In Malaysia, some 14% of current jobs are likely to be automated by technology within the next five years. The sectors that will be most greatly affected are manufacturing, with 21% of jobs at risk, followed by transportation (20%), administration services, utilities, and wholesale and retail (17% at risk in each sector).

Yet the other side of the AI story is the about the number jobs that will be supported and enhanced, or ‘augmented’, by AI. “There’s been some very alarming predictions,” says Michael Priddis, chief executive officer at Faethm, and “as a result of this, most people think that technology equals or will result in large scale large-scale automation.”

“In some cases, that’s true,” he says, “but at the same time technology will also augment work, so jobs will be retained but materially changed, and it will add jobs.”

In Malaysia, 10% of current jobs are likely to be augmented by AI within five years. The industries where the most roles will be augmented by AI are information and communication technologies and public administration (both 14% of roles), and healthcare (13%).

Figure 1: Automation and augmentation of jobs in Malaysia within five years

Source: Compiled by MIT Technology Review Insights using data provided by Faethm, 2019

In the face of this disruptive wave of technology, Malaysians are being proactive and taking the opportunity to learn new skills. According to the YouGov poll, over half of respondents are learning additional technological skills and this jumps to three-quarters amongst those who believe their roles are “very likely” to be replaced by technology.


This article was originally published on MIT Insights

Trends & Digital Strategy: A Business Leader’s Guide to Cloud

April 28, 2021
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Unlike traditional infrastructure, the flexibility, accessibility and scalability of Cloud prepare enterprises and governments to stand resilient against any given circumstances and gives them competitive advantage in the market

Cloud solution has been a trending boardroom topic amongst leadership in Southeast Asia long before COVID-19.  Now with business continuity and remote working become the agenda to survive the pandemic, many have accelerated their cloud adoption and migration strategy. These proactive approaches to transform digitally can be witnessed across legacy enterprises from manufacturing to logistics.

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Southeast Asian Governments, Malaysia included, are shifting to a more favourable stance on cloud by amending national policies, creating frameworks and launching digital transformation (DX) initiatives. The Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, MyDIGITAL, for instance, is Malaysia’s national response to drive digitalisation amongst businesses and government agencies while bridging the digital divide across the country. To realise this ambition, in the first phase of the blueprint (2021-2022), the Government aims to move towards a paperless environment and migrate 80% of public data to hybrid Cloud systems by the end of 2022, but why?

Debunking Cloud

Although Cloud is well spoken of, the concept of how it is imperative to digital transformation remains vague to many. Hence, to understand its synonymity, it is important to debunk the technology.

Foremost, the technology can be differentiated into three (3) models:

  1. Public Cloud
    • On-demand services with instant deployments and pay-as-you-go pricing
    • Data hosted on a shared data centre, which is known as region, managed by Cloud providers
    • Businesses are able to select the location of data stored

Top three (3) advantages:

  • Highly agile and scalable – usage can be switched up or down depending on need/situation
  • Access to the top of the line and innovative security solutions invested by Cloud providers
  • Fastest deployment amongst all Cloud models
  1. Private Cloud
    • Data located in an organisation’s local data centre or hosted by third parties from certain Cloud services
    • Requires administrative, maintenance and infrastructure investment

Top three (3) advantages:

  • Highly secure – data stored in a private environment
  • High control – Ability to manage servers end-to-end
  • Adaptability – organisation customises the Cloud environment based on specific business needs
  1. Hybrid Cloud
    • Combines the private and public Cloud into one (1) Cloud model
    • A portion of data hosted in own local data centre, the remainder to be hosted on shared data centre
    • Users allowed to switch between Cloud types at any time

Top three (3) advantages:

  • Enjoys security advantages of both Cloud models
  • Middle ground pricing – selection of Cloud environment depending on data sensitivity
  • Flexibility of deployment – provides the ability to choose and decide

Within each model, Cloud is further defined by its service types with differing level of responsibilities between the user and service providers.

Unlike traditional infrastructure, the flexibility, accessibility and scalability of Cloud prepare enterprises and governments to stand resilient against any given circumstances and allow them to act quickly to ensure competitive advantage in the market.

Cloud in action – how Cloud is used in Southeast Asia?

  1. Data backup and disaster recovery

All enterprises, across industries and sizes, experience data loss caused by unintentional events such as system failures and natural disasters. While there are methods to prevent data-loss events, the most effective data-protection method is having an enterprise-wide backup solution.

However, with the exponential growth of data worldwide, backup solutions are required to be comprehensive. Traditional backup methods such as tape libraries are unable to quickly scale to this growth and maintaining them can be extremely cost-intensive.

Thus, a growing number of organisations are moving on-premises backup capabilities to the Cloud in order to accommodate this data growth. Some of the benefits include:

  • Data durability and resiliency
    • Public Cloud providers copy and distribute every object across a few geographically separated regions.
  • Cost efficacy
    • Varied storage options at wide-range pricing offered by Cloud providers allows enterprises to reduce spending on archivable data and pay for what they use without compromising performance.
  1. Data analytics

In today’s data-driven environment, enterprises are required to overcome data silo challenges and find efficient and innovative ways to uncover hidden insights within their data to remain competitive. However, to build constantly evolving capabilities in-house is no easy task, hence leading digital companies e.g. Netflix, or regional favourites e.g. Grab, look towards Cloud providers and their partners for such solutions. They provide real-time analytics, big data processing and more which enable enterprises to streamline its business intelligence process of gathering, integrating and presenting insights to enhance business decision making.

What are the values for enterprises?

  • Ability to understand the trend and consumer behaviour on demand
  • Fast access to necessary data, regardless of type and sources, to find strategic insights
  • Fully managed infrastructure – allow cost saving in maintenance and administration front
  1. Research and development for innovation

In Southeast Asia, more and more enterprises are using Cloud for innovation projects. Those that do not look lean on Cloud for R&D, seem to lack behind their counterparts who do. This is simply because upfront technology investment into on-premise infrastructure is heavy and procurement periods are long, barring them from constant innovation to address consumer needs. On the contrary, Cloud is readily available, can be scaled down or up, and is armed with various tools and software to support innovation. Thus in terms of cost, timeframe and manpower, Cloud is an indisputable option for R&D.

Cloud optimisation demands for partners

One of the biggest challenges for Cloud adoption in Southeast Asia remains to be the talent crunch. This challenge is extremely prevalent in Indonesia as they house only about 75,000 IT engineers in the country, while they require at least 10x the number to fully sustain a digital economy.

Furthermore, digital talent often aims to work in digital companies, which impedes the digital journey of legacy enterprises. Hence, Cloud service providers play a vital role in the region as they have the people, experience and capability and they provide end-to-end support to ensure true Cloud optimisation.

Forging A New Future for Malaysia’s Manufacturers

February 24, 2021
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Digital technologies form a key component of generating recovery and building resiliency for the industry.

In the pre-digital era, manufacturing plants were deemed an unstoppable force in many economies. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought sharp lessons resulting in factory shutdowns and multiple supply chain disruptions. Even with the continuing battle against the pandemic, the manufacturing sector must intensify its efforts to survive and find new avenues of growth.

Digital technologies form a key component of generating recovery and building resiliency for the industry, a fact well-recognised by manufacturers across Malaysia and the Asia Pacific, said Sudev Bangah, Managing Director of IDC ASEAN, at the recent Smart Manufacturing Circuit 2020 virtual event organised by TM ONE. IDC analysis has also found that many companies are shifting towards targeted investments in machine learning, cloud, robotics, and internet of things (IoT) to drive a path through future crises as well as to secure growth.

Meanwhile, Maznan Deraman, Head of Innovative Solutions at TM ONE, the enterprise and public sector business arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) believes, “Digital adoption brings great potential for improving product quality, increasing productivity and creating more high-skilled jobs.” He shared how TM ONE will support the manufacturing industry’s digitalisation journey.

Data-driven Efficiency

Data is deemed to be crucial for building a resilient manufacturing company. Understanding how well each part of the production line works will help managers minimise wastage, speed up production, and produce better products. Manufacturers need to think about what data they need and what tech they can use to collect it, shared Sudev.

Another crucial aspect is data analytics. Most manufacturers currently record data on paper and transfer it manually to a software for analysis, explained Nazman Fariz Mohd Noh from TM ONE’s Smart Manufacturing Solutions. “This is labour intensive and prone to human error.”

TM ONE has an analytics tool that helps companies gain deep visibility to their production processes. The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) platform delivers an overview of all the processes within a factory using data collected from IoT devices. Supervisors can use this to optimise production hours, identify faulty machines, redistribute production, and monitor products for defects.

The platform consolidates real-time data for each machine, including its schedule, availability, and effectiveness. Managers can chart this on a graph to monitor individual performance over time, or zoom out to see how the overall production line is faring.

The OEE shares all data via online through TM ONE’s Cloud Alpha platform. Staff can monitor the status of each machine anytime and anywhere, said Nazman Faris.

Minimising Costs through Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is a key feature of the OEE. This will help cut time and costs substantially. Manufacturing companies report that more than a fifth of its costs are due to downtime, and that 90 per cent of maintenance work is eaten up by having to fix breakdowns, Maznan shared.

The OEE platform monitors levels of concern for each machine: low means it’s doing well; middle to high means it might need immediate attention. It also automatically compiles a list of machines with higher attention scores, arranged according to severity.

Once a machine has been identified for maintenance, the technician will take a look at its timeline, alerts, and any notes on the OEE to carry out the repair work more efficiently. Machine experts can also study this information to analyse causes and develop better fixes.

Other Must Have Solutions for Your Digital Operations

In addition to the OEE analytics platform, TM ONE also offers cloud and cybersecurity tools to protect companies’ data. “Nowadays, we can’t have all information or systems on premise, because we know for a fact that on premise solutions carry a certain level of risk,” Maznan said. For instance, businesses may not have the proper disaster recovery services to react to potential cyber-attacks, he explained.

TM ONE is collaborating with technology companies such as Huawei to develop new tools for Malaysia’s manufacturing sector. Eng Chew Hian, Business Development Director at HUAWEI CLOUD Malaysia, shared details of how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to improve manufacturing processes.

Huawei’s drone inspection tool uses high definition (HD) cameras, 5G connectivity and AI image processing to study the surfaces of planes. Aircraft technicians run on a tight schedule when conducting safety checks between flights, and manual inspections are time- and labour-intensive.

The drone flies through the plane to search for scratches, corrosions, and loose screws. It also cross-checks the model of the plane to ensure each part meets specific safety standards.

Huawei has also developed an AI image analysis tool for safer aircraft manufacturing. It uses thermal sensors to find gaps when wings are welded onto a plane. Planes have to withstand tremendous vibrations and wind speeds, and any gaps could be disastrous, Eng explained.

“Although the movement control order was gradually lifted, the overall impact on the whole supply chain has been dramatic!” said Maznan. Digital technologies such as IoT and data analytics are helping Malaysia’s manufacturing plants navigate the uncertainties in a recovering economy.

Digital Nation Agenda, Hyperconnected Ecosystem: Unlocking Potentials of Cities and Industries

August 19, 2019
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Cloud Services, hosted at TM ONE’s Twin Core Data Centre collect, store, process and analyse data real-time and seamlessly, powered with AI to produce valuable insights in various industries.

The world is at the advent of Industrial Revolution 4.0. Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning are all revolutionising the way businesses and cities operate. Whether in communities or industries, real time data collected from devices, machines and wearables produce important insights to solve many business and societal challenges.

IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIVES

With Connected City and Living Solutions

Reduce hours in traffic with Smart Traffic Lights, save electricity consumption with Smart Street Lights, know parking availability with Smart Parking.  

Today’s city planners, township developers, and communities are working together to build better and connected cities using advanced technologies.  

ADDRESSING INDUSTRIAL CHALLENGES

With Connected Utilities Solutions

Capture water data with Smart Water Management, featuring near-real time pipeline monitoring, water quality and water level sensing, to optimise and safeguard water supply.  

With Connected Agriculture Solutions

Collect, analyse and automate real-time data on soil acidity, water level and other farming parameters to produce quality agricultural products with Smart Agriculture.    

With Connected Manufacturing Solutions

Produce better output and improve delivery time with Fleet Management and Connected Workforce. Reduce maintenance cost with Smart Forklift and Smart Genset.  

INTEGRATE SEAMLESSLY, FOR A DIGITAL MALAYSIA

With TM ONE,

Integrated Operations Centre offers managed services from monitoring, tracking and alerting any incidents. 

Cloud Services, hosted at TM ONE’s Twin Core Data Centre collect, store, process and analyse data real-time and seamlessly, powered with Artificial Intelligence to produce valuable insights in various industries, such as agriculture, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and healthcare.

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.

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