Digital adoption in businesses should not be a short-term switch, says HSBC

by TMR / pic by TMR FILE 

DIGITAL adoption needs to be a structural investment, not a tactical fix for Malaysian companies, says HSBC Malaysia.

In a statement today the bank said Malaysia’s middle market sized companies risk falling behind regional peers unless there is a continued commitment to structural shifts in digitisation and technology innovation across businesses and their industry groups.

“Over the past 18 months, COVID-induced lockdowns have driven many Malaysian businesses to accelerate their digital connections with customers, suppliers and employees. This has been an incredible commercial enabler.

“However, HSBC is observing that some businesses – particularly in the mid-market space – are slowing down their investment, and so the risk is that businesses are seeing digital adoption as a short-term switch rather than a strategic shift,” said Andrew Sill, Country Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Malaysia.

He added having made the shift to digital, companies need to forge on and not let momentum stall.

“It’s particularly important for Malaysian companies to safeguard key sectors including electronics, textiles, automotive, and pharmaceuticals. This requires a shift in thinking and a clear commitment to digitisation and technology innovation across business and industry,” said Andrew.

He added as Southeast Asia becoming more central to global supply chains, firms will use technology, and particularly data, to establish relevance, value and stickiness.

“ASEAN has more consumers coming online than any other region in the world. To reach these consumers, businesses need to make a permanent pivot to digital,” he added.

Andrew further stated digital adoption and continued innovation cannot be seen as “nice to have” but instead must be seen as a business imperative.

This requires some shifts in business approach, including changing management mindset and mobilising industries as a whole.

“Rising incomes, consumption and manufacturing have made Malaysia an attractive investment destination. Moving forward, Malaysia’s success will increasingly be shaped by further productivity increases, ease of doing business, and strong regulatory frameworks.

Underpinning all of this will be the full embrace by businesses and industry groups to digital technology and innovation. But this is not something that can wait,” said  Andrew.