Leadership and Digitalization of SME 2021, The Enablers Perspective (REBOOT 4.0 – MDEC)


31 Jul 2022 • 2 min read

DIGITALISATION used to be an optional path rather than a mandatory move to develop or grow with the time. However, as the world changes with new competitors in the market and new business models, people are beginning to consider digitalisation.


The Covid-19 outbreak may have accelerated and demonstrated that the act of digitalisation is the key that shows businesses would have to be better, faster and cheaper and continue to deliver overall good customer experience to retain their clients.


It is key for leaders to be able to overcome obstacles like developing people who may not have the skill sets, necessary funding or the lack of any other source of competency that needs tweaking, customising and adjusting in line with the overall organisational objectives set forth by the leadership.


Digitalisation transformation is no longer a luxury but a necessity especially for businesses that are facing various challenges in an unprecedented time brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Izham Ismail, Digital Accelerator General Manager at Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) a seasoned leader in the ITC Space and currently heads digital adoption said the pandemic had changed the behaviour of customers and therefore businesses must realise that they needed to change.


"Digitalisation has a very broad spectrum and it depends on the goal that every SME leader want to achieve, so the leaders must know the business well and understand the business needs". 


"Competency on knowing the technology is not enough. Knowing what the technology can do for your specific business is key. Leaders need to have the mind-set that technology is an enabler not a solution".  

According to Encik Azizi Hadi, COO of TM, it is imperative that businesses adapt to the changing needs and these needs are lead in a collective manner. In the case of TM we saw a shift in usage for heavy traffic from business users in the day time to more home users. We also noticed a 40% increase in internet users, which prompted us as an organisation to adapt new SOPSs to not only meet the consumer needs but at the same time ensure the support was available to meet the customer needs in these challenging times.  


“Digitisation is very important for SMEs, it helps them improve productivity, efficiency and in addition ensures  that the customer experience or operations is unhindered.  A good leader needs to be decisive and forward thinking, it is imperative that you know your business and see how technology helps you in realising your business goals. Do the necessary research and take the time to really see which technology model meets your existing and future business needs”.


Leaders need to be clear what are their key priorities, be it sales, efficiency, or enhanced customer experience, then one will need to explore technology and digitalization tools that support these objectives. When embarking on this digital journey known what you need by doing the necessary research and benchmarking before proceeding on your journey, this will ensure you have a scalable and manageable digitization plan.


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