Some 48% of companies adopted digital tech platforms; 19% in 2020
About 85% of companies surveyed say need to reskill their employees
Companies are accelerating the adoption of digital technologies and are accordingly focused on re-skilling and up-skilling their employees in digital technologies and applications, according to a new survey conducted by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
In a statement, MDEC said that its MDEC Digital Talent Survey 2021 revealed that more companies have adopted digital platforms due to the pandemic.
The survey findings noted that 48% of companies in the country adopted digital tech platforms for day-to-day operations this year compared to 19% in 2020.
With this shift, 85% of companies surveyed recognise the need to re-skill their employees.
Over the past year, the focus has shifted from digital productivity and remote working skills to technical skills such as data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, digital marketing, and software development, MDEC said.
The results of the survey were shared at MDEC’s Digital Talent CEO Roundtable at recently concluded Malaysia Tech Month. The roundtable involved 25 CEOs and C-suite leaders from the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), the Malaysia Digital Association and think-tank Social Economic and Research Initiative (SERI).
With regards to recruitment of digital talents, there was consensus that companies are increasingly prioritising skills over academic qualifications, MDEC said.
Francesca Chia, co-founder of GoGet, said the company tended to recruit more fresh hires from coding academies or training centres rather than fresh graduates from universities.
Alejandro Kikuchi, head of Asia for Workana, said companies that were unable to source or recruit suitably qualified talents were hiring freelancers, contract, or remote workers.
The CEOs also discussed the importance of nurturing the future talent pipeline and recognised the need for companies to take a more active role in providing inputs to curriculum and project-based learning.
Henrick Choo, CEO of NTT MSC, noted that the salary growth of digital talents was much steeper than non-digital talents as the experience level grew, even though entry-level salaries may be similar for both digital and non-digital roles.
Industry leaders are also seeing more companies focusing on internal staff mobility, where staff are reskilling and changing roles within the organisation.
Stephanie Sitt, CEO of 123RF Malaysia, cautioned that while digital skills are important, people management skills are just as if not more important in the increasingly remote-working environment.
“In line with MDEC’s vision to create shared prosperity amongst all Malaysians, we are committed to empowering Malaysians with the necessary skills to succeed in an increasingly digitalised economy.
“In this regard, the MDEC Digital Talent CEO Roundtable is an important platform to ensure alignment of our efforts with industry requirements,” said Sumitra Nair, MDEC’s vice president and head of digital skills and jobs.
This is the second Digital Talent CEO Roundtable following the initial one taken place in 2019.
The first roundtable had formed the basis for MDEC’s recent digital talent development initiatives, which included Digital Skills Training Directory, MYWiT, and the digital tech curriculum standards for TVET institutions.