Malaysia leads Asia Pacific in digital transformation projects

Mr Rob Wells, Workday President Asia

A study by Workday, specialising in enterprise technology for finance and human resources, has found that Malaysian companies are leading in Asia Pacific in quantifying the return from their digital transformation initiatives, with 58% of C-Level executives seeing measurable returns. By comparison, only 47% of companies in Singapore and 34% in Japan had seen returns.

The study titled “Digital Dysfunction in Asia Pacific” was conducted in partnership with IDC Asia Pacific, and looks at the barriers to digital transformation from the perspectives of 1,000 C-level Executives and business leaders in Human Resources (HR), Finance and IT. The findings come as the Malaysian government has announced commitments to digitalisation this year and driving the Malaysian digital economy forwards. Malaysia’s digital economy is projected to contribute 21% of its GDP by 2022.

When looking at the key challenges to digital transformation, almost half (49%) of C-level executives in Malaysia see organisational silos as a key challenge — an environment where a company’s departments do not share operational information with one another. Frustration with organisational silos was also felt by the other business leaders surveyed, with 73% of HR leaders and 54% of IT leaders in Malaysia highlighting this as a key barrier to transformation. 

When it comes to measurement, more than two-thirds (69%) of C-level executives in Malaysia say they do not currently have a balanced scorecard approach to align and measure digital transformation initiatives. 47% of C-level executives also cite a lack of common technologies and shared metrics as key barriers to cross-functional collaboration, with more than one third (34%) saying their organisations need to invest more in technology. 

More than half (52%) say that their digital transformation initiatives are uncoordinated, with three quarters (73%) of HR departments lacking implementation plans for digital transformation, along with half (50%) of finance teams and 38% of IT teams.

From the perspectives of HR and finance leaders, almost all (93%) of HR leaders and 80% of finance leaders agree that an integrated HR and finance technology solution is needed for greater visibility — the highest in the Asia Pacific region. One in five (20%) finance teams and 13% of HR teams in Malaysian companies have systems which are fully integrated and have been successfully transformed — which was similar to other countries in the region. 

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