IDC: MyDIGITAL is critical to advance Malaysia; key is in its execution

THE recently unveiled MyDIGITAL digital economy blueprint represents a mixed bag of re-looking initiatives that have been mooted in the past with new initiatives that are meant to drive Malaysia’s digital economy.

“(But) what remains to be seen is whether the various stakeholders and partners on the ground are able to keep up with the pace of the suggested timeline, and if this blueprint is nimble enough to transition or bend given the rapid pace of technological change,” commented IDC ASEAN managing director Sudev Bangah.

IDC highlighted three initiatives that it feels represents the “backbone” of the blueprint in taking Malaysia to the desired level:


In the vision to become a regional leader in the digital economy, cloud services were given a key highlight in MyDIGITAL initiative such as increasing local data centres to provide high end cloud computing services and driving a “cloud-first” strategy both at the Federal and local state levels.

In this regard, four cloud service providers (CSP), namely Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Telekom Malaysia Bhd have been given conditional approval to build and manage hyper-scale data centres and cloud services in Malaysia

“This will be a catalyst for local companies to embrace dynamic consumption, build resilient infrastructure but also take advantage of cloud as the enabler for Digital Transformation in their organization” says Duncan Tan, Senior Research Manager at IDC Malaysia.

“However, there could be a gap of digitally ready workforce when the investments to set up the data centres under Phase 1 which the blueprint lacks.”


The decision by the Malaysian Government to invest RM15 bil to build 5G infrastructure nationwide over a 10-year period through a government-owned special purpose vehicle (SPV) is a similar approach to the High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) project in 2008.

Given that 5G implementation is a highly capex-oriented investment, telecommunication infrastructure sharing will reduce the cost of mobile services while enabling mobile operators to shift their focus to provide enhanced products and services at an affordable rate.

On its part, the Government shall ensure the special purpose vehicle (SPV) provides fair treatment to every mobile operator and all the processes are transparent to avoid partiality towards certain operators due to any existing business relationship.

But having a shared infrastructure has its own high risk – single point of failure that need to be addressed and mitigated by having high network availability at all time, according to IDC Malaysia senior research manager Zaim Halil.


While cloud transformation and enhanced connectivity were some of the most significant focus areas to accelerate the nation’s digital economy, MyDIGITAL also rightfully identifies cybersecurity as a critical component building the digital ecosystem of the future.

“Cybersecurity should be foundational in any digitalisation journey, let alone one that is of this magnitude and significance,” IDC Asia/Pacific research manager James Sivalingam.

“The accelerated digital transformation that is expected as a result of MyDIGITAL will significantly increase the risk of cyberattacks, and thus the heavy focus on security is absolutely imperative.” – Feb 26, 2021

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