Most Malaysian firms lack agility for DX amid pandemic

Photo by Azlan Baharudin

Only one-quarter (25%) of Malaysian organisations have accelerated their digital transformation plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, while three in five (60%) have slowed down, a study by Workday found.

The study, titled the Workday Digital Agility Index, was conducted in partnership with IDC and surveyed about 900 senior business leaders and C-suite executives in HR, finance and IT across nine markets in Asia Pacific. 

Due to a lack of digital agility, 90% have struggled to make changes to their financial plans for the year, with 83% unable to realign their organisational structures.

In terms of people and processes, almost four in five (79%) organisations have been unable to track their people’s skillsets to form special task forces in response to the pandemic, and more than half (56%) were not able to manage new approval and business processes.

When asked which areas of their business are hit the hardest, Malaysian organisations identified customer engagement (65%), the workplace (52%) and the human resources function (38%).

Two-thirds (69%) of Malaysian organisations lack an enterprise-wide culture of agility and 67% also say that less than half of their people are equipped with digital skills and capabilities. Further, 13% say that they have almost no employees with digital experience or skills.

The lack of digital expertise may be due to a prevailing mindset within Malaysian organisations of not viewing talent as a source of competitive advantage and therefore not investing in finding and nurturing it as 79% do not see talent as an important strategic asset and lack the proper tools and processes to manage it.

This mindset also has a spill-over effect for organisations’ employee experiences. Less than half (42%) see the employee experience as an essential consideration in their decision-making.

Yet, almost all organisations surveyed (92%) see digital transformation as a priority, with 96% using digital technologies to execute their business continuity plans.