The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many businesses, causing them to adapt and spend large amounts of money in order to keep up with the many changes in the digital landscape or face closing down completely. At the same time, governments are also adjusting to the ripple effect on socioeconomic resilience during these times. But is enough being done, and is technology being used the right way?
Analytics firm SAS, along with the IDC, discussed this scenario in their virtual event called: Facing Off Against COVID-19: Accelerating Digital for Malaysia’s Socioeconomic Resilience.
Cheam Tat Inn, Managing Director, SAS Malaysia, started the conversation by discussing how governments should move forward during the pandemic. First, governments must be able to effectively respond to the changes, aiming to achieve situational awareness and mitigate disruptions the pandemic has brought.
Governments should also support the recovery process by helping to rebuild organisations to operate in the new environment. It needs to reimagine how it would function in the future to prepare organisations and build an overall resilience among its citizens.
In Malaysia, organisations are focusing on three different areas that will accelerate their digital transformation for the country’s socioeconomic resilience. For Dr Karl Ng, Director, Data Ecosystem Development Division, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), “Data is seen as the new currency but really, data is actually the oxygen that drives digital transformation as well as digital government”, explaining that data could drive this acceleration.
The three areas include having digitally skilled citizens, digitally powered businesses and digital investments across the country. Data is important among the people, government and businesses so as to truly realise socioeconomic resilience. “If you can measure, you can improve. This is the importance of data and getting the right insights so that companies can be more data-driven and make decisions based on data”, added Dr Karl.
Following the discussion of the effects of the pandemic in the government, Sudev Bangah, Managing Director, IDC ASEAN, said that the initial response around the COVID crisis was, how to stem off the pandemic and the economic slowdown, but the approach into doing this was not enough.
“The failure that we see across many governments is the accidental focus or overfocus into wanting to invest to certain technologies without truly understanding how it’s going to help them”, added Sudev, citing that whether it is citizen engagement or agency collaboration, governments still fall short.
According to Sudev, when we talk about digitalisation in the government, clarity in terms of the goals around it and what achievement is required from the government, whether through agencies or holistically, should be the goal, rather than to focus on a specific technology.
With this, Sudev mentioned steps to creating digital government resilience – digital accessibility, automation and innovation. To conclude the event, Jason Tan, Director Pre-Sales, ASEAN, SAS discussed the SAS framework for the future of government services.
This included SAS Data Governance for a holistic approach to data privacy, having organisations to access, identify, govern, protect and audit their data. SAS also mentioned a Data Catalogue approach where there are collaboration platforms across the agencies, empowering IT and management framework and enabling the expansion of AI and analytics in enterprises.