SAP encourages Malaysians to upskill, reskill to ‘survive and thrive’

KUALA LUMPUR:  Given that the digital economy contributed 22.6 per cent towards Malaysia’s GDP in 2020 and set to climb to at least 25.5 per cent by 2025, SAP Malaysia is encouraging employees, especially the youth community, to continuously upskill and reskill so that they are empowered to ‘survive and thrive’ in a post-pandemic employment environment.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed recently said that Malaysia lives in a dynamic and competitive environment today, beset with uncertainties.

“We have much to do to meet the aspirations of the MyDIGITAL initiative, to transform Malaysia into a digitally-enabled and technology-driven high-income nation, and a regional leader in the digital economy,” he said, according to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.

A key feature of the MyDIGITAL initiative that is crucial to its success is the whole-of-nation approach that it has adopted. Under this approach, the participation of all stakeholders is highly welcomed to enable the nation to realise the benefits and overcome the challenges of digitalisation.

Against this backdrop, Vice President and Head of Cloud SAP South East Asia Cynthia Quah (pic above) said that due to increasing demand for skills associated with digital tools and processes, Malaysians need to transform themselves to stay relevant in the future workforce.

“Given the emergence of the digital economy and more so in a post-pandemic work environment, employees familiar with digital technologies, digital literacy and transferable skills are highly sought after,” said Cynthia.

Quah explained that the pandemic had forced many traditional businesses to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives due to restrictions as a result of the movement control order (MCOs). The MCOs were a series of national quarantine and cordon sanitaire measures implemented by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic starting on 18 March 2020 and which ended last year.

“In addition, automation and latest technologies have resulted in traditional roles fast changing,” added Quah, citing a World Economic Forum (WEF) study which said that the percentage of core skills that would change by 2025 is 40%, with some 50% of all employees needing re-skilling by that time.

She attributed this shift due to disruptions caused by technology now that the world has entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0).

At its end, SAP Malaysia has embarked on various nation-building initiatives.

Quah further explained that its education strategy is three-pronged: continuous learning for students; nurturing the local SAP partner and customer ecosystem; and efforts to drive the national agenda.

“Among others, SAP is also collaborating with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) on the MyUniAlliance programme which provides training for some 3,000 students per year. Eighteen higher learning institutes, including two foreign universities, have participated in the programme,” she added.

In collaboration with the ASEAN Foundation, SAP also hosts the ASEAN Data Science Explorers initiative at both national and regional levels. The objective, here, is to encourage youths to embrace analytics skills to see through various projects to benefit communities and countries. In 2021, students from Sunway University Malaysia emerged as second runners-up in this regional competition.

This year marks SAP’s 30th year in Malaysia.