Recently, Malaysian media has covered exciting news as the country debuts and performs positively in the GE Global Innovation Barometer 2016 (GIB). Now in its fifth edition, GIB gathers business insights from 2,748 senior innovation executives (100 of them is from Malaysia) and 1,346 informed publics across 23 countries – the most detailed survey of its kind. This year, we can easily detect Malaysian optimism in the wake of the 4th Industrial Revolution, as well as great emphasis on multinationals and new technologies as key drivers of innovation.
Despite many remaining challenges like talent conundrum and so-called Digital Darwinism (i.e. technology evolves faster than the company can adapt), 76% of Malaysian executives still feel optimistic and ready to take on the opportunities offered by innovation, especially with the help from the Government’s Focus on Transforming Innovation to Wealth. From the investment perspective, the trend is fuelled further by the involvement of multinationals. Although 1/3 of the respondents say yes to this statement, the prospect could be even more significant when we remember that Malaysia ranks among 15 countries that are most favoured by multinationals and just increases 28% in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). That, I believe, reflect a dynamic business environment where Australian companies can achieve cost-competitive advantage, should they choose to offshore their operation.
Last but not least, I think Malaysian executives have a point in hoping the technology – digital resolution would offer new, flexible ways of working as well as enhancement for existing tasks. Malaysia is now the most technological advanced and infrastructural developed in the ASEAN, allowing the enterprises to be more confident and feasible in their transformation. We can expect more big data and analytics to be compiled into decision-making process while the enterprises support a culture friendly to innovation, industry-academic partnership and flexibility.