Photo - Bernard Chiang, MD, SAP Malaysia
Enterprise solutions provider SAP has urged Malaysian business leaders to include value in the range of business goals objectives when devising their IT strategies.
In a recent interview with Computerworld Malaysia, SAP managing director Bernard Chiang said that "although there will always be pressure for local companies to give into cost and speed, local companies should not compromise on value as it could be detrimental in the long run by decreasing future business gains."
The solution, according to Chiang, is for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to align their IT strategies deeply with business goals and for CIOs to be involved in business decisions and company direction, said Chiang.
"That way, CIOs can help build stronger bridges between the business and IT aspects to enable more insightful business intelligence and decision making across their organisation," he said.
"Of the three factors at play -business value, cost, and speed - the one that local companies should place greatest emphasis on is the enhancement of business value. At the intersection of business and technology, business transformation is all about the enhancement of operational processes to be more productive and efficient," said Chiang.
"Therefore, services providers have an important role to play to bridge the gap (between business and technology) so that business capabilities are bolstered through strategic process improvements," added Chiang.
"From our experience here in Malaysia, domestic companies and GLCs [government-linked companies] value services providers that understand operational processes and look for ways to further enhance efficiencies," he said, sharing the case of a local company that had consolidated various systems and processes. "The client's contracts now are centralized whereas before, for example, legal had their own department in a separate place."
SAP Malaysia's services arm has, in recent years, expanded its reach to help companies unlock their potential by offering services aligned with the latest technological trends such as cloud computing, big data analytics, enterprise mobility and business applications. Each of these areas provide a much needed support pillar in enabling enhanced business processes, enabling companies to operate at much higher levels of efficiency at comparable cost.
"We do much more than help companies by delivering a system. Our aim is to assist companies here in all phases of solution lifecycles, from conception to operation," said Chiang. "Ultimately, SAP is not just a one-time provider, but we hope to grow as your business grows."
He added that SAP Malaysia has seen in the past few weeks an increased demand for GST [goods and services tax] implementation systems. "Yes, companies are rushing to meeting the 1st April 2015 deadline. There's little actual concern on our part, however, as we've foreseen this and have in place a solid support structure to cater to almost any level of demand."
Chiang said the Royal Malaysian Customs Department has as early as the beginning of 2014 prepared its online system for GST tax submission and the issuing of GST refunds. In order to interface correctly with the system, Malaysian companies must put in place correct GST records and processes.
"In view of urgent demands by customers, SAP Malaysia has put in place a dedicated GST Task Force. Working closely with Royal Malaysian Customs, SAP Malaysia has already helped numerous companies with their GST implementation systems," he said.
"SAP is wholeheartedly committed to helping companies reduce overall project costs and time-to-value. With the right use of tools for automation, predefined content and templates, SAP is able to help accelerate GST implementation at possible savings of up to 60 percent over traditional methods," said Chiang, adding that the company's portfolio included services, including SAP experts, methodologies, tools, and certified partners.
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