These are not encouraging factors and whilst the DM plan has now been crafted comprehensively, it must also be executed effectively and immediately.
Are these initiatives ambitious? Certainly, but we think they are achievable. Every journey must start with a plan. The imperative now is to ensure that they are implemented in a timely and effective manner, with the output being constantly monitored, measured and aligned to the changing environment and challenges; while at the same time we must always be cognizant of the risk factors.
Constant dialogues and deliberations with the ICT industry including associations like PIKOM will also help in ensuring that the milestones are monitored with realisms and attaining outcomes that are impactful to the economy and community.
What changes or adjustments would PIKOM advise to ensure the 2020 targets are met (as outlined in the new plan)?
PIKOM has been involved since the outset, and we are familiar with the five (5) dimensions of Digital Malaysia. The plan is very high-level one at the moment with three (3 strategic thrusts; Supply to Demand Focused, Consumption to Production Centric, and Low Knowledge Add to High Knowledge Add. It calls for creating 160,000 high-value jobs and GNI contribution of 17 percent by 2020.
If at all there are any changes or adjustments, it would be to add a little more clarity on how to achieve the jobs and GNI targets.
The eight (8) projects will be a good starting point in realising the goal and we expect more details during the next wave of projects to be announced in due course.
Another important reminder is that "speed" is of the essence and any delay in the implementation will increase the risk factor since the "runway" towards 2020 is getting shorter. It is also imperative that the implementation plans are detailed enough (for example, "3 feet and not 600 feet high") and each output and outcome must be measurable. There must also be clear accountability of each of the initiatives identified. In addition to the "What", the "Who" and "How" are just as crucial.
What other key things should the committee that is steering DM keep in view?
One of the desired outcomes of DM programme is to deliver a 17 percent ICT contributions to GNI by 2020, and with another eight elapsed years to go, we do not appear to have much buffer for errors. That is perhaps one major risk factor.
The second risk factor is our vulnerability to global upheaval and downturns, as our economy is not insulated from these global volatilities.
Third risk factor is that global "brands" are not built overnight and usually it takes decades to achieve such success. Apple, Samsung, Acer and IBM did not achieve global prominence without undergoing a journey of up and down. Some who have achieved global branding status have lost it literally overnight as they failed to evolve and transform. Again, time is not on our side.
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