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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Using ICT to compete in the global economy

KUALA LUMPUR: Local businesses must make use of the latest information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to enhance their productivity and to compete in the global economy, said SME Corp Malaysia CEO Datuk Hafsah Hashim.

She said one of the criteria for developed countries was that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should contribute to at least 40% of the gross domestic product (GDP), but local SMEs currently contributed 31% to GDP.

“This means that SMEs have to grow 1% or more per annum to reach the desired 40% by 2020 (the year Malaysia aims to achieve a developed-nation status). We need a leapfrog growth driven by innovation and productivity,” she said at the launch of Microsoft's Office 365 cloud computing service.

The launch marked the beginning of a private-public partnership between SME Corp and Microsoft Malaysia to enhance the take-up of cloud computing among Malaysian businesses.

Office 365 is Microsoft's newest ICT solution that utilises cloud computing to integrate business function over four primary products - office, sharepoint online, exchange online, and lync online.

“SME Corp and Microsoft will also promote the cloud service through joint roadshows as well as a Microsoft booth in SME Corp's new one-stop referral centre in KL Sentral,” Microsoft Malaysia managing director Ananth Lazarus told StarBiz.

Hafsah also said SME Corp would use the SME Competitiveness Rating for Enhancement (Score) programme to evaluate the ICT effectiveness of SMEs. SME Corp will take the lead in adopting cloud computing by using Office 365 in their KL Sentral office.