According to Gartner’s IT Glossary, “digitalisation is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities”. As simple as it may sound, the subject-matter gets complicated when terms such as “digitisation” and “digital transformation” get into the picture.
To keep matters simple, these terms share one similarity, and that is to “digitalise” what is not digital, to put it crudely. Nevertheless, digitalisation is inevitable, and COVID-19 has only accelerated the digitalisation process.
There is a never-ending list on the benefits of digitalisation. The best explanation would come in the form of an analogy, and that is, what would the world look like without digitalisation?
To help illustrate the significance of digitalisation, think of all the inconveniences had digitalisation not taken place. For example, online banking has made it so much easier to send and receive money, and the need to visit the bank is starting to blur especially when electronic signatures are being touted as the future, though it is a heated debate especially from the regulatory/legal perspective; perhaps an article for another day.
Nevertheless, businesses benefited most from digitalisation – from reducing operation costs to accessing new markets. Even before COVID-19, businesses benefited from digitalization as part of the digital economy. In fact, from 2010 to 2016, the digital economy grew by 9% per year, faster than the overall GDP of Malaysia and in 2017, e-commerce income was at RM447.8 billion.
Many firms now embrace digitalisation, and are trying to transform their businesses out of conventional norms. As a result, the demand for digital skills is evident – digital competencies are no longer a preferred skill but a required one.
Only education can fill the gap to help businesses get from where they are, to where they want to be. There is a need for human capital competent enough to do what it takes to transform businesses and digitalise businesses.
In addition, The Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) estimates 500,000 digital jobs by 2025, but there are many that do not possess the competencies today. So what is the solution? An education that centres around digital skills.
Digital Way Academy is an education social enterprise which strives to empower individuals to make breakthroughs and realise their potential. In collaboration with UTMSPACE, the private wing of UTM, the academy prepares students for the digital era through Malaysia’s first, fully digital competencies-based education. Find out more here.
The author thanks Digital Way Academy for advice and assistance with this piece. Any errors and oversights are the author’s alone.