Having been established in 1961, IBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd has always aspired to be a technology leader in providing cutting edge solutions for Malaysia, while setting its sights on partnering with private and public sectors alike to achieve nation-building goals together.
“IBM is committed to Malaysia’s growth journey as we have been over the past six decades. We will continue to be part of Malaysia’s transformation journey into becoming a digitally-driven, high-income nation and a regional leader in the digital economy,” said IBM Malaysia managing director Catherine Lian (pic above).
She explained that Malaysia, as a nation, is focused on strengthening its own capability through innovation and transformation of indigenous products and services to build a knowledge-based digital society.
“At the core of this is how the government, businesses, and the rakyat are recognising the role of technology to enhance productivity and generate new sources of growth,” said Catherine.
The company’s numerous contributions to Malaysia’s information, communications, and technology (ICT) industry, coupled with its sixty-year presence, has resulted in various industries viewing IBM as a ‘local multinational company (MNC)’.
A journey that began in the 1960s
Since the 1960s, IBM has been actively developing local capabilities through alliances and business partners to build a robust ICT ecosystem (as seen in the group portrait below of IBM Malaysia employees in front of their office in 1961).
IBM’s ‘culture of innovation’ has resulted in various technology breakthroughs. The first mainframe, the IBM System/360, was introduced on April 7, 1964. The mainframe has and would continue to power mission-critical applications of many organisations, that was the industry consensus.
The IBM mainframe offers capability that delivers a unique combination of performance, flexibility, availability, security, and agility that are required to drive digital transformation. With the IBM mainframe technology as an infrastructure cornerstone, there is the power to optimise digital services delivery, accelerate business innovation, and ultimately improve the bottom line.
To date, majority of large enterprise banks and government agencies in Malaysia use the IBM mainframe as an infrastructure cornerstone in their journeys to hybrid cloud.
IBM still extremely relevant to Malaysia today
Fast-forward to the present day, and IBM’s relevance as a key industry player for Malaysia stands stronger than ever.
“We work with our clients across industries to help adopt leading edge technologies to infuse their products and services with artificial intelligence (AI)-driven capabilities delivered through our leading open hybrid cloud platform. From financial institutions as banks to government agencies that deliver public services to the rakyat, we have been a critical backbone to Malaysia’s growth,” said Catherine.
IBM Malaysia has also worked in establishing the Malaysian Centre of Digital Excellence (CoDE) located at Plaza IBM, Petaling Jaya. Using CoDE, local organisations can ‘fast track’ their digital transformation journeys and learn from international case studies which had successfully implemented technologies based on AI, the cloud, analytics, and blockchain, all protected by some of the most advanced cybersecurity solutions available today.
Developing the ‘workforce of the future’
“We’ve explored leading-edge technologies to create smarter solutions for tomorrow’s challenges, whether that’s reskilling workforces for a digital future, or preparing undergraduates for an ever-evolving job market,” said Catherine.
“We continue to invest in people by collaborating with the government on developing talents such as the P-Tech program that we run with the Ministry of Education and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).”
P-TECH (The Pathways in Technology) is designed to break the cycle of inequity in education and to address skills gaps in the labour force by linking education and workforce development to better connect high schools, universities, and industry players to develop stronger academic, technical, and work-ready skills among the Malaysian youth community.
This then enables students to earn recognised university-level credentials that provide a direct path to competitive, in-demand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers.
The era of hybrid cloud and AI has begun
According to IBM Malaysia, companies are rebuilding business models around digital technologies such as hybrid cloud and AI, thereby infusing greater intelligence into the core processes that underpin their business.
“This is no longer just seen as a source of competitive advantage, but an existential priority. We are entering an era in which computing can – and must – happen everywhere, from data centres to public clouds, to the very edges of the network,” said Catherine.
“Most enterprises today look for open IT architectures that can meet them where they’re at in terms of the IT infrastructure choices they’ve made and the various places they do computing — whether it’s in a public cloud, or a private cloud, or on-premises and provide orchestration among them to create a single, flexible, optimal cloud infrastructure for running computing workloads,” explained Catherine.
“Our commitment is driven by the belief that Malaysia has a lot to offer both in terms of talent and also the long-term growth opportunities afforded by a conducive business climate that is both dynamic and has the resilience to overcome challenges that exist in the ecosystem,” said Catherine.
With all this in play, Catherine is looking forward to IBM Malaysia working hand-in-hand with Malaysian government bodies and businesses alike to work on building the nation together for another 60 years to come – and beyond.
IBM Malaysia’s expertise and contribution to nation-building has seen the company winning numerous awards throughout the decades. Recent industry recognition includes: