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[ 26-04-2016 ]
Knowledge gap on importance of ICT among local SMEs

KUALA LUMPUR: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which make up the overwhelming proportion of businesses in Malaysia, still have a knowledge gap on the importance and convenience of implementing ICT solutions in their companies.

Most still rely on physical bookkeeping as well as being encumbered by the lack of internet access.

“Information and communications technology (ICT) use is still very low in the SME environment.

“This is because they tend to be more conservative when it comes to incorporating ICT solutions in their business, which hampers their competitive advantage,” said Sage Software Asia Pte Ltd managing director Yaj Malik.

According to Yaj, the SME segment makes up 97% of businesses in Malaysia and is a major contributor to the economy.

From this figure, less than 25% incorporate ICT in their day-to-day business.

Sage provides business management software, which entails three key elements – accounting, payroll and payment.

“The cloud-based software is a one-stop solution for seamless movement of financial transactions involving the three key elements.

“In addition, Sage software enables business owners to file taxes through the system,” said Yaj.

Since last year, domestic demand has slowed down as compared to the previous years, due to low consumption.

“SMEs should consider investing in ICT solutions to remain relevant and to be able to tap into regional markets.

“Measures like these will surely transform the SME scene and help the Malaysian economy grow,” said Yaj.

The regional market opportunity would benefit SMEs, as these companies will be able to grow in terms of sales despite the weak domestic sentiment.

Sage is also close to inking a collaboration with Digi to provide broadband services and mobile devices to SMEs.

It has already partnered Maybank to integrate online banking services in its software.

With these two collaborations, businesses could take advantage of the convenience and cost savings from the joint offers provided by Sage, said Yaj.

Apart from that, Sage has developed the Sage One mobile app, which enables on-the-go access for the Sage software. The app allows business owners to make payments or check their accounts from their smartphones.

It currently has 200,000 customers in Malaysia.

To date, the software is widely used across Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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