Highlights:

  1. Government confident of RM1,500 minimum wage in five years
  2. Government to implement retraining schemes for Industry 4.0
  3. Annual Tech Trends Forecast for 2019
  4. Singapore Roll-outs Open Electricity Market
  5. Number of Truly “Intelligent” APAC Enterprises Jumps 10 Times

Moving towards RM1,500 minimum wage
Deputy Human Resource, Mahfuz Omar said the government is confident it can implement the RM1,500 minimum wage within five years. He told the Dewan Rakyat this morning that the government also does not rule out the possibility that the minimum wage will be reviewed annually although the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011 provides for a biennial review. “If there is a need, it (a review) can be done more than once (in two years) but it definitely must be done biennially, ” he said. Mahfuz said the government is aware that the rate is not too high but added that it is a rational approach to avert a sudden rise in the operating costs of employers, especially in the small and medium industries. “A rise in the minimum wage will increase the operating costs of the employers, in terms of contributions to the Employees Provident Fund and Socso, payment for overtime and rest-day work and such, ” he said.

Government to implement retraining schemes for Industry 4.0
Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Darell Leiking said the government, in cooperation with industry, will implement retraining programmes for workers to ensure they remain relevant. He said the National Policy on Industry 4.0, launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, yesterday focuses on skill development as one of the enabling strategies. “This human capital development programme is critical to ensure Malaysia remains on the right track in line with the needs of Industry 4.0 and to balance job opportunities with Industry 4.0,” he said. He pointed out that the government targets 35 per cent of jobs to be high-skilled jobs by 2025, as embracing Industry 4.0 requires workers, robots and machines to work together.  The new policy is set to make Malaysia a strategic partner in smart manufacturing and related services in the Asia Pacific region, he added.

Dimension Data launches Annual Tech Trends Forecast for 2019
Dimension Data, the USD 8 billion global technology integrator and managed services provider, today launched its Tech Trends 2019 Report. It identifies fundamental industry trends that will come to define the business technology landscape in 2019 across customer experience, cybersecurity, digital business, digital infrastructure, digital workplace, technology futures, and services. In the report, Group CTO Ettienne Reinecke claims that 2019 will finally see digital transformation become a reality and predicts a spate of industry-wide disruption as innovative companies see long-term projects bear fruit. Commenting on the report, Ettienne Reinecke said: “Until now, our industry has spoken about innovative technologies somewhat theoretically, without providing a clear picture of how these powerful new innovations will be used. Think analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and containers, just to name a few.
“That’s starting to change. The application of disruptive technologies is becoming more pervasive and their adoption is growing steadily. We’ll see the most innovative companies showing off truly impactful examples of digital transformation in action in 2019 with many more coming to the market over the next three years. They will then become so firmly embedded in the core processes and technologies we use that we’ll consider them commonplace. 2019 is the year that trailblazers will pull-away from fast-followers and we start to see significant power shifts across industries.”
The report, Tech Trends 2019 also identifies five further trends that will come to define the business technology landscape in 2019 which include:
• Robotic process automation will reshape customer experience: The exponential growth in robotic process automation – such as machine learning, AI, and heuristic neural networks – will give companies the ability to combine scenarios, increase understanding, and make real-time predictive decisions about their customers’ needs and behaviours.
• Organisations will focus on cloud-based cybersecurity platforms: Regular high-profile cyber security breaches in 2018 will cause cloud-based security providers to gain traction in 2019. Cloud-based security systems are built with open APIs, meaning security teams can integrate new technologies into the platform quickly and with relative ease. This will ensure clients can keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.
• Infrastructure will become programmable from end to end: Companies will start subscribing to multiple cloud platforms and increasing their use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). End-to-end programmability means organisations will be able to quickly adapt to changing business landscape and demand more from their applications and data.
• Applications will become more intelligent and customised: In the coming year, we’ll see applications gathering input from users and making changes to their own functionality to improve the user experience. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will play a significant role in helping employees work more productively.
• The value of data will become the centre of the value universe: In the coming period, the focus will increasingly shift to the true value of data, driving a renewed quest to embed telemetry, collect and enrich data. It is data that will form the core of true digital transformation and become the source of new revenue streams that will surpass traditional revenue streams. This will lead to a change in information architectures, with the need to establish rich data starting to drive IT investments.

Singapore Roll-outs Open Electricity Market Today
Some 350,000 consumers will now be able to switch electricity providers for the first time, as an initiative to liberalise the local retail power market kicked off a phased launch today. These refers to households and businesses with postal codes that begin from 58 to 78 in districts such as Choa Chu Kang and Yishun. Simply put, buying electricity will become similar to choosing mobile phone plans. Instead of getting power solely from SP Group at the quarterly-reviewed regulated tariff, the Open Electricity Market will allow you to pick and choose from a buffet of price plans offered by a dozen or more approved retailers.

Number of Truly “Intelligent” APAC Enterprises Jumps 10 Times
Zebra Technologies Corporation today announced the results of its second annual “Intelligent Enterprise Index.” The Index is a global survey that measures where companies are on the journey to becoming an “intelligent enterprise” – one that connects the physical and digital worlds to drive innovation through real-time guidance, data-powered environments and collaborative mobile workflows. By scoring more than 75 points on the overall Index, the number of companies globally defined as an “intelligent enterprise” doubled to 10 percent in 2018. In Asia-Pacific, there was a spike in the number of companies that were rated as truly “intelligent” – moving up 20 percentage points to 22 percent this year. The average Asia-Pacific score increased from 49 points in 2017 to 63 points in 2018, underscoring the rapid adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in the region. The Index measures to what extent companies today are meeting the criteria that define today’s Intelligent Enterprise. Overall, the Index reveals year-over-year growth of Internet of Things (IoT) deployment and investment, highlighting new momentum as enterprises expect less resistance to adoption and increasingly acknowledge IoT solutions as a core component for driving future growth across their organizations.