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An industry take on transformation challenges in Malaysia: interview

AvantiKumar | April 13, 2017
Open source industry perspectives are shared in this Computerworld Malaysia 'rapidfire' interview with IT veteran Chew Kai Peng.

Chew Kai Peng - Country Manager for Red Hat Malaysia

Photo - Chew Kai Peng, Country Manager for Red Hat Malaysia


  On 9 February 2017, Damien Wong, who is Red Hat's Singapore-based Asean vice president and general manager, hosted a media luncheon in Kuala Lumpur to mark Chinese New Year - 'the Year of the Fiery Rooster,' which included a fresh take on the open source landscape in the region.

He also officially introduced local industry veteran Chew Kai Peng as the open source giant's new country manager for Malaysia and Brunei.

As a follow up, I asked Kai Peng for a Computerworld Malaysia 'rapidfire' interview to offer his perspectives on the local industry drawn from his discussions with the company leaders he is working with.

First, a brief bio: Chew has more than 20 years of ICT sector experience, which include key roles in three multinational companies - Compaq Computer Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Hewlett-Packard. Some of his expertise covers IT consulting, software and solution selling, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise application services, infrastructure and industry-based solutions.

What's your take on the local industry as well as general business expectations for this year?

  [CKP] In order to remain relevant and competitive, I see that businesses in Malaysia are beginning to recognise the need to embark on a digital transformation journey.

Nonetheless, many struggle to define a clear and coherent digital strategy to support their transformation journey.  

When businesses adopt new technologies, security and compliance should also be the central focus of their initiative. By having a comprehensive plan, businesses can mitigate security concerns and problems as they grow.

Incidentally, a recent study by Forrester - Open Source Drives Digital Innovation - showed that in the hopes of maximising their IT capabilities, the majority of IT decision-makers in Malaysia are turning to open source on their transformational journeys. Some of the findings showed that 76 percent of respondents in Malaysia look at open source as a cost-saving option with many also considering it to be a strategic investment for their organisations.

With these insights for 2017, we are focusing on helping enterprises achieve their business goals by delivering the speed, flexibility, and innovation that they need in order to thrive in the age of the customer.

What do you see as the positives and negatives for companies in the current operating environment?

 We are seeing many organisations in Malaysia being receptive towards the idea of embarking on a digital transformation journey by using new ways of developing, delivering and integrating applications as a response to the digital disruption we are seeing across industries.

At present, organisations are meeting growing customer expectations for digital services, and moving to technology solutions - including open hybrid cloud solutions - that can help them improve business agility, flexibility and scalability.

Apart from that, to further equip their teams to take on and tackle real-world scenarios, I am seeing that local enterprises are signing on for Red Hat's Training & Certification programs. I am optimistic that despite the global economic uncertainties, in the coming year, many organisations will make moves in order to better compete in the digital economy.


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