Application economy performers: Malaysia likely to lag

If the concept of an Application Economy, even came up during conversations at the World Economic Forum (WEF), it is time for businesses to sit up and pay attention, if they haven’t already.

CA Technologies’ President and General Manager in APJ, Kenneth Arredondo described, “Now software is an absolutely key differentiator and the core of a business. It is no longer something in the back office to manage payroll, but a strategic competitive advantage.”

This stands CA in good stead due to their investments and initiatives to help businesses create APIs and securely integrate in an agile way, the whole development and operating environment, from service virtualisation to application monitoring.

Also of note during their annual media and analysts summit in Singapore, was the launch of their application economy study, conducted by research company TRPC. Its managing director Lim May-Ann shared key findings of the Asia Pacific and Japan region-wide study, highlighting accelerator factors that would influence a country’s performance in the application economy.

This region’s readiness

These accelerator factors or the Application Economy Index 2016, were divided into three key pillars, namely a country’s government use and support of technology and innovation, Internet and mobile infrastructure, as well as business agility factors, like mobile payment readiness and time taken to set up a business in said country.

Lim also introduced multiplier factors, a new set of rules that will accelerate a country’s performance in the app economy in the next five years at least, in ways that would surprise or raise eyebrows. She offered the examples of Kenya that leads in mobile payments with its mPesa mobile payment transfer service, Estonia which leads globally in the field of cybersecurity and Indonesia which produced a learning app, Themis, which is one of the most expensive apps currently.

Five factors form the AEI2016 – the impact of a youthful, mobile-centric population and workforce, could potentially accelerate or decelerate a country’s application economy.

Countries like China and India rank 7th and 9th respectively out of ten countries in APJ, but Lim opined they have the potential to surge forward in years to come because of China’s aggressive move to take lead in a number of areas of technology innovation and India’s youthful and growing smartphone user population.

She did caution however that India’s unique mobile phone tariff regime, was an opportunity as well as risk factor.

Interestingly, Malaysia scored mid-range across all index parameters. Despite a strong cybersecurity consciousness, it has a relatively small smartphone market, with the lowest number of people who use the mobile Internet on a daily basis.

Malaysia is expected to drop three spots in index ranking.

In conclusion

Obviously, current success is no measure of future success, because things can change very quickly. Lim said, “The winner titles are up for grabs now, and at this point in time, they are the ones who can move quickly and adapt quickly to capture market share.”

As advisory, she also said that governments and businesses should identify risk factors now and prepare to take advantage of them.


(This journalist was a guest of CA Technologies to their APJ media and analyst summit in Singapore).


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