How cloud technology can boost Malaysia’s digital economy

 |   K Raman, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia


Whether you’re a Microsoft 365 user, a small entrepreneur, or a Fortune 500 company, fast access to secure and trusted cloud services are critical to keep your day running smoothly.

In the past few years, we’ve seen rapid digital transformation, accelerated by the pandemic. It is also a culmination of efforts by both the public and private sectors working together to help our nation adapt to the new normal, and realize Malaysia’s ambition to become a regional leader in the digital economy as envisioned by the government in the MyDigital Blueprint.

Cloud technology has become essential for organizations to build resilience. It is a critical enabler for businesses hoping to embrace the workplace of the future by enabling seamless remote working within the organization, whilst reimagining new products, services and processes, with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and data analytics to thrive in a global business environment.

As demand for cloud services continues to increase, it’s important that we invest in enabling digital infrastructures to accelerate growth.


Datacenters are critical investment for this growth. Globally, Microsoft operates more than 200 datacenters including over 60 datacenter regions. Adding to this growing list, we recently announced our plans to establish our first datacenter region in Malaysia as part of Microsoft’s Bersama Malaysia commitment, making our country the latest addition to Microsoft’s global network of datacenters. What’s more, Microsoft will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100 percent of carbon-emitting electricity consumed by all its datacenters, buildings, and campuses in the world.

The presence of a datacenter region will transform the business landscape as we know it. Take Ireland, for example. When its local datacenter industry scaled up, one study found that it has contributed more than €7 billion of economic activity between 2010 and 2018, directly and indirectly. The development also created thousands of new jobs, 20,000 of them in the computers, electronics and optical equipment sector, supported by those who operate very large datacenter infrastructure there.

Ireland also attracted further businesses and fueled worker education and upskilling to meet the demand. Essentially, the growth of local datacenters helps others achieve their goals.

Closer to home, the planned datacenter region in Malaysia is expected to deliver immense socioeconomic benefits to the local economy. According to research by IDC[1], the economic contribution of the datacenter region is up to USD 4.6 billion in new revenues generated through Microsoft’s local partners ecosystem and cloud-consuming customers over the next 4 years. The resulting growth in cloud computing will also spur the creation of 19,000 new direct and indirect jobs by Microsoft together with its partners and cloud-using customers within the country.

Innovation in the cloud



Datacenters are the infrastructures of the digital age, and data is the new fuel. By leveraging cloud technologies, this provides additional resilience options for organizations in any industry or sector – as capitalizing on data will ensure sustainable economic growth.

PLUS Malaysia, the largest highway concessionaries or build–​operate–transfer operator company in Malaysia, has integrated Microsoft Azure into its highway toll network system, leveraging the technology to enhance safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of its highway operations. The organization is also building a data-driven culture, using data analytics, visualization and live dashboards to study patterns and trends, then make informed decisions.

Similarly, Sime Darby Property, Malaysia’s biggest property developer in terms of land bank, is partnering with Microsoft to fulfil its ambition to become a data-driven organization and enable a more secure and reliable infrastructure for rapid innovation. By migrating to the cloud, this will allow for a hyper-personalized customer-centric business model and promote end-to-end operational excellence from managing procurement contracts to purchase-to-payment systems.


Leading firms are also embracing ‘tech intensity’, developing their own digital capability alongside technology adoption.

PETRONAS, a global energy and solutions company ranked amongst the largest corporations on Fortune Global 500®️, is collaborating with Microsoft to advance the nation’s digital transformation across public and private sectors. One of core focus area includes nurturing a sustainable pipeline of future-ready workers equipped to support Malaysia’s digital economy.

Additionally, Celcom, a leading telecommunications company is also embracing Microsoft Cloud in its journey towards becoming a digital economy powerhouse in the region. In addition to gaining potential cost savings from on-premises infrastructure, the company has achieved the agility needed to be future-ready. We’re also partnering with Celcom to accelerate digital adoption amongst local enterprise and businesses, through cloud offerings such as the Celcom Cloud Suite.

Cloud-first and digital-first workforce


In addition to investing in technology infrastructure, we’re also making additional commitments to invest in the communities we call home. As part of our Bersama Malaysia pledge, we’re working with public and private sectors to bring digital skills to 1 million Malaysians by December 2023, developing cloud-ready talent that’s critical to our nation’s digital transformation journey.

To ensure inclusive outreach and impact, we’ve formed strategic partnerships with PETRONAS, Human Resources Development Corporation (HRD Corp), Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), Junior Achievement Malaysia, TalentCorp Malaysia, MAMPU, Grab Malaysia, Biji-Biji Enterprise and local universities nationwide. Our skilling efforts are built upon our Global Skills Initiative, which was launched in July 2020, benefiting 110,000 Malaysians within the first 9 months.


Since Microsoft opened its office in Malaysia nearly 30 years ago, we have been together with our nation as its trusted technology partner, providing our customers and partners with secure technology, knowledge and insights. Our Bersama Malaysia initiative reflects our continuing commitment that we’re here for the long run.

We’re stepping up our efforts to support organizations in every industry, from retail and banking to manufacturing and public sectors, to build resilience and reimagine their future. We’re further committed to help ensure no Malaysian is left behind in our nation’s growth. The future is in the cloud – and we’re working together from the ground up for Malaysia’s inclusive digital economy.

Together, we stand with Malaysia.

Kami Bersama Malaysia.

[1] IDC Info Snapshot, sponsored by Microsoft, The Microsoft Cloud Dividend Snapshot: Malaysia, Doc. #US46918020, October 2020