The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on the vast majority of industries in Malaysia, and this is particularly true of its burgeoning tech space, says Tom Osborne, Managing Director of Hays Malaysia.
“The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of most businesses and renewed the focus on the critical role technology will play in Malaysia’s future development. To support this wave of new projects, IT roles have become even more integral to ensuring organisations can not only adapt to new ways of working in an agile and effective manner, but sustain the momentum and pivot towards growth,” says Tom.
But even beyond the pandemic, Tom believes that technology will continue to play a critical role in the coming months. He outlines four sectors that are likely to boost demand for IT professionals in Malaysia.
1. Cybersecurity – With the proliferation of digital communication technologies in both personal and professional lives, cybersecurity and governance, particularly with regard to data privacy, has become a critical area of business interest. “Businesses need to ensure their new digitised systems and models are secure enough to deal with any new threats. In Malaysia, reports showed that cybersecurity cases spiked by 82.5% during the MCO compared to the same time last year. Even Zoom, one of the greatest business success stories during the pandemic, had its challenges in this area. Protecting against the threat of cyberattacks will continue to be a focal point of investment for companies across industries, bringing with it a sustained demand for cybersecurity and IT professionals,” says Tom.  
2. Data-led decision making – “A number of businesses have shifted their business models using technology during COVID-19,” says Tom. “After crossing the initial period of alarm at the onset of the outbreak, businesses and public bodies have started thinking about how they can continue to operate successfully under COVID-19 conditions. This has created a need for Data Analysts, Data Scientists and Business Analytics experts to model the impact of the pandemic in their respective fields.”
The number of data-led roles within MedTech also saw huge growth, as countries developed COVID-tracking apps and began to understand the impact the pandemic may have on local hospitals or health services, for example. Private businesses, like insurance companies, also saw the need to recruit these specialists, to understand the impact COVID would have on their customers’ risk profiles.
“In addition to this, there is a growing amount of data being collected as more companies go digital. The pursuit of organisations to harness this data and use it to make decisions will keep these roles in demand for some time to come,” says Tom.
3. Mobile and web development – “Mobile and web development is booming as the usage of mobile devices continues to surge. This has resulted in a demand for not only developers but also UI/UX experts who can shape and design customer journeys,” says Tom. The same trend is seen in the fast-growing e-commerce sector that has continued to grow even after movement restrictions were lifted. “Businesses have moved their retail operations online, hiring Developers to build applications and UI/UX specialists to either upgrade or build new digital e-commerce structures to sell from. This has created a knock-on effect for Supply Chain & Logistics businesses, as supermarkets and e-commerce companies had to deal with a massive influx of online orders,” says Tom. The fluctuating demand supply has also accelerated development in the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) space, which is set to boom as companies look to become more agile and resilient to future disruptions.
4. Digital projects – “Organisations in Malaysia quickly adapted to the challenges of country-wide lockdowns and made the necessary alterations to their operating models in the short-term to react to the changing environments. Now, they are starting to take a more proactive look at their futures, and need the help of Project Managers, Change Management specialists and those with experience in Agile Methodologies (including Agile coaches) to assist them with this transition. This trend is being seen in both the public and private sectors who are working on digitising their products and services.
Tom adds that IT infrastructure is a fifth area that played a critical role in the way business reacted to the pandemic and will remain integral as new ways of working become the norm. “IT consultants, vendors, network engineers and support have been instrumental in helping businesses make their digital transition. Roles that involve planning, implementing and supporting IT infrastructure will remain critical as employers proactively review their actions during the early stages of the pandemic and work on improving or expanding their digital systems.”


About Hays Malaysia

Agensi Pekerjaan Hays (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd ("Hays Malaysia") is one of the leading specialist recruitment companies in Malaysia in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of industries and professions. We provide mid to senior level recruitment services across both finance and commerce industries. We have become known as the experts in sourcing regional and global candidates, as well as returning Malaysians.
Hays has been in Malaysia since 2012 and boasts a track record of success and growth, with two operating offices located in KLCC and Sunway. At Hays in Malaysia, we operate across the private and public sector, dealing in permanent positions in the following specialisms: Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Construction, Digital Technology, Engineering, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Information Technology, Insurance, Legal, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Marketing & Digital, Procurement, Supply Chain and Sales.

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2019 the Group employed 11,600 staff operating from 266 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2019:
  • the Group reported net fees of £1,129.7 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £248.8 million;
  • the Group placed around 81,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 254,000 people into temporary assignments;
  • 18% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 27% in Germany, 23% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 32% in Rest of World (RoW);
  • the temporary placement business represented 57% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 43% of net fees;
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA