Software is undoubtedly an epoch-making development in human history. The invention of the first computer in 1946, known as the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), marked the beginning of a new era in which humans could utilize tools to enhance various aspects of life and work.
The release of the first Apple smartphone in 2007 catapulted the entire IT industry to new heights. Since then, the demand for software, including mobile apps and desktop applications, has continued to rise steadily. Numerous software startups such as Google, Microsoft emerged seemingly out of nowhere and managed to secure positions among the top 100 brands in the world. Remarkably, the growth of software has not halted, as it continues to expand until today.
Malaysia ICT Market Analysis
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a significant growth in the ICT market. Companies have been compelled to adopt software solutions to facilitate remote work for their employees. As a result, the pandemic has completely transformed the traditional work practices of companies and has provided them with an opportunity to witness the advantages of integrating IT into their operations. Key sectors such as finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail have adopted software applications to streamline operations, enhance efficiency and productivity within their businesses.
Malaysia has emerged as a vibrant player in the ICT market with the estimated of market size $25.29bn in 2023, and is expected to reach $36.42bn by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 7.57% during the forecast period (2023-2028) based on the research conducted by Modor Intelligence.
Malaysia government is leading the process of digitalization by launching MyDIGITAL
initiative as part of the The Malaysia Economy Digital Economy Blueprint is a strategic initiative formulated by the government to propel Malaysia towards becoming a digitally-driven, high-income nation, and a prominent regional leader in the digital economy by 2030. However, it is important to address the prevailing issue where ICT development predominantly caters to big enterprises due to their financial capacity to bear the costs associated with adopting new technologies. As a result, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia continue to rely on traditional methods such as paper records or Excel spreadsheets, rather than embracing the potential of customized software solutions that could effectively bridge this gap.
The limited adoption of customized software solutions among SMEs can be attributed to three main factors:
- Lack of Awareness and Expertise
- Resistance to Change
What software can we introduce to the space of SMEs in Malaysia?
Entering the software market for SMEs in Malaysia can be challenging due to the need to strike a balance between costs and pricing models. However, subscription-based or pay-as-you-go pricing models are ideal for SMEs. These models provide flexibility and affordability, allowing SMEs to access software solutions without significant upfront costs. By offering subscription-based or price-on-demand options, software providers can better cater to the budgetary constraints of SMEs and make their solutions more accessible to this market segment.
1. Accounting Software
In my previous AI blog, I have mentioned about the potential of accounting industry in Malaysia. This industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by increasing demand for professional accounting services and the country’s growing economy.
Developing an accounting mobile app for SMEs that enables them to track invoicing, expenses, and financial transactions anytime is undeniably a convenient solution. Users simply need to capture a picture of the transaction using their mobile phone, and the app will automatically process and categorize it accordingly.
Additionally, the mobile app can assist in managing accounting tasks, such as automating recurring payments and detecting any suspicious transactions. It can also provide financial analytics, giving business owners insights into their financial status, including monthly revenue and profit. This software can also link up directly to the government portal to submit the yearly financial report for taxation purpose.
Components: Mobile Application, AI Services
2. Legal Software
This software provides SME business owners with the ability to seek legal advice, including drafting agreements and resolving legal issues. It offers transparency by displaying average prices for specific legal services and enables legal firms to bid for jobs, preventing overpayment. Additionally, if a lawyer accepts a case, the app allows communication with the opposing party’s lawyer, ensuring the client’s involvement throughout the process. All agreements are securely stored in the cloud, allowing both parties to access them at any time, with multiple versions available for reference. Real-time editing capabilities facilitate instant updates to agreements during meetings with other lawyers.
Lawyers will be assigned specific tasks and receive notifications to remind them to follow up on their cases. For example, if there is no update on a case for two weeks, the app will send notifications to both parties to prevent the lawyer from forgetting about the case due to their usual busy schedule. This ensures that cases are actively monitored and progress is not inadvertently delayed or overlooked. The software includes a functionality for tracking case statistics, providing valuable insights on the duration of each procedure involved. This data serves as a reference point for identifying areas that require improvement, such as pinpointing which procedures tend to consume the most time
Components: Web App, Mobile App
3. KPI Software
Assessing and evaluating an employee’s performance can be a challenging task for any organization. This difficulty arises due to the absence of a common understanding of the goals and objectives across various roles within the organization. Therefore, it becomes essential for enterprises to implement a KPI (Key Performance Indicators) software that caters to the diverse KPIs required for different roles, enabling effective tracking of employee performance. For instance, a manager can utilize the provided KPI templates within the software to establish performance goals for individual workers. These goals can include objectives such as maintaining an average customer rating of at least 4.5 stars or achieving monthly sales worth RM10,000.
By utilizing the KPI software, managers can objectively measure and monitor employee performance against these established targets, providing a structured approach to performance evaluation. The software facilitates the breakdown of an annual KPI assessment into smaller tasks, allowing workers to effectively work towards achieving their goals. Additionally, it provides timely notifications to workers if they are lagging behind in their progress towards meeting the assigned KPIs. By breaking down the assessment process and offering reminders, the software helps keep workers on track and ensures they remain aware of their performance status relative to the established KPIs.
Components: Web App, Mobile App
4. “Lightweight” ERP Software
An optimal solution would be to develop a “Lightweight” ERP system, utilizing a web application, to effectively manage various aspects such as finance, inventory, sales, and procurement. This software should automate repetitive tasks like inventory management and order processing, thereby optimizing the company’s operations.
Moreover, it would be beneficial to incorporate relationship management functionalities for both customer and supplier into the software. This includes optimizing the relationship by tracking their interactions and providing personalized service accordingly. For example, the system can monitor the demand of each relationship and ensure timely delivery of goods and services.
Furthermore, the software can be leveraged for predictive analysis and evaluation of business data. This capability provides valuable insights that support informed decision-making, facilitates the identification of bottlenecks, and enables prompt issue resolution. Additionally, with the support of an ERP system, the enterprise can easily scale their business up or down to meet changing needs.
Components: Web App
5. Cybersecurity Software
This software protects SMEs from cyber threats and safeguards their valuable digital assets. It employs advanced algorithms to monitor network traffic, email communications, and system activities, identifying and neutralizing potential threats in real-time. The software constantly scans devices to detect any potential fraud, such as malicious software or phishing emails. For example, it blocks third-party apps from accessing message content to prevent unauthorized retrieval of OTP codes during online payments.
Additionally, the software encrypts all sensitive data, including passwords and personal information, stored on the devices. It also includes functionalities such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and strong password enforcement to protect users, preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data and accounts.
Components: Mobile App, Desktop App
The Bottom Line ⭐
The software market plays a crucial role in the digital era, fueling innovation, boosting productivity, and driving economic growth. However, developing custom software can be expensive and time-consuming, although it has the potential to yield significant results with dedicated effort.
In this discussion, I have presented some noteworthy software ideas for SMEs in Malaysia. Feel free to explore and expand upon these ideas. You can take an idea, make modifications, and enhance it further to suit your specific requirements.
We welcome your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below. Share your feedback, additional ideas, or any other suggestions that come to mind. Together, we can foster a collaborative environment and contribute to the advancement of software solutions for SMEs.