Thursday, May 26th, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR - A significant number of Malaysian executives are more positive about entering the fourth industrial revolution as compared to their peers globally.

GE, in unveiling the Malaysia Report of its biennial 2016 GE Global Innovation Barometer today, said that a high percentage of Malaysian executives feel optimistic (76% vs. 68% globally), excited (67% vs. 61% globally) and confident (72% vs. 60% globally) about the prospect of entering the fourth industrial revolution, otherwise known as the Age of the Industrial Internet.

GE's Global Innovation Barometer is an international survey which takes place across 23 countries, gathering perceptions of innovation in the world today. The recently compiled fifth edition of the barometer gathered insight from over 2,700 innovation business executives and nearly 1,350 innovation educated members of the public to deliver a comprehensive report on the global perception of innovation.

In Malaysia, GE gathered insight from over 100 business executives, revealing our own national perceptions of innovation. The results show an optimistic country, and one excited by the opportunities afforded by innovation.

The Industrial Internet describes the next wave of innovation impacting the way the world connects and optimises machines. Through the use of sensors, advanced analytics and brilliant machines, the fourth industrial revolution is profoundly transforming the way machines connect and communicate, enabling productivity and efficiency gains, anticipating maintenance before breakdowns occur and transforming today's workforce.

Innovation Champions

Globally, the U.S. remains the number one innovation champion among business leaders, while Germany dropped from number two to number three. Japan is still among the top three countries considered to be a leading innovation champion, moving to the number two position. Malaysia emerged as a new entrant to the list, along with countries such as Australia, Canada and Switzerland. 

Embracing Innovation to Drive Growth 

The 2016 GE Global Innovation Barometer also revealed that 93% of Malaysian business executives are mindful of the developments that are changing the face of innovation. The Malaysia Report stated that 93% of the respondents believe that innovative companies are defined in their ability to not only launch new products and services but also create a new market that did not exist previously (vs 90% globally).

In terms of innovation strategy, 79% of Malaysian businesses (vs. 68% globally) have a clear and defined innovation strategy, favouring incremental innovations (59% vs. 63% globally) and internal innovations (57% vs. 60% globally). Having said this, the Report discovered that while more Malaysian business executives have a clear process and structure in place to manage innovation as compared to the global average, (48% vs. 42% globally), the reliance on consumer research as a foundation for innovation (42% vs. 35% globally) and turning data and analytics into actionable decision making tools (40% vs. 40% globally) are the most challenging best practices that they are currently facing.

Adopting New Models and Technologies 

Executives are taking action on decisions that used to make them nervous, including increasing investments in new partnerships, data, and analytics to inform decision-making and remain competitive. Collaboration has increased in most markets, and businesses across the globe are seeing results. Globally, 77% are seeing an increase in revenue and profit generated by collaborative activities in 2015 versus 64% in 2014. Malaysia scored 81% in this category, significantly higher than the global average.

Talent Conundrum Remains 

The 2016 GE Global Innovation Barometer also found that many of the innovation challenges that faced Malaysian executives in 2014 remain, such as talent and sufficient investment. Talent remains a major challenge, with three-in-four businesses (74% vs. 71% in 2014 and 58% globally) seeking for a workforce that is creative (64% vs. 54% globally) and problem solving (58% vs. 56% globally).

Speaking at a briefing, Azli Mohamed, Chief Operating Officer of GE Malaysia said that while corporate Malaysia has readily embraced innovation, the innovation eco-system needs to be further elevated in order to impact the nation's growth. "One of the most difficult things to teach and to learn is innovation; the ability to do things differently from how it was done before to bring about beneficial change not only for an organisation but also the larger community and subsequently, the country."

"The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 has moved Malaysia up four notches from 24th place out of 144 countries in 2013-2014 to 20th place in 2014-2015. Malaysia's progress is reflected in the Report's Innovation Pillar (Pillar 12), in which improved scores were recorded in each of the criteria measured. This certainly indicates that Malaysia is moving in the right direction when it comes to innovation."

"We also laud the Malaysian Government's focus on transforming innovation to wealth by catalysing innovation at both the enterprise and societal levels, while improving collaboration among all stakeholders, as outlined in the 11th Malaysia Plan. Through efforts such as strengthening industry-academic collaborations to inculcating higher order thinking skills in the society, we are confident that the nation's goal of becoming a high income nation by 2020 can be achieved with an innovative and forward-looking society," he added.

Notably, 34% of the respondents see multinationals as the driving force behind innovation in Malaysia today. This is a significant departure from the global average of 18%. "At GE, we have and will continue to work closely with our Malaysian partners to create innovative solutions that address the community's needs.

About the GE Global Innovation Barometer

Now in its fifth year, the research was commissioned by GE and conducted by Edelman Berland between October 13, 2015 and December 7, 2015. Interviews with the 2,748 senior business executives and the 1,346 informed publics were conducted by telephone or online across 23 countries. Seventy percent of the business executives surveyed are at the C-suite level. The countries included in the research are: Algeria, USA, Australia, China, Canada, South Africa, India, Poland, Sweden, Russia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Brazil, France, UAE, Mexico, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Germany, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world's Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About Edelman Berland

Edelman Berland is a global, full-service market insights and analytics firm that provides corporate, non-profit and government clients with strategic intelligence to make their communications and engagements with stakeholders the smartest they can be. The firm specializes in measurement, tracking and analysis in reputation, branding and communications. Edelman Berland is part of Edelman, the world's largest public relations company. Edelman Berland has more than 200 employees and 12 offices around the world. Edelman Berland: Intelligent Engagement.

Media Contacts: 
Sumitra Valliappan
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General Electric, GE, Global Innovation Barometer, Malaysia, 4th Industrial Revolution


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