PETALING JAYA: There is a need for the country to move up the value chain in the shared services industry so that it would not lose its competitive advantage, said Agos Asia Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Joon Leng Teoh (pic).
Teoh told StarBiz on the sidelines of the Finance Transformation & Shared Services Conference that this must happen in order for Malaysia to retain its place as the preferred destination for shared services.
“Malaysia is well known for shared services, ranking third on the ATKearney’s index.
“We are the third because we don’t have the scale unlike India. We have been too focused on transactional rather than knowledge-based shared services,” she said.
Shared services, also known as business process outsourcing, was birthed after multinational companies (MNCs) set up outsourcing centres here. Some MNCs may choose to outsource tasks such as human resources or finance while others establish dedicated shared services centres in Malaysia.
In the ATKearney report for 2017, it was revealed that automation in the shared services industry is threatening hundreds of thousands of low-skilled and repetitive jobs in both developed and developing economies.
“As technology becomes increasingly mature and ubiquitous, jobs in the business process outsourcing arena will be particularly at risk,” the ATKearney report said.
Automation is today still in its infancy but the research has shown that more than 1 million jobs could be at risk in the next five years in four countries: the US, Poland, India, and Philippines.
“The urgent need here is to upscale in order to have the necessary technical competencies. Today’s environment requires that the capabilities to analyse, understand data and problem-solving.
“These are the basic requirements now. In the conference we are also talking about change management,” Teoh said.
“For the area of finance shared services, the requirements are not only to be able to analyse and interpret data but to use whatever interpretation in order to present it and to influence (decision-making),” Teoh added.
The Finance Transformation & Shared Services Conference is organised by Star Media Group in partnership with AGOS Asia, Esker Document Automation (M) Sdn Bhd and SAP Malaysia as sponsors.
ICAEW, i2m Ventures Sdn Bhd and the Federation of Public Listed Companies Bhd are the working partners.
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