65% of business owners in Malaysia brace for recession

PETALING JAYA: Some 65% of business owners in Malaysia believe it is important to prepare for recession and have taken steps to do so, according to one-stop IT solutions provider GoTo.

Based on its recent survey on how global businesses prepare for an economic downturn, it said many businesses believe that implementing technological solutions can contribute to economic resiliency, including bolstering digital defences.

“However, many are still not confident about long-term stability, should a recession occur,” the US-based company told SunBiz.

The survey found that 57% of business owners and executives learnt to prepare for potential disruptions to their business having gone through a similar experience in the past.

“Attitudes reflect a belief in creating a recession-proof business. To do so would involve creating business continuity plans, equipping employees with the technology they need and creating a company-wide emergency fund,” GoTo said.

In addition, it said that the top three actions they have taken to recession-proof their businesses are diversifying the business’ cash flow (53%), ensuring three months’ worth of ‘cash in bank’ (52%) and doing internal risk assess-ments (48%).

GoTo observed that while most businesses are on the right track in shoring up their defences, more can be done on the technology front, from keeping work and office equipment up to date, consolidating tech stacks the number of providers and outsourcing helpdesk or information technology support functions.

About 53% of business owners believe in maintaining work equipment, such as employee computers and office equipment on a regular basis as a measure of creating a recession-proof business, in order to prevent costly repairs when there is downtime to avoid missed connections with customers for support and revenue generation opportunities.

It said that downtime costs money – small businesses can lose US$137 (RM584.10) to $427 (RM1,820.51) for every minute of downtime.

“Employee productivity will also be affected, with more than one-third (37%) of the business owners facing disruption while doing important work, due to technology issues.

The trade-off is between paying now to maintain your equipment or paying more later with a costly impact on both business and the customers they serve,” it said.

Meanwhile, the survey also found that less than half of business owners were prioritising tech stack consolidation. The benefits include simplifying and improving processes between various departments in an organisation as well as reducing the management and costs businesses pay to different providers.

“Employee experience is also crucial to ensuring a seamless remote working experience. Understanding the challenges that employees may have in learning new software or their experience from using disparate apps, will provide leaders with a view of how the software can be consolidated,” GoTo said.

However, the study observed that only one-in-three (36%) businesses believe that outsourcing a helpdesk or other IT support functions to a managed service provider can help in an economic downturn.

It said that reducing costs is no longer the key driver for using managed services, driven by the priority shift by organisations towards improving and connecting customer, employee and partner experiences.