KUALA LUMPUR, 26 JULY 2013 – Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) announced the launch of the 3rd MSC Malaysia ICON programme today, dubbed ICON3 reiterating its commitment to continue to energise the local mobile app development ecosystem. With a focus on enterprise applications (more popularly known as “apps”), ICON3 will enable mobile app industry developers to access wider economic opportunities in the booming enterprise app market.
Introduced in 2009, the first ICON programme was aimed at enabling up-and-coming local app developers to create world-class applications and mobile content, particularly those focused on the consumer social and education market. The newly-launched third iteration, ICON3will empower developers to move up the value chain by focussing on applications for enterprises, while further accelerating the overall growth of the mobile app industry in Malaysia.
This shift from consumer apps to enterprise apps is necessary as the app industry rapidly evolves beyond consumer needs to cater specifically to that of businesses. This is even more apparent with the pressing need for enterprises to streamline and optimise their business operations in meeting the needs of a new generation of skilled workers while also leveraging on trends such as Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) to enable workers to maintain high levels of productivity on-the-go.
According to recent research from Gartner, 25 per cent of enterprises will have an enterprise app store for managing corporate-approved apps on personal computers (PCs) and mobile devices by 2017. This is attributed to the increasing number of enterprise mobile devices and the adoption of mobile device management by businesses. The positive outlook for the enterprise app industry is a clear sign for Malaysia to capitalise on this rising trend.
ICON3 will provide industrial training to nurture ICON graduates, with a focus on advanced skills, including back-end server integration as well as utilising cloud computing for the usage and development of apps. The ICON programme currently has a pool of 200 developers, and ICON3 will commence with training a specialised pool of 30 to 50 developers.
Speaking at the launch ceremony for ICON3, MDeC’s Chief Executive Office Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said, “MDeC is committed to push forward the growth of the Malaysian mobile app ecosystem. The resounding successes of both the ICON and ICON2 programmes in 2009 and 2011 respectively, convinced MDeC that Malaysian app developers are now ready to capitalize on new monetisation opportunities by focusing on implementing cutting-edge mobile enterprise apps.”
He continued, “Hence, ICON 2013’s focus is to trigger innovation by nurturing and driving app developers to harness opportunities arising from the growing enterprise app opportunity in Malaysia by encouraging them to produce customised solutions and gain immediate opportunity to work with the industry on larger projects”.
In conjunction with the launch of ICON3, MDeC also announced several key partnerships that will help to facilitate the growth of the enterprise mobile app ecosystem, with leading industry players such as Celcom, Digi, Nokia, Microsoft, Blackberry, ECS ICT Bhd, government agencies such as MAMPU and MCMC, Regional Development Corridors such as Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) and Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) and Universities including Swinburne, UTM and UMK.
Giving his address at the ICON3 launch, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Jailani Johari, Deputy Minister of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said, “Over 1.2 billion people worldwide are using mobile apps, and by 2017, that number is expected to reach 4.4 billion. The global mobile app trend is shifting rapidly to meet the needs of a growing enterprise workforce, and it is definitely encouraging to witness how the MSC Malaysia ICON programme has been instrumental in driving the mobile app development industry in Malaysia to match this trend.
The time is right for Malaysian app developers to start focusing on implementing cutting-edge mobile enterprise apps and the introduction of the ICON3 programme to forward this aim could not have been more appropriate. We would like to commend MDeC’s efforts in being at the forefront of this industry and are confident that ICON3 will also result in Malaysia becoming a more competitive nation with the right skills and expertise in this field.”
The ICON programme and its subsequent iterations are made possible through the support and funding from Pemandu via the Communication Content and Industry (CCI) New Key Economic Area (NKEA) of its Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
The first ICON programme, which ran from 2009 to 2010, saw 1,100 individuals exposed to the basic knowledge of app development, out of which 221 developers successfully completed their advanced training in both the iOS and Android platforms. MDeC approved and disbursed financial grants to 60 projects, which saw the creation of 180 jobs as well as the design and deployment of 96 mobile apps. With ICON2, a total of 200 developers were trained, resulting more than 80 mobile apps created and marketed in both the Apple iOS and Android stores. ICON and ICON2’s successes only strengthens PEMANDU’s incentive in further supporting this year’s ICON3 ecosystem.
MDeC invites industry players to come on board and take advantage of the readily available local ICON app development talent, as well as provide more opportunities for Malaysians to further grow their skill sets and flex their app development expertise in the enterprise arena.
 Gartner report: Enterprise App Stores Can Increase the ROI of the App Portfolio