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Introduction 34

ICT Revolution (Past, Present, Future) 58

1.1 The Computer 5

1.2 The PC 6

1.3 The Microprocessor 6

1.4 The Internet 7

1.5 Wireless Links 78

Challenge 89

2.1 Equity 8

2.2 Quality 89

2.3 Education 9

Issue ICT in Malaysia 10 12

3.1 Inappropriate ICT outsourcing 10

3.2 Transfer of Technology (ToT) 10 11

3.3 Transparency in Awarding ICT project 11

3.4 Poor documentation 11

3.5 Vendor Management 12

Conclusion 13

References 14


This year 2015, yet several years ago, a modern machine we had used
was placed in a museum. It is an IBM 1401. First we loaded a deck of punch
cards to make the compiler read our programs. We then mounted magnetic
tapes; they moved in a staccato rhythm to read what corresponded to punch
cards. Sometimes it was quicker to use the old sorter-countersthey sorted and
counted the punch cards mechanically. It was nice to watch as the cards piled
up, and you could see your hypothesis confirmed or invalidated by the relative
size of the resulting stacks of cardsscience, indeed, in the making. It was not
so nice, however, when the sorter-counter, like a mechanical dog, ate the cards.
Now this IBM 1401which has been called the Model T of the computer
revolutionis stored in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

The 1401 had 8k of memory. Nowadays, we carry an iPad, Smart Phone

in our pocket, which has 32 Gb of memory. It keeps a schedule, address book,
various calculators, and GPS, documents in Word and Excel, and e-books such
as our university learning. And I can download music and whatever we need from
the Internet as well.

At certain university, there were among the first to be exposed to learning

by the new information and communications technology. Via teletypes, we could
access a remote computer located, I think, somewhere in Pennsylvania. On it
was stored a program by which we could learn interactively different statistical
techniques, such as ANOVA or regression analysis. We could choose the
parameters (such as the grand mean and within-row means) and then add a
normally distributed error term to generate data with a chosen standard
deviation. We could then order the logical building blocks (such as total sums or
squares) and use them to see what could be retrieved as estimates of the
parameters we had put in, and how sensitive the results were to standard
deviation of the error term we had chosene.g., the estimated grand mean
compared to the true grand mean we had entered. Such programs were

designed by the legendary sociologist, James S. Coleman, together with Doris

*ANOVA - Analysis of variance collection of statistical models used in order to analyze

the differences between group means and their associated procedures (such as "variation"
among and between groups), developed by R. A. Fisher. In the ANOVA setting, the
observed variance in a particular variable is partitioned into components attributable to
different sources of variation.

IBM 1401 and their added device

Present Device


The speed with which the revolution in information and communication

technology (ICT) has taken place is phenomenal. My grandfather grew up in a
society without the telephone, my father in a society without radio, I in a society
with television, and my son in a society with the Internet. The changes the ICT
revolution has wrought are not limited to one single sector of society, nor do they
just add another column in the aggregate tables of macroeconomists. ICT
transforms all sectors of the economy. Hospitals would have to close and airlines
would have to be grounded without them. My uncles hearing aid is a wonder of
transistors and miniaturization. My PC now serves as a post office, word
processor, bank window, shopping center, CD player, photo shop, news medium,
and, of course, a vast library. The changes have been faster, deeper, and more
sweeping than anyone imagined as late as two or three decades agoeven by
those who have pushed the new frontier.


The first revolution started during World War II, with the first large, automatic,
general electromechanical calculator, Harvard Mark 1. It was 50 feet long, eight
feet tall, and weighed five tons. A couple of years later, ENIAC was presented in
Philadelphia, based on radio tubes and practically without any internal memory,
yet using 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighing 30 tons. Each time a new task was
to be performed, some 6,000 switches covering three walls had to be thrown. In
1947, Walter H. Brattain, John Bardeen, and William Shockley created the first
transistor, and, on its basis, faster and more powerful computers were
constructed. Computers became a new catchword, and input-output technology
graduated from punch cards to magnetic tape, faster printers, and more
languages for programming. Applications also were expanded, from use in
academic research to weather forecasting, from airline ticketing to accounting.
This development continues; the first ICT revolution is still under way.

1.2 THE PC

The second ICT revolution has its roots in the 1970s, when the first
processors on a chip and magnetic discs were constructed. But as late as
1977, Ken Olson, the legendary president of the computer company, Digital,
stated: There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. He
was definitely wrong. In the same year, Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak started to
sell their Apple II, and Bill Gates and Paul Allen had already founded a firm called
Microsoft. From being an esoteric toy, the personal computer gradually became a
valuable tool for word processing, accounting, and, after a while, pictures. IBM,
which at first grossly underestimated the markets for the personal computer (PC),
launched its first machine under that name in 1981. Now the PC has become as
widespread as the radio when our grandparents were youngindeed, as
widespread as bicycles are among todays youth. This second ICT revolution
continues like the first: the capacities of the machines increase, their applications
expand, and the number of people who use them multiplies.


The third ICT revolution is that microprocessors have become embedded in

an ever-widening range of products: the steering systems of airplanes, the
control panels of hydroelectric power stations, domestic air conditioning systems,
the traffic lights in our streets. Even when we do not recognize it, they have
become part of our everyday lives: in video players, credit cards, remote
controllers, cameras, hotel room door locks, and smart buildings. There is a
microprocessor embedded in our digital scale in the bathroom. If you use an
electric toothbrush, its functions are governed by some 3,000 lines of
programming. Microprocessors translate bar codes into prices at the cash
register, monitor electronic injection of fuel in our cars, and determine where the
elevator stops in our building. An ordinary household now contains some 100
microprocessors, in everything from dishwashers to alarm systems.
Microprocessors constantly expand their capacity, applications, and users.


The fourth ICT revolution stretches back to the late 1960s, when the U.S.
Department of Defense drew up guidelines for a communication network among
computers (ARPANET). After a while, universities in and outside the United
States were hooked up to it, and some started to use it to send messages.
France developed its variantits Minitel systemat the beginning of the 1980s,
at the same time the U.S. National Science Foundation set up its own network
among academic institutions that later became part of Internet. A dozen
universities on the U.S. East Coast with IBM mainframes contributed with
BITNET. In Europe, EARN became a network among academic institutions, while
CERN in Geneva was crucial in the development of the World Wide Web, which
got its name in 1990. A couple of years later, surfing on the net started, and
More and more people hooked up. A PC needed a modem to use its potential
fully. This fourth ICT revolution continues like the others as more and more
computers are interlinked with an ever-growing number of servers and an
expanding range of applications. Yet, the most important part of the fourth
ICT revolution was this: on the computer networks engineers had constructed,
users built social networks to make them useful and effectivein this case, the
social superstructure built on the material basis became really super.


The fifth ICT revolution was linking without linesthe new possibilities
opened by mobile phones. At first, they were big and bulky. Reduction in size
and weight was accompanied by expansion of reach and functions, and
miniaturization was accompanied by multifunctionality. Mobile phones could be
used not just for talking, but also to exchange messages, receive news or stock
exchange quotes, review restaurants, or order movie tickets. Phones are no
longer only for transmitting phonemes; now they can transmit written messages,
pictures, and music. Linking without lines now takes place not just
intercontinentally via satellites, but also via high frequency short-range radio

transmitters covering a specific area or cell (hence the name, cellular phones)
and inside buildings by Bluetooth and infrared light.

2.0 Challenge ICT in Malaysia

The ICT revolution offers new intrinsic opportunities; it dramatically changes

what can be learned and by whom as well as what can be produced and
provided by whom. These potential changes, however, pose many new
challenges for educational planners. These challenges can be divided into two
broad types: those that pertain to equity and those that pertain to quality. But
unless educational planners respond to these changes and challenges with
commensurate speed, they will become, so to speak, technologically challenged.

2.1 Equity

Although in many Western countries, the majority of households have PCs

linked to the Internet, considerable differences remain along regional and class
lines. Several studies document that boys are more active than girls in using the
new technical tools. And though schools also are increasingly well equipped and
connected, standards vary within countries with educational level and type. The
same applies to teacher training and skills.
Thus, the issue of equity pertaining to ICT has to be addressed along two
> Equitable access of students as consumers, where the poorer peoples and
nations are put at a disadvantage;
> Equitable provision of content, where the poor are even worse off.

2.2 Quality

As ICT is rapidly becoming an integral part of the social environment and as

our jobs are being transformed rapidly into tapping on keyboards and looking at
screens, traditional literacy is no longer sufficientwhat could be called,

Literacy, becomes imperative. Learning to work a PC and surfing the Internet is
becoming crucial for functioning in the workplace, for effective citizenship, for
entertainment, and for personal growth. With the rapid change in technology,
training cannot be a one-shot affair; we have to be updated continuously to stay
abreast of developments. Planning and designing educational systems so that
they familiarize students with a technology that is being modified and evolving
continuously is not just an intellectual challenge, it is also an economic one.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that many vendors of new technologies
are sometimes more pushers than providers, promoting solutions that have a
short useful life or little compatibility with what emerge as industry standards.
The history of information technology is not just a history of innovation but also a
history of misguided investments.

2.3 Education

The efforts of the Malaysian government in building a knowledge-based

economy in this decade focus on balancing geographical and communal
disparities. Education is considered to be the key. Several programs have been
proposed to ensure that the rural folk and the poor, especially the younger
generation, have facilities to access the Internet. Studies have indicated that the
majority of the current Internet users nationwide are in 20-24 age groups while
those in their 30s are under-represented (Bernama, 199a). Due to this, a web
site has been set up locally to help those interested to
start their business or wish to find out more about the Internet. The Sdn Bhd in collaboration with SMI Association Malaysia had
organized a campaign in August 2000 to raise the level of Internet literacy and
promote a lifelong learning culture among Malaysians. The National Internet
Literacy Campaign was aimed at increasing the level of Internet literacy among
Malaysians and to aid them in utilizing the Internet productively and effectively.
The campaign would also promote a life-long learning culture among Malaysians
in line with the nation's goal of achieving a knowledgeable society.

3.0 Issue ICT in Malaysia
3.1 Inappropriate ICT outsourcing

In one of the outsourcing guidelines provided by Malaysian Administrative

Modernization and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), it states that any
activity that involves the control of strategic IT for a government agency is
deemed an inappropriate element to be outsourced. The inappropriateness of
outsourcing such an activity is evident from the fact that once an agency
outsources its strategic IT, the system may be duplicated and thus, fails to play a
strategic role. Another area of inappropriateness may be seen in relation to an
organizations human resource. Reasons generally given for outsourcing are
insufficient in-house skills and insufficient manpower. Although these are viable
reasons, the fact remains that with outsourcing, in-house skills may never be
well-developed and this may not be accepted by internal staff. Therefore, it is
important that when reorganizing the IT function, organizations give serious
consideration to deciding what part of the IT function is to be performed internally
and what part would be appropriate to be outsourced to external parties.

3.2 Transfer of Technology

One of the major concerns of ICT outsourcing is the assurance that the
outsourcer personnel possess adequate knowledge regarding the related
technologies used in the ICT outsourcing projects. Although MAMPU has the
Request for Proposal (RFP) concept outlined, government agencies may still
experience problems in managing the technology transfer due to some internal
factors. One of which is that since ICT outsourcing projects may sometimes take
years to complete, it is difficult to assign any permanent IT personnel to be part
of the project team during the project lifecycle. In addition, ToT may not be
successful owing to staff turnover or staff transfers to other government

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One of the pre-emptive measures taken by the government was to outline in
the RFP concept that a structured ToT programme must be delivered, including
detailing the entire ToT execution and evaluation process. To get the full benefit
of ToT, it is best that government agencies work closely with the service provider
and the relationship must be stated clearly in the management contract.
Furthermore, human resource management should be planned properly to
ensure the availability of the IT personnel from the development to deliverable

3.3 Transparency in Awarding ICT project

In ICT outsourcing in government agencies, the Tender Evaluation

Committee of the outsourcing organization will evaluate the service providers
proposal without knowledge of the identity of the service provider. After
evaluation of the close tenders, a short list of eligible service providers is sent to
MAMPU and Ministry of Finance (MoF) to be finalized. The government agencies
have no power to ensure that the ICT outsourcing project goes to any one of the
service provider listed during the tender evaluation. An absence of adequate
transparency and inadequate monitoring may result in collusion and abuse in the
awarding of tenders. In any large ICT outsourcing projects that involve significant
sums of money, there exist possible elements of influence towards the
outsourcing decisions. Therefore, there is a necessity for transparency in
awarding the project to the most eligible service provider. Once an award is
made and agreements signed, the outsourcing decision is irreversible and
finalized, for better or worse. Hence, it is necessary to emphasize the need for
openness, transparency and competitiveness for all implementation of ICT.

3.4 Poor Documentation

Poor documentation is another major issue in ICT. End-user

documentation is of critical importance to the user-friendliness of an application,
and in this regard, the issue of quality documentation from ICT outsourcing

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needs considerable improvement. Many service providers are unable to provide
complete project documentation. The main reason given is that there is no
specific standard defined for preparing the project documentation. Moreover,
documentation provided by some service providers may be difficult to understand
(owing to technical terminology used) or fail to meet user requirements. In order
to overcome the difficulties in preparing quality documentation, standardization of
the projects documentation format is necessary. However, the challenge for
preparing a standardize format comes from the lack of expertise from personnel
with adequate know-how.

3.5 Vendor Management

The Malaysian government has a centralized vendor management group

whereby the vendor management process is led by MAMPU and the (MoF). The
vendor management group proactively evaluates the health of a vendor once the
contract has been signed by conducting risk assessments such as pending legal
actions, large contract wins, or contract losses. The risk of excessive
dependence on the outsourcer spurs the need for the vendor management group
to improve on the measurement used to determine a vendors business
performance, especially in terms of business outcomes and vendor performance.
Moreover, the vendor or contractor from the outsourcing organization may be
faced with the inability to respond rapidly to changing business needs owing to a
lack of experience on the part of the vendor. To reduce these problems, it is
recommended that the outsourcing organization provide incentives to the service
provider (vendor) to motivate them to exceed performance requirements. On the
other hand, penalty clauses in contracts may be sufficient deterrents if properly

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There are optimistic theories about developmentabout a great technological

leap forward or about latecomers ability to leapfrog generations of already
outdated technologies. Yet, the digital divide will be with us for years to come,
and the poor will remain in the worst position for a long time, even under the
most ambitious programs. Yet, perhaps the greatest divide is between the gains
we would all reap if all of us could use the potential of the new technologies to
develop our talents in ways that could benefit us all.

The main objectives in this case study to determine the ICT services that are
currently being outsourced, and to describe the inherent risks, issues and
challenges in ICT outsourcing. Pertaining to the most common services being
outsourced, network services was ranked the highest with outsourcers not
complying with contracts being the most significant risk factor in ICT outsourcing.
It is critical that organizations understand how to manage the risks that can
contribute to ICT outsourcing failure. With effective risk management, the prime
focus should be on planning to avoid future problems rather than solving the
current problems. Moreover, by recognizing and addressing inherent risks,
organizations could improve the outsourcing environment. In this way, potential
outsourcing organizations may be able to offer an additional incentive of a more
secured outsourcing environment to prospective clients.

In order to reap as many benefits as possible from outsourcing while

simultaneously avoiding many potential pitfalls, it is essential for governments to
utilize a solid governance approach in managing outsourcing process. Such a
regulatory framework may pave the way for a secured and successful
deployment of ICT outsourcing with proper risk management and strong
enforcement of policies and procedures.

ICT outsourcing holds great promise for organizations, giving them more time
to focus on the core business and at the same time provide efficient services to
the customer.
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MAMPU, Garis Panduan IT Outsourcing Agensi-Agensi Sektor AWAM, Oktober, 2006

The Star, Nation Must Move or Lose Outsourcing Opportunity, 2005. Retrieved August 13, 2006

Schwalbe, K., Information technology project management. Canada: Course Technology, 2002.

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