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The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Tackles Technical Debt to Accelerate Digital Innovation

>50% apps consolidated in less than a year
Up to 10x faster development
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The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) leads the digital transformation of the country's economy. With over 50 applications facing maintenance challenges, MDEC faced delivery delays for new applications.

To consolidate the legacy apps quickly and gain bandwidth for innovation, the agency turned to OutSystems.

The result— two agile platforms that have successfully replaced more than 50 percent of targeted applications and a development team that spends more time on innovation and less on tackling technical debt.

  • App Modernization
  • Customer Experience
  • Digital Transformation
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Web Apps & Portals
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“As Malaysia’s lead digital economy agency, we will continue to catalyze and spur the digital ecosystem. Forming effective partnerships with global technology companies such as OutSystems is crucial, and we look forward to more success in the future.”

Mahadhir Aziz CEO, MDEC

Third-party Reliance and Legacy Debt Slow Malaysia's Digital Economy Driver

Founded in 1996, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is an agency under Malaysia's Ministry of Communications and Digital. The agency aims to drive innovation and digital economy growth across the country and, ultimately, establish Malaysia as a digital leader in Southeast Asia. To operate efficiently and facilitate communication with other government ministries, MDEC had 50 cloud-hosted applications developed and maintained mostly by external vendors. These apps were built using a mixed stack of technology, and some were more than 10 years old.

“While MDEC is a digital-by-default agency, we remain cognizant of the need to ensure we future-proof our systems to deliver the best user experience. This is especially important as we embark on a new chapter in our evolution with the introduction of Malaysia Digital (MD), a national strategic initiative.”

Mahadhir Aziz CEO, MDEC

The COVID-19 pandemic made it even more difficult to hire talented technology professionals.

The agency also wanted to improve the user experience for its external-facing programs. Moreover, MDEC urgently required a centralized portal to support its Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) program.

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Why MDEC chose OutSystems:
  • Increase professional developer productivity
  • Modernize legacy systems
  • Deliver public-facing web apps and portals

New Portals Delivered in Less than Four Months

Led by its CEO Mahadhir Aziz, MDEC searched for a solution that could help bring development in-house, increase the productivity of its professional developers, and allow fast delivery of new solutions and features. After evaluating Gartner's Magic Quadrant™ for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms, the team selected OutSystems Cloud for its unique suitability for professional developers, its ability to speed up application development and enhancement cycles, automate business processes, and consolidate applications.

OutSystems provided full support to MDEC’s internal development team, offering online training and certifications, and providing guidance on setting up and establishing their system architecture.

Currently, MDEC’s OutSystems crew is made up of 15 developers, organized into four teams.

With OutSystems, MDEC replaced MSC with the Malaysia Digital Platform in four months only, consolidating six of 11 applications under the new solution. Ten thousand users have accessed the portal and MDEC expect up to 50,000 users once they add additional applications to the portal.

The team also consolidated another platform, Saya Digital, and delivered three additional standalone projects, including a grant approval app. Saya Digital's first app was migrated in just one month and the team has replaced 12 of its 18 applications. MDEC expect user numbers to grow from the current 35,000 to 900,000 in 2023.

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“We aim to stay abreast with the latest technology to encourage innovation within our organization and to reduce our total operational costs. OutSystems allows MDEC to better understand and utilize digital solutions such as RPA, machine learning, IoT, and other cloud extensions.”

Mahadhir Aziz CEO, MDEC

Less Apps, Lower Risk, More Innovation

The two new portals offer users an improved experience. Applicants can now navigate easily and register for the different programs hosted by MDEC on a centralized interface, eliminating the need for multiple submission forms.

MDEC has consolidated more than 50 percent of its targeted applications, halving the risk of apps getting obsolete. Building on the success of the Malaysia and Saya Digital Platforms, the team plans to continue this consolidation effort while conducting a risk and cost analysis for each app.

OutSystems has dramatically increased the speed with which MDEC's professional developers deliver new solutions. On average, the team is delivering at least two times faster than traditional development methods, but MDEC has seen a tenfold increase in speed in some instances. For example, its Grant Approval Committee application, scheduled to be completed in 100 days, was delivered in just seven.

But the benefits that OutSystems has brought to the agency go far beyond speed. OutSystems is helping MDEC revolutionize its software and application infrastructure, providing a future-proof, scalable foundation for existing and new applications.


Without the burden of technical debt and less time spent on maintenance, developers now act truly as engineers, designing and delivering applications that add more value to the organization.