How Philippine businesses are faring in the digital transformation race

Adrian M. Reodique

Jubert Alberto, Country Head of research firm IDC Philippines.
Jubert Alberto, Country Head of research firm IDC Philippines.

Businesses in the Philippines are highly aware of the need for digital transformation (DX), but are slow to adopt technologies for it.

"The awareness is high; according to IDC's data, Philippines has one of the highest awareness compared to similar economies in Southeast Asia. [However, businesses here are] normally  late in terms of technology adoption," said Jubert Alberto, Country Head of research firm IDC Philippines, in an exclusive interview with CIO Asia ahead of the CIO Conference Philippines 2017.

For instance, Alberto said that local businesses are still in the early stages of using big data and analytics. Supporting his claim, IDC's 2016 IDC MaturityScape Benchmark Report for Big Data and Analytics in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) found that most businesses in the region are just starting to use, learn, and experiment with big data and analytics tools to address business challenges.

He thus believes that most businesses in the Philippines are still technology optimisers, similar to other organisations in Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Thailand. According to IDC, modernisation initiatives by companies categorised as technology optimisers focus on cost optimisation and process automation.

However, Alberto pointed out that some verticals, such as the financial services industry (FSI), are ahead of others in terms of digital transformation maturity. "[Since financial services institutions are] very much involved in customer experience initiatives, they would definitely want to overhaul their operating model, as well as how to go to market. They're very much interested to learn how to empower their talent and resources. So, most financial institutions would already have digital transformation initiatives in place," he explained.

[Hear from industry experts on what you can do to help your organisation overcome the challenges of digital transformation by registering your interest to attend our CIO Conference Philippines 2017 on 25 May here.]


Millennials: A driver of digital transformation

Earlier this year, IDC published its top predictions for the ICT industry in the Philippines in 2017 and beyond. One of the predictions states that a quarter of the top 1,000 companies in the country will see majority of their business creating their own digital products, services, and experiences by 2020.

Alberto underscored that this prediction will primarily be driven by the businesses' new customers and employees, which will mostly be millennials.  

"[The] millennials or digital natives [are your new] customers...who want everything instant, freebie items, personalised [products and services], and to be connected on a social level. If that's your current crop of customers, you really need to transform to meet their demands," he said.

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