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Digital transformation already happening; early adoption beneficial, experts agree

Showing that enterprises are going through digital innovation, an IDC study projects that about 25% of companies will see their businesses dependent on their capability to produce digital-based products and services by 2020. Similarly, the study said 25% of companies will have dedicated focus in covering digital transformation by 2018, and the amount of offerings that are digitally-based will double by 2020.

“In the Philippines, digital transformation is real, it’s happening.”

So said Ronnie Latinazo, country general manager of Dell EMC Philippines, as he stressed that there are companies that have embraced digital transformation in order to gain advantage in the digital economy.

From left: Ronnie Latinazo, Country General Manager, Dell EMC Philippines; Pang Yee Beng, SVP-Commercial Business, South Asia & Korea, Dell EMC; and Managing Director, Dell Malaysia; Dindo Marzan, Managing Director, Hatch; Samuel “Chips” Guevarra, Executive Director, PhilDev

Showing that enterprises are going through digital innovation, an IDC study projects that about 25% of companies will see their businesses dependent on their capability to produce digital-based products and services by 2020. Similarly, the study said 25% of companies will have dedicated focus in covering digital transformation by 2018, and the amount of offerings that are digitally-based will double by 2020.

Latinazo said that to prove that digital transformation is happening in the Philippines, it is worth highlighting companies that have already embarked in the digital journey. The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), for one, launched an offering on prepaid metering where they improved the way they touch their customers as it is mobile-based; it is prepaid so customers can save money and control their consumption; and provide them with a faster turnaround. Globe Telecom, on its part, embarked on a managed private cloud infrastructure which allows them to accelerate deployment, provide new services, and accelerate the way it offers new offerings in the market, Meanwhile, the Philippine Stock Exchange recently modernized its data center to provide it scalability and compute power to address its needs in dealing with higher volume of transactions.

The adoption of emerging technologies that affects the way we change and behave in our daily lives causes digital transformation, according to Pang Yee Beng, SVP-Commercial Business, South Asia & Korea, Dell EMC, and managing director of Dell Malaysia.

He added that emerging technologies have driven the way to digital transformation, from artificial intelligence (AI), to Robotics to Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality all the way to Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT). “Digital transformation is slowly but surely creeping into our lives.”

An earlier survey conducted across business leaders noted that more than half believed there’s a possibility that their company or their role will become obsolete within the next three to five years, while 61% of respondents confessed they have experienced disruption in their business as a result of digital technologies.

Pang Yee Beng noted that with humans having work alongside machines for decades and adopt emerging technologies, enabling a symbiotic partnership in the future, with machines bringing speed, automation and improved efficiency, and humans providing judgement, creativity and problem solving capabilities.

For Dindo Marzan, managing director of Hatch, the Digital Transformation (DX) group of Voyager Innovations, Inc., digital transformation is changing humanity. “It is not just transforming the business but transforming yourself as well.”

Marzan said humans now act as digital conductor where they are in control of the technology instead of the technology controlling them, making it good and sustainable. “Don’t let technology bore you for being complex. You have to look at the human side of the technology,” he said.

For technology to become more human, Marzan said that it should make things easier, it can simplify things and not being too framework-oriented, and should not alienate people. Although these emerging technologies provide a lot of opportunities, they also pose a threat to a lot of people.

“All these AI and Robotics will take over my job while new technologies can create new opportunities and new jobs for the next generation and for many of us,” said Pang Yee Beng.

Samuel “Chips” Guevarra, executive director at PhilDev, mentioned the call center industry as one of the biggest threats as AI can make replacement to a lot of jobs there. This could be a reason PhilDev is bridging the digital transformation to the business community, educational institutions, and the government ‘as AI is here and it will disrupt us.’

Meanwhile, Latinazo cited telecommunications, financial, utility, logistics and retail sectors as early adopters of digital transformation. A lot of companies are using analytics to make their operations efficient to come up with more offerings in the market, he said.

However, despite having opportunities to offer, there are still companies or industries that are not yet convinced to embrace digital transformation.

Pang Yee Beng cited highly regulated industries are prevented from doing so as they have guidelines or laws to follow. Other reasons that hinder organizations from embarking on digital transformation are security and cost.

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