Surfing the Storm: How the Philippines will Digitally Transform and Prosper in the Age of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

There is a wave of digital disruption fast approaching the Philippines. The initial impact of massive digital transformation is already being felt. Just look at what Grab, Uber and Waze did to the Taxi Industry.

The same thing will at some point impact every aspect of the Philippines economy from banking to retail to the BPO industry. Swift advances in technology coupled with unstoppable demographic forces are pushing the country forward at a quickening pace.

The big question is not when will digital transformation happen on a nationwide scale, but how much of what we currently see will survive the wave when we come out on the other side.

For organizations that are well prepared, they will see new avenues of revenue, benefit from more optimized ways of doing business and enjoy a much closer connection to their employees and their customers.

For businesses that are not well prepared, they will see constant disruption and many will likely not survive the transition to the digital age. All you have to do is look at who the world’s most profitable companies ten years ago and compare that list to the top companies today and you will see many examples of what happens to companies who did not adapt.

In the Philippines, call center capital of the world, with over One Million workers and at least 10% of the nation’s GDP, we see a massive threat from one of the keystones of digital transformation, artificial intelligence. As many as 70% of work force and an untold number of workers in supporting industries (well over an additional million Filipinos) will likely see their current job replaced or at least heavily impacted by technological advances.

There are things being done to address this and with the right solutions falling into place we can envision a massive upskill training of the workforce. However, when it comes to both digital transformation and artificial intelligence, the best way to mitigate risks and take advantage of new opportunities is by turning to experts that can guide a business through a process of evolution.

It is an unfortunate truth however, that in the Philippines, a significant shortage in data-driven leaders and tech savvy workers who can teach others is a key challenge.  Exacerbating the problem is that our current education system has not been as closely aligned with building data and tech skills as we would like to see.

Again, we see a lot of positive momentum in schools starting to offer data science programs and government entities updating curriculums, but they too struggle with the lack of experts who can teach the skills in high demand. This has led to a massive disconnect is the demand for data and tech skilled workers and the supply of qualified ones.

In addition, we have to recognize some hard truths about the way the youth of today and tomorrow learn. Besides updating our traditional education and corporate training models, we have to embrace new ways to learn. YouTube, Wikipedia, TED Talks, Coursera, the Khan Academy and an endless list of others… they are all lessons in digital disruption that can benefit us and guide us on our path.

So that challenge leads us to coming up with upskill training in data science, analytics, digital marketing, and a wide range of tech jobs for hundreds of thousands if not millions of Filipinos. On the plus side there are a lot of high quality solutions out there and a core element of thought leaders working on the skills problem. However, when you look at scale, there just simply is not enough of us currently to get close to the end goal.

The current ecosystem of industry associations, higher education institutions, government programs, independent training providers are all striving to meet the demand, but at times it is very fragmented. There is an overarching need for an umbrella organization to help unify the landscape. That’s what is behind the mission of the soon to launch Analytics Association of the Philippines.

As we bring together key players and influencers we can build an advocacy. Built on cooperation and a strategic vision to uplift the whole of the nation, we can tackle the challenges posed by the lack of experts and the skills mismatch. Together we can work to enhance the way we train, evolve the way we teach and use our influence to empower.

That’s my big vision for How the Philippines will Digitally Transform and Prosper in the Age of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. We will use big data analytics as our surfboard to help us navigate the wave of digital transformation and come out the other side as an example of how a nation can come together and Surf the Storm.

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Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH is a founding member of the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP.PH) and specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.

 

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