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Creating positive social impacts through ICT innovations

Adrian M. Reodique | May 20, 2016
How can businesses make a profit through ICT innovations while creating a positive social impact?

Another key contribution of ICT is in areas requiring collaboration among organisations and agencies. One example is in disaster management and recovery. ICT enables effective preparedness and response to disasters through timely information and early warning of potential hazards. For example, the collation of meteorological forecasts, seismic data or weather events allow cities to predict the potential of impending natural disasters and prepare for emergency scenarios. Additionally, ICT allows for faster, tighter collaboration among agencies before, during and after disaster situations, thus ensuring better efficiencies in disaster management and recovery operations.

Finally there will be a key role for ICT to play, for both new and established companies, in the rapidly developing circular economy as companies re-imagine their products to focus on future deconstruction and reuse.

What are the challenges that hinder the businesses in the Philippines to turn ICT innovation into fruition? What are the steps that businesses should take to overcome these?

The challenges can be classified into three broad categories.

1.       Infrastructure   

The telecommunications sector has seen considerable investment in recent years. However, as a nation, more could be done for the market to reach its full potential.

For one, slow internet bandwidth could pull the brakes on progress. The Philippines is way behind its neighbours in Asia in terms of internet speed. As a comparison, Singapore, for example, has an average Internet download speed of 133.1 mbps compared to the Philippines' 3.7 mbps, according to www.netindex.com 

Having a stable and reliable internet connection is key to business digitisation. Businesses, especially local SMEs, need stable, secure links to the global value chain to compete effectively. Cloud and the Internet of Things - propellers of the digital economy - can only be realized with stable internet connection and robust broadband capacity.

2.       Maturity

Analysts often cite the six stages of digital transformation to describe the state of maturity of organisations and their readiness to embrace digital transformation. One of the key challenges to digital transformation is the ability of business leaders to step outside of day to day operations and set their sights into the digital arena. This takes some willpower on the part of the CEO, especially in a growing market like the Philippines. However, those who can focus on what could be a quantum growth opportunity rather than small incremental benefits of balancing cost and revenues will see significant shifts in their business performance. Data and analytics can give leaders a boost in both their decision-making processes and their business model development. Through solutions such as SAP's Digital Boardroom, entire organizations can be aligned to business goals and insight through a visual, analytics-driven intelligence. Day-to-day decision-making can even be automated and embedded into business processes, thus freeing up the workforce to focus on more strategic goals.

 

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