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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Microsoft: Enabling Digital Transformation for Business Growth


Wazzup Pilipinas!

With zetabytes of data soon to be within our midst in the near and looming future, businesses need to know how to use all those information for their benefit and advantage.

They need to adapt and evolve to the impending changes, and will be required to conform, if not able to excel, with the times to make themselves at least competitive or suffer imminent loss of profit, or worst, death.

We need to embrace the reality that everything and everyone aiming to reach and remain on top is going digital.That's how it is right now, and will be, as we say goodbye to the traditional and welcome the new technologies that has continuously disrupted the way we do business.

Nowadays, every business needs to operate like a software company managing digital and data in their business. There has been several job titles with "digital" as part of their designations but only a few are still fully aware what it stands for.

We can predict that the Internet of Things  (IoT) will start to change the business landscape until the next big thing is invented, or has emerged out of the many technologies out there just waiting for their big breaks just as social media networks has broken the Internet, and made people a lot more involved and engaged with everything around them.

Everyone needs to be able to engage, empower, optimize, and transform to keep up with the rapidly changing times. The digital transformation must be on a board-level, the culture must become data-driven, and we need to learn how to empower the Millennials to change the business into something permanent and sustainable and not just a passing trend or phase.

Staya Madella, CEO of Microsoft says to pick your technology partners carefully for it may make or break you if you make a mistake. But the question is how to choose the proper criteria as basis in making our choices.

After all, it may be the same technology that would also change how we perceive a successful business.




Below is the official press release from the recent Microsoft event focused on Digital Transformation of Businesses:


86% Of Business Leaders in Philippines Believe They Need To Be a Digital Business to Succeed: Microsoft Study

Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study shows that business leaders are just starting to embrace disruptions as region ushers in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Business leaders in Philippines are showing urgency in embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution, where 86% of them believe that they need to transform to a digital business to enable future growth and that new data insights can lead to new revenue streams for their organisations. These are some of the key findings of the Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Survey[1] to understand how business leaders are embracing the digital era.

Technology advancements have ushered in the 4th Industrial Revolution, where cutting-edge technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), advanced data analytics, and mixed reality are powered by cloud computing to create limitless possibilities in transforming the way people work, live and play. This revolution, together with rapid urbanization, emergence of the millennial workforce and a fragile global economic climate, is ushering societal and economic changes at an unprecedented pace.

The Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study surveyed 1,494 business leaders from Asia, including 111 from Philippines. All respondents were pre-qualified as being involved in shaping their organisations’ digital strategy.

Even as majority of business leaders are aware of the urgent need to transform digitally to address the changing business climate, the study found that the transformation journey for most organisations in Philippines is still at its infancy. In fact, only 32% of business leaders have a full digital transformation strategy while 43% are in progress with specific digital transformation initiatives for selected parts of their business. 25% of respondents have very limited or no strategy in place.

Karrie Ilagan, Managing Director for Microsoft Philippines said: “The Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study has shown that business leaders have started to act on the need for digital transformation to address the challenges and opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution in the region. Lessons from past industrial revolutions have taught us that organisations that do not evolve fast enough will be less competitive or even obsolete as they face disruptions in every industry. We urge organisations of all sizes to digitally transform themselves amidst changing demands externally and internally, to stay relevant. At Microsoft, we believe this involves transformation in four key pillars – empowering employees, engaging customers, optimizing operations and transform with new products, services or business models, and data and the cloud are key enablers of these.”


Clear Priorities for Digital Transformation but True Transformation Lacking

Microsoft has defined what it means to transform in four key pillars:

1.     Engage customers: Consumers are savvier than ever before, with access to data ensuring they are often educated on a product or service before engaging. To stand out, organisations will need to deliver a new wave of deeply contextual and personalized experiences, while balancing security and user trust.

2.     Empower employees: The nature of how we work—and the workplace itself—has undergone a dramatic evolution. Organisations can empower their people and help them do their jobs better with the power of mobility, which allows employees to collaborate from anywhere, on any device, and access apps and data they need, while mitigating security risks.

3.     Optimize operations: Technology disrupters such as IoT are accelerating the potential for businesses to optimize their operations. This can be done by gathering data across a wide, dispersed set of endpoints, drawing insights through advanced analytics, and then applying those learnings to introduce improvements on a continuous basis. Organisations in manufacturing, retail, and even healthcare can shift from merely reacting to events to respond in real time, or even pre-emptively anticipating and solving customer issues.

4.     Transform products & business models: The opportunity to embed software and technology directly into products and services is evolving how organisations deliver value, enabling new business models, and disrupting established markets.


The Study found that business leaders are putting people at the forefront of their digital transformation strategies:

Fig 1: Prioritization of Digital Transformation pillars among Philippines’s business leaders today

Said Ilagan: “It’s concerning to see that while there is widespread acknowledgement on the need to transform, they are doing so incrementally. With constant pressure from newer, agile and tech savvy players disrupting across industries in Asia, the transformation of products and new revenue models provides the greatest opportunity for organisations to truly lead rather than be disrupted. Leaders need to rethink business models, find new data insights which lead to new revenue streams. And they need to do this by embracing a different way of bringing together people, data, and processes. which create value in a new digital business.”



Sailing into success: Wallem Shipping, one of the largest shipping agents in the Philippines, used Office 365 and Sharepoint to increase transform their productivity especially in their line of work where time value is important . Click here to read more.


Emerging Technologies in Demand

Cloud computing and the decreasing cost of devices have made it more affordable for companies of any sizes to transform digitally, according to 86% of business leaders in Philippines surveyed. Majority of business leaders (84%) regarded cloud computing as essential in their digital transformation strategy.

In the next 12 to 18 months, business leaders in Philippines are interested to explore a range of emerging technologies to accelerate and achieve digital transformation. The top five technologies identified by business leaders as being relevant to them are:
1.     Internet of Things (IoT): Network of sensors embedded into devices that can collect data or be remotely controlled. Examples include smart buildings, cars and home devices;
2.     Artificial intelligence: Intelligent machines or software that are able to learn and perform tasks independently. Examples include robots, chatbots and self-driving cars;
3.     Next Generation Computing: Computers and software that can process natural languages, gestures and visuals. Examples include Microsoft’s Skype Translator and chatbots;
4.     Wearable technologies: Advanced computing and electronic technologies that are embedded into clothing, devices or bodies. Examples include smart watches and fitness trackers;
5.     Quantum Computing: Next-generation computers using different computation systems to solve data equations much faster than traditional computers.

Ilagan added: “Emerging technologies, specifically, cloud, analytics and new capabilities like AI and IoT will give organisations new capability to transform. But real transformation only happens when they bring their people along with them. Equipping employees with the right tools to enable them to be part of solution to be more responsive, data driven and customer centric are also key.”


Barriers to Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific

While there is no doubt that digital transformation will bring significant benefits for both businesses and employees, the path to digital transformation has been slow, given that only 32% have a full digital strategy in place.

According to business leaders in the study, the top barriers to digital transformation are, in order of priority:

1.     Lack of organization leadership to ideate, plan and execute digital transformation
2.     Cyberthreats and security concerns
3.     Lack of a digitally-skilled workforce able to optimize digital businesses
4.     Lack of leadership shown by Board of Directors & Executives, as well as lack of the right governmental policies and ICT infrastructure to provide a sound digital transformation platform for organizations.

Increasing security threats in today’s digital economies is real and cannot be ignored. There is a continued perception among business leaders that the cloud is less secure. However, they may be less privy to the advances being made in the cloud on security and privacy and need more exposure on how, with the current threat environment, it will be safer being in the cloud than relying on tradition forms of IT. In fact, a recent Microsoft Asia Pacific survey of 1,200 IT leaders[2]  showed that 90% of IT leaders in Philippines believe that in the longer term, the cloud will be safer. 

“People don’t use technology that they don’t trust. This is a golden rule that applies to organisations and individuals alike as we live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Ensuring security, privacy, and compliance are key to enabling businesses to carry out digital transformation with confidence. With the rise of mobile workers introducing new devices, apps, and data into organisations today, protecting sensitive company data requires a new and integrated approach, all of which we have invested in significantly,” Ilagan added.

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more—building technology so that others can innovate, build their own technology, and create solutions that make things happen. Microsoft is uniquely able to enable businesses of all sizes to get from where it is today, to where it needs to be as digital business through its flexible technology solutions, integrated offerings and our investment in being the most trustworthy with investments in security, privacy and control, compliance, and transparency.  

To find out more about how Microsoft is enabling digital transformation for organisations, visit enterprise.microsoft.com/en-ph.

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