Digital Transformation: Disrupt or be Disrupted

Digital Transformation: Disrupt or be Disrupted

by: Allyxon Cua

AMTI President

Not more than ten years ago, public transportation system in Metro Manila was as traditional as waiting in the streets for a cab. Navigation app Waze was not available in the Philippines until 2013, so when you find yourself lost in the confusing streets and detours of the city, pull over and ask for directions from the nearest present traffic enforcer or local. The full potential of consumer technology was yet to be realized back then, and this was also the time when the first generation of social media was just making its way into the mainstream. Thus, customer engagement was limited to few channels and mobile or social media strategy was the least of the worries of companies. However, for many of us today, it seems impossible to imagine that this kind of world existed because of the non-stop advancement of technology.

The Philippine Information and Communications Technology industry, better known as the ICT industry, is expected to continue its upward trajectory due to opportunities from the financial, telco, manufacturing, business process management, and health IT sectors. Increased consumer spending, low PC penetration, and the modernization of small and medium enterprises will also contribute to this growth. Indeed, ICT is the disruptor of all industries and countries.

To be considered successful anywhere today – be it academics, employment, or even just to be a responsible citizen – having at least some basic know-how of ICT and how to make use of it to be more productive is essential and determines how capable we will be as part of the modern society that relies on technology for almost everything. This is why digital literacy is extremely important in today’s world.

Today, all industries are affected or influenced by technology. Digital disruption has already happened and continues to happen. Below are just some of the trends that were made possible by digitization.

•   Large telecommunication companies own no infrastructure (e.g. Skype, WeChat, Viber)

•   Predominant movie houses own no cinemas (e.g. Netflix, iflix)

•   Most valuable retailers have no inventories (e.g. Alibaba, Lazada)

•   Popular and widely used media create no content (e.g. Facebook)

•   Largest ride-hailing companies own no taxis (e.g. Grab, Uber)

Digital transformation is leveraging information technology to disrupt traditional industry models and business practices to deliver exceptional customer and business value and create sustainable competitive advantage. It is the democratization of technology which decreases the barriers to create new businesses, reduces the necessary capital investment, and allows smaller firms to compete with larger, more established companies.

Recently, I have attended two important events—the Huawei Tech Summit and the Dell EMC Tech World Expo in Las Vegas. What I learned in both events that really shocked me is that the fourth industrial revolution is already here. It is not something that will happen soon… it already is here. More and more of our devices and common items we are using will be connected to the internet through sensors. Petabytes of data will be generated and stored.

The common belief in the past is that machines or computers are expected to do repetitive tasks and be much better than humans. But now, artificial intelligence (AI) will analyze and for the first time in human history will give predictive results like human beings. AI has changed and is continuously changing every industry and every business process.

There are a lot of hysteria that machines will eventually take over the human race. Jobs and industries will be lost, and people will be obsolete. Here are some jobs that might be initially affected in the Philippines:

•   Call Center Agents

•   Accounting Clerk

•   Nurses

•   Farmers

•   Retail Sales People

•   Teachers

•   Legal Staffs

•   Machine Operators

•   Security Guards

•   Policemen

However, contrary to the hysteria, there are more jobs to be generated by AI/IOT than jobs that will be lost, including:

•   Data Scientists

•   Artificial Intelligence Engineers

•   App Developers

•   Programmers

•   Robotics Engineers

•   Network Security Engineers

•   Circuit Designers

•   Microcontroller Programmers

•   Hardware Designers

•   Statisticians

•   Network Security Developers

•   Electrical Installation Engineers

Things are moving at breakneck speed. What we know today might be obsolete three years from now, which is why constant reinvention of ourselves is a must. Empower your business to disrupt its current traditional methods, or your business might just be the one disrupted in this ever-changing technological landscape.


Allyxon is a graduate of BS Electrical Engineering of the Mapua Institute of Technology and is currently the President of AMTI. Leading AMTI for two decades now, he has helped it from being a one-brand company to establishing itself as the most diversified and technologically capable company in the Philippines today.