“The Philippines is poised to be the leader in (the) ASEAN,” said Winston Damarillo, self-proclaimed geek and founder of cloud computing company Morphlabs and software development company Exist.
Referencing one of the foremost headlines in the recent World Economic Forum in Myanmar, Winston proudly announced: “The Philippines just beat China in terms of economic growth.”
“What’s important as we go forward is to make sure that that’s sustained. This means getting ready for the next economy.”
Is the Philippines ready for the digital economy?
“Few regions are adopting “Digital Everything” as quickly, enthusiastically, and deliberately as Southeast Asia. In particular, social media is seeing enormous uptake, reflecting the long-standing importance of community ties within the region,” Winston remarked.
Winston emphasized that with the turn of the economy of the Philippines, “we have what it takes to lead.”
In just less than 10 years, the biggest economies of Asia is going to move from a digital-hungry sector to a digital-driven ecosystem. The classic bank will fade to look like Paypal. The classic retailer will look like Amazon.com.
“With e-commerce and digital banking coming to the Philippines,” Winston said, “This means our infrastructure has to be ready.”
(By the way, the Philippines is home to the world’s second most confident consumers. That’s according to the latest Consumer Confidence Index from Nielsen, reported last July.)
“And If we’re going to invest in infrastructure — it has to be now. Otherwise, we’re going to miss out on being at the top and there’s going to be a different player out there.”
The digital economy, Winston defined, has three pillars, which include infrastructure, insight, and interaction. Winston mentioned that undoubtedly, the “infrastructure for the digital economy is cloud computing”, and is defined to be clusters or combination of servers, storage systems, networking gear, and software that must be woven together to deliver services that are secure, scalable, and reliable.
The next aspect that will drive the digital economy is Big Data. Big data is typified by the three v’s: volume (petabytes, quintillions), variety (unstructured data, SMS, email, social media data, etc), and velocity (data growing rapidly). With data growing so rapidly and the rise of unstructured data accounting for 90% of data today, businesses must now “re-evaluate their approach to data storage, management, and analytics”.
Listen to IDC’s Craig Stires keynote on: the Next Step in your Big Data Journey.
”We have so much data in the country, but we’re not processing it,” Winston said. “For starters, we don’t even have a credit scoring system.”
Finally, companies that are not experimenting in social media and digital commerce are at high risk. “Social media is moving from a hobby or interest and into the fabric of the economy. People now transact, people make recommendations, people find products through interactions.”
By 2020, more than 50% of business will be digitally engaged.
The prescription for every company is to explore social media today.
In an increasingly digital world, the speed of insight can change the course of businesses, economies, and even governments. Nobody’s talking about regulation about digital resources. This is something that we need to think about. The Philippines should look at digital infrastructure as a national resource. This means then that infrastructure has to be localized, built locally, and involve local stakeholders. To embark on leadership in digital economy, to which the Philippines has the the full position to be a leader of, means to organize our digital readiness in terms of cloud infrastructure, Big Data implementation, and social media.
** The above is a non-verbatim record of Winston’s presentation at the Building the Cloud Infrastructure for Asia conference.