Technology Trends to Keep Filipino Businesses Alive in 2021

2020 12 23 technology trends 2021 768x487 1

Technology Trends to Keep Filipino Businesses Alive in 2021

Technology Trends to Keep Filipino Businesses Alive in 2021 768 487 Exist Software Labs

With the wave of technologies rising in the past years and the recent challenge facing the world, which technology trends delivered and promise to provide real value for your business?

Even as the Philippine economy slowly resumed with the easing down of public health regulations and distancing protocols, most Filipino businesses still feel the pain brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, both essential and non-essential.

The World Bank conducted a recent survey of 74,031 firms across industries in the country. Only 5% of these businesses reopened, while 40% began partial operations. Moreover, about 40% of those surveyed remained closed, and 15% are now permanently shut. Respondents of this survey include micro (59.3%), small (19.2%), medium (12.8%), and large (8.7%) businesses.

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Recovering from the recent economic disruption is the biggest challenge businesses face post-pandemic. This global health crisis sped up companies’ digital adoption that amplified technology trends already underway. But researching for the right technologies in the new normal isn’t a walk in the park. The good thing is, you have come to the right place.

We have compiled a list of top technology trends, Filipino businesses should adopt to survive in 2021 and the years to come. This rundown includes the latest trends that will dominate the next months and promising innovations becoming popular.

Top Technology Trends Pushing Business Survival

Click or tap an item in this list to jump to that section:

  1.    Leveraging on Data-centric Solutions

  2.    Mainstream deployment of Internet of Things (IoT)

  3.    Continued dominance of Cloud Technologies

Trend #1: Data-centric Solutions

“Data, or the ability to harness it, is the key factor that will differentiate between a business organization that is there for the long haul and one that is only in survival mode,” Exist Data Solutions Architect Warren Cruz shared on a webinar held last June 10, 2020. You can browse the highlights of the virtual event here.

When done right, a data-driven approach will not only help your business make better decisions but can also help you solve problems, manage performance, improve processes, and understand your customers.

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Here are some ways leading sectors leverage on data-centric solutions:


The ability to analyze data and find solutions plays a considerable role in the retail industry. Retail organizations leverage multiple data points, such as point-of-sale transaction-level data, customer demographics, social media metrics, store size, and competitive intelligence.

Therefore, analyzing consumer behavior and trends from the past will be the name of the game in the next normal. Proactive retailers will know their customers’ purchasing behavior, improve efficiencies, and cut-down costs of supply chains, and more.


On the other hand, healthcare organizations were forced to adopt digital efforts out of necessity in a short time. This adoption became more evident in our country as new compliance requirements subtly push Philippine hospitals to use EMRs. This includes reporting statistics to measure the quality of healthcare, performance, and nation’s health profile. 

As the 2016 DOH Administrative Order states, “One of the main challenges of today’s health systems is access to real-time quality health information for informed decision making. This has posed a major dilemma especially when the national government needs to analyze health service data coming from various systems at the health facilities.”

Guided by the Philippine eHealth Strategic Plan (PeHSP) for Universal Health Care (UHC), one of the jointly-identified major strategies by the Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance  (PhilHealth) and Department of Science and Technology is through the implementation of the NeHEMRSV upon which its implementation will improve data capture, processing, aggregation, exchange and reporting on national health data requirements and standardize submission protocols among implementing health facilities. 

Starting with the PhilHealth eClaims submission in 2018 as compliance to the electronic medical record (EMR) implementation. The renewal of hospitals’ license to operate (LTO) for 2020 has a new requirement. EMR system and providers should be duly validated by the Centers for Health Development (CHD) within their respective regions. For which Exist and Medcurial have this distinction.

Further discussed in our previous blog, one requirement for renewing licenses is providing correct clinical data to support claims reimbursements. The outcome is multifold as this forces Philippine healthcare to shift from paper to electronic. It also promotes increased use of data in providing care and upgrade to systems that make better use of IT. Implementing these technology trends will reduce manual errors, manage care complexities and promote evidence-based medicine.

Banking and Finance

Data-driven solutions also benefit banks and financial institutions, especially in this challenging situation as sectors that will help stabilize the economy when this health crisis is over.

PwC Philippines states that banks should develop a dynamic credit decisioning framework and credit scores, consolidating the pandemic’s potential impact. Banks can entrust professional organizations with robust industry experience that are skilled with data analytics.

Furthermore, banks should redesign loan terms or products for existing borrowers using a targeted approach. These data-driven initiatives will help banks keep high-quality loans and retain and attract clients that will trust them.


As the number of infections rose exponentially, many countries struggled in managing data to limit the spread of the virus. But the case isn’t the same for countries that have already invested in data-driven technology trends in anticipation of an event that endangers public health. Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan stood out with their impressive utilization of big data to combat the contagion.

In an article, Wharton shared that Taiwan created a unified big data platform that collects data from two sources. In addition, these are the immigration and customs database and the national insurance database. Based on clinical visits, travel history, and symptom patterns, they successfully identified cases. This helped them provide real-time alerts to possible infected persons.

Trend #2: Internet of Things (IoT)

Wherever we are today, we’re living in a web of interconnected devices. Each interacting with the other and exchanging digital data on a global scale. This is the Internet of Things or IoT.

IoT is everywhere, and though it isn’t new, enterprises should continue to leverage their opportunities to increase business efficiency and productivity while reducing costs.

Investment in IoT expects to skyrocket in the next year, especially in healthcare and retail. In 2021, we will see the more practical deployment of these technology trends. It will hover through its capacity to solve many obstacles brought by the pandemic to businesses and society.

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Take a look at some innovative implementations of this technology:


Retail will continue to shift in the next year. Automation with IoT-enabled devices will allow consumers to purchase products without ever needing to interact with a human. That is to say, from entering the store tracked by RFID to fulfilling purchases via cashless payments.

For instance, stores and restaurants nationwide adopted digital technology trends to keep up with their customers’ changing preferences. More and more establishments embraced food delivery apps. This enabled their consumers to place their orders and track real-time delivery at the comforts of their home.


As we continue to have minimum physical interaction, smart connected devices will change how we access medical care as well. This year, people spent most of their time staying at home, thus leaving medical conditions unattended. With new IoT technology trends, doctors can monitor their patients’ health at home using wearables, sensors, and other smart devices. Moreover, this will also minimize unnecessary contact in dealing with viral diseases.

In the Philippines, with more than 100 million inhabitants, it is tough to provide enough medical care to all citizens, especially in rural areas and island communities. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, doctors were open-minded and fast, which allowed for the smooth and speedy transition to telehealth devices.

Banking and Finance

Since the onset of ECQ, the volume of ATM transactions in Luzon declined by 25% and the value by 30%. In the same report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), transactions using e-payment services such as InstaPay and PesoNet spiked.

Evidently, customers are migrating online and relying more on their devices to manage finances digitally. This shift away from physical banking services during the pandemic presents opportunities for the financial sector to provide more flexible ways to perform money transactions.

On December 2, BSP issued Circular 1105 outlining the guidelines for financial institutions seeking to apply for a digital bank license. This thrust from the central bank has put them closer to their goal of improving the accessibility of financial services to the unbanked and underserved sectors.

The World Bank states: “studies show that when people participate in the financial system, they are better able to start and expand businesses, invest in education, manage risk, and absorb financial shocks.”

Trend #3: Cloud Technology

Driven by the need for mostly everything to go online, businesses adopting cloud technologies saw a significant increase this year. That is to say, Forbes shares that cloud’s dominance continues to grow. From 30% in 2018, companies will allocate 32% of their total IT budgets for cloud computing next year.

For an archipelago like the Philippines, the opportunity of embracing cloud technology trends presents a multifold of advantages. For example, increased access to services by a larger population and a secure, cost-efficient business model.

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Check out how industries strategize in utilizing this technology:


Retailers should be responsive to their market and resilient to crisis. Recently, we saw a growth of digital stores in the country. In other words, they embraced e-commerce and anticipated that the “next normal” is business on the cloud. Besides, retailers can take advantage of the cloud’s on-demand scalability to size up during peak hours and back down afterward. Customers also prefer flexible fulfillment options like ePayment solutions, which require cloud-based services.

In a recent survey conducted among Filipinos ages 35-44 by Rakuten, 44% increased their online purchases during the pandemic. To clarify, this data shows retailers how important it is for stores and restaurants to provide shopping convenience to customers. Likewise, by leveraging more cloud services and seamlessly take their business online.


Forced into digitalization, the healthcare sector is at the forefront of adopting the latest data-centric, IoT, and cloud innovations to decrease unnecessary face to face visits and mitigate the risks of infection spread. Using tools like a patient portal for booking appointments and telemedicine allowed care providers to care for patients remotely. For those who are more tech-advanced, these facilities readily tweaked their cloud-based systems to provide contact tracing and disease surveillance as well.

For hospitals still at the transition stage and trying to figure out how they can fully embrace and implement digital transformation in their health care system. To them, it is finding the right balance between analog and digital. However, time is changing, and the pandemic just accelerated it. Before, digital healthcare was a service that is nice to have. But now, hospitals and healthcare institutions should think forward to the future of delivering care where digital is becoming a need for investment.

CitizenWatch Philippines echoes in their statement issued on July 28, 2020, that digitalization will make healthcare services more efficient and accessible to the Filipino people. Further, moving to cloud-based technology trends will significantly improve the public health care system with big data analytics and on-demand healthcare, among others.

Banking and Finance

RCBC Chief Economist Michael Ricafort shared that using cloud-based systems “entails further reduction of operating costs with reduced use of hardware and physical space requirements, thereby also helping boost cost efficiency as well as overall profitability.”

In a joint study by IDC Financial Insights and Huawei Technologies, Philippine banks were among the financial institutions in the Asia-Pacific region using the cloud as a means of storage management.

Pivot and Adapt

As mentioned earlier, the coronavirus pandemic pushed several industries to take a dramatic technological shift. As functional members of society, we see changes in the way we live, work, and interact.

In the US alone, 330 companies filed for bankruptcy and blamed the pandemic for it. Similarly, this scenario isn’t far in the Philippines. In late-September, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) survey reported that 6% or about 90,000 businesses, mostly micro small & medium enterprises (MSMEs), remain closed amid the pandemic.

The sad reality is that some businesses may be closing for good, and not all will survive after this pandemic. But those who have the agility to pivot and adapt need to understand that a digital transformation is no longer an option but an expectation of your customers as the way to conduct business.

Since things are not going back to the way they were, the “new normal” as we call it, organizations will need to ask themselves this essential question:

“Am I taking strategic steps today in ensuring the future of my business?”

Answering yes will be a good head start. By now, businesses need to understand that success in uncertain futures only belongs to those who pivot and adapt.

Reader’s Poll

Now, you have a better understanding of how these innovations can help maneuver your business next year. We want to know where you are in your digital transformation journey so we can help you navigate.

With Filipino businesses pushed to scale up their digital transformation efforts and embrace the next normal brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, where are you currently navigating through the adoption of these technology trends in your business?

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