IoT Strategies and Implementations to Speed Up Digital Transformation in the Philippines – Day 1 of Asia IoT Business Platform Philippines 2019

The 30th Edition of Asia IoT Business Platform in the Philippines, co-organised by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), started off with DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Mijares Rio who delivered the Government Keynote Address. Undersecretary Eliseo emphasised on having the right balance between the public and private sectors together with the appropriate intervention and incentives from the government to make digital changes happen in the Philippines.

Government Keynote Address by Undersecretary Eliseo of the DICT

The discussion on realising the potential of the Philippines’ digital economy continued with a panel session joined by Undersecretary Eliseo, PDLT First Vice President & Head Victor Tria and Globe Telecom Vice President of Product Development and Management Francisco Claravall. The 3 panelists came to a consensus regarding the importance of creating Philippines’ own content that is suitable for the country’s settings to make digital services more affordable and available to all citizens. 

Keynote Panel Discussion

“Don’t expect perfect, expect progress”, an insightful statement by Martin Yates, the Chief Technology Officer of Digital Cities and National ICT Planning Architecture, Global Digital Cities Office, Dell Technologies. This statement summaries well the 5 progressive needs in the digital transformation storm that include paperless, integrated, automated, trustworthy and efficient cost. Stakeholders in the digital transformation field need to closely monitor the progress of their efforts and make adjustments to reap the full benefits of IoT.

There is an increasing number of local enterprises which have undertaken digital transformation projects and this year’s Enterprise Innovation Awards saw a record number of submissions. Zenith Foods Corporation and Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) came out on top in the judges’ scorecards and were awarded 2019 Philippines Enterprise Innovation Awards. Zenith has embarked on digital transformation projects to improve productivity in operation, process relevant data and provide timely information for critical decision making. Robotic Process Automation (RPA), among other initiatives has been adopted by AEV in order to turn the business into an intelligent operation. 

Zenith Foods Corporation and Aboitiz Equity Ventures receiving Philippines Enterprise Innovation Awards

A fundamental foundation of a strong digital economy includes digital infrastructure and skills development, which was further emphasized at the panel on building a skilled workforce as part of a digital transformation strategy. As shared by the panelists, academe and industry partnership is essential to equip students with the skills needed upon employment in the digital era.

In the area of cybersecurity, Mr. Lim Soon Chia, Director of Cybersecurity Engineering Center, Cybersecurity Agency of Singapore, emphasized the urgent need to act on the challenges in IoT security in the pursuit of smart cities and other digital initiatives. The first steps to take include having a regulatory legislation and 3rd party independent assessments, standardised technical references and international IoT security roundtable to share ideas, shape architectures and steer the standards at international levels. With this, the DICT has already worked on a few areas to mitigate cybersecurity attacks as reflected in the National Cybersecurity Plan 2022 shared at the event by Mr. Jose Carlos Reyes, Director of Cybersecurity Bureau of the DICT.

Cybersecurity was once again mentioned during the discussion on digital governance, where Mr. Emmanuel Caintic, Assistant Secretary of the DICT said “cybersecurity is not an afterthought but forethought”. He urged all local government units to incorporate cybersecurity plans into each and every aspect of their digital plans.

Day 1 ended with the session on smart factory and connected supply chain, where the four main drivers for smart factory were identified as the value from data, skilled people, asset tracking and business process integration by Mr. Alfee Lee, Regional Head of Strategic Offerings, Fujitsu. These factors will definitely play a role in increasing productivity and cost effectiveness for the manufacturing industry. The next step is to connect all these factors and start implementing next generation digital tools to bring manufacturing to the next level.

Asia IoT Business Platform

25 July 2019

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