Technology is transforming how Philippine businesses are being run and the way people work. Everything, from sharing and getting information, to the way decisions are made, are a lot easier, faster, and more exciting now. As a result, businesses, or even ordinary people, are becoming more and more dependent on computer software and apps to get on with their lives, including the delivery of services and engagement with stakeholders.
This phenomenon is a worldwide trend, and Filipinos are not far behind. At the forefront of this development in the country is Mr. Ash Co Kehyeng, founder of Quadrant Alpha, a Filipino-owned IT solutions company that specializes in bespoke software (software that is custom-made for a particular client). Since the company started in 2013, he has witnessed how businesses have adopted to the changing times, as indicated by their changing business requirements.
Co Kehyeng shares the top eight most important software trends to look out for in the Philippines.
- Mobile development – Because of the increasing number of smartphone ownerships and mobile Internet usage, more businesses will look at how they can maximize the use of mobile technologies to interact with the market. More companies are turning to mobile apps for their operations, sales, customer relations, manufacturing, etc., noting that forward-thinking corporations are shaping their websites and customer service processes into mobile apps-friendly web pages.
- E-commerce – On-line sales and marketing are presently at a high growth rate as consumers embrace the digital lifestyle. Businesses are joining the consolidator e-commerce sites, such as daily deals, delivery sites, promo-based e-commerce, listing websites, and others. Also, they are establishing and converting their websites into cash centers by adding e-commerce features. “Businesses with e-commerce websites are equipped to increase their sales by at least 5-10% as they create new channels to generate profits,” Co Kehyeng says.
- Social Media Integration – Filipinos love the social media, and businesses are using this to their advantage. Businesses use the social media for advertising, tapping into customers, as well as a venue for selling their goods and services. The trend in social media integration can also be seen at the workplace, where employees are looking for ways to make their work easier through the social media.
- Greater cybersecurity focus – With the convenience of online transactions comes the risk, hence, greater attention on cybersecurity has been noted. Although businesses can turn to third party providers or a dedicated in-house IT team for cybersecurity, they also need to examine their infrastructure, networks, and employee and staff usage activities through the employment of customized cybersecurity software that can work through company systems.
- Cloud based data – Although many Filipino businesses are still reluctant to embrace the things that the cloud offers, there is a growing number of enterprises that have recognized its many advantages – it is platform ready, scalable, flexible, allows anywhere and anytime data extraction, and coordination, gives instant security, feature updates, and reduced support and hardware needs. This could save businesses millions in time, money and other resources, Co Kehyeng emphasized.
- Big Data – Businesses will be increasingly dependent on computer data to make decisions. Major telecom players, for instance, are adopting Big Data, which breaks down the preferences of each of their consumer and use these preferences to cater to the needs of their clients on a more customized level. While this is still in its very early stages, businesses may use big data to raise their customer and brand experiences.
- Chatbots/business bots – Some companies have begun to use chatbots and business bots for customer support. This would actually help businesses decrease spending for customer support. The biggest downside to this is that it would be harder for customers to get that human touch especially for fields that requires extra care.
- Bespoke software – To directly address specific business needs, Filipino firms are discovering the wisdom in using bespoke software. As of late, many companies generally buy popular ready-made software products developed in the US, only to find out that these programs do not serve their specific purposes or are difficult to understand. Worse, many of these software products do not comply with Philippine laws and regulations, and so they end up incurring additional expenses to customize these programs. No two companies are exactly alike in policy, corporate culture, and processes, which is why bespoke software is the way to go.
The trends mentioned above are expected to heavily influence the business decisions of Filipino entrepreneurs. Co Kehyeng believes that improved infrastructure and better government policies will enable the positive changes to develop, pointing out that a lot of headway has already been achieved by DICT and DOST in providing a better environment for local tech to thrive.
In the months ahead, expect to see more Philippine businesses that will exploit the power of technology by using software solutions that truly address their needs.