Digital transformation not about technology but people, reminds executive

For a company to shift successfully to digital operations, it needs the support of top management and the willingness of workers to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe), according to Ferdinand A. Ferrer, PHILEXPORT trustee for the electronics sector.

“Digital transformation is not about technology, but about the people,” Ferrer pointed out in a recent e-forum.

Support from top management is crucial. “Top management should be an advocate of technology and recognize the importance of its advancement for the customer, the company and the country,” he said.

Moreover, the workers should be made to understand digital transformation and to go through effective trainings to acquire the knowledge and skills to handle specific processes and projects.

Ferrer shared how his company during the quarantine period was able to continue operations with just a skeletal force by utilizing and analyzing data effectively to match people’s skills with the tasks at hand.

At the same time, an organization must keep its customers in mind, focusing on what is beneficial to them. Otherwise, the company will just be providing “cool things” with their technology that won’t make the customer competitive, he continued.

The World Economic Forum notes that as digital transformation across industries and countries continues to unfold, “the people dimension of these transformations has emerged as the key to unlocking value and ensuring the sustainability of the changes.”

Organizations need to be prepared to move and evolve quickly, particularly to ensure each employee has the opportunity to participate in this new environment, it said.

In the same webinar, Ferrer emphasized the benefits of digital transformation particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), who are the most badly affected by the pandemic. He said digitalization will improve data reporting and analysis to help MSMEs make better decisions, improve business process flow, and drive product and service competitiveness.

In the same forum held July 10, Sylvia P. Piano, chief of the training division of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), agreed that people have an important role in increasing an organization’s productivity.

It is important that workers are part of and made to understand the changes-what is going on and what has to be done, she added.

In line with this, Piano said the agency is shifting its NWPC Productivity Toolbox trainings online due to the pandemic, and invited SMEs to start applying online so their managers and workers can avail themselves of the trainings.

She added that conversion of the various training modules is almost complete and the plan is to start holding the webinars by the end of July or early August.

The NWPC Productivity Toolbox features different productivity training programs and technical assistance packages to improve the capability of MSMEs to adopt productivity technologies for continuous improvement.

The webinars will be categorized into four categories, namely, people, place, process, and promotion, Piano added.

The people webinars will focus on good work ethics to enhance the productivity of a worker, and the place webinars will highlight workplace safety and health protocols amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the process series will feature lean management tools and techniques to eliminate different types of waste and improve enterprise productivity.

Promotion webinars will underscore productivity improvement in the area of social media marketing and promotion.

Piano stressed that consumers now live in a digital world, and SMEs need to recognize this and join the digital revolution.

Those interested to attend the NWPC Productivity Toolbox webinars may apply online at

Supervising fellow of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) Allan de Venecia, on the other hand, said in the same event that the agency is now set on providing services and programs for the private sector, including MSMEs, after previously catering mostly to the government institutions.

“We’re trying to build our presence” in the private sector, de Venecia affirmed. He said they are now launching new programs to help MSMEs adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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