Pandemic accelerates digital transformation

Innovation and digital transformation on the part of local businesses are important to survive and thrive during the pandemic, said Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) president Rene Meily.

“The pandemic really has accelerated the shift to digital solutions.

In fact, before our eyes, (we are) seeing an old world dying and a new world is born –accelerating the whole shift by about 10 years,” he said in a webinar.

Meily said businesses go digital to survive while more Filipinos use the internet to search for goods to purchase and services to avail during the quarantine period.

“People who were not familiar with the internet and digital world just really needed to use it to register for vaccines, order groceries online…,” he added.

He said innovation has also been a driver during the pandemic, citing as an example those in the conduct of contact tracing.

To this end, Meily bared the implementation of an initiative called SIKAP or “Synergizing Recovery Initiatives, Knowledge, and Adaptation Practices for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises)”.

“The idea is a one-stop digital hub for small businesses to access mentoring and even in terms of how to plan for business. We also created an online platform because we have been prevented from going out in terms of (providing) training (to) small businesses,” he added.

SIKAP is an online coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) recovery hub that aims to equip the MSMEs in the country with the right information and knowledge on how they can adapt and redesign their operations amid the pandemic.

The platform also contains a collection of funding opportunities and projects by different organizations that small businesses can take advantage of.

Meily said the PDRF also created iADAPT (Innovations Academy for Disaster Awareness, Preparedness, and Training), an online learning platform for everybody who wants to know about the pandemic and how to protect themselves.

iADAPT courses include public service continuity planning, championing business continuity, family preparedness planning, and smart communities learning resources, among others.

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