SMALL BUSINESSES with limited technical expertise can build, customize, and deploy digital solutions tailored to their needs, global software company Kissflow said.

With more micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) being urged for digital transformation, easier technology solutions are needed to spur faster adoption, Dinesh Varadharajan, chief product officer at Kissflow, said in an interview with BusinessWorld on Wednesday last week.

“Low-code, no-code platforms” can democratize technology use among small businesses, which can be as simple as drag-and-drop, he noted.

“Business users can’t understand code and programming. We need to create a product that allows businesses to solve their own problems,” he said. “Just drag and drop to create an application for a specific need.”

“For example, if I am from the HR [human resources] function, and I want to automate the performance appraisal application, then I should be able to create it myself,” he added.

With full implementation by 2030, digital technology could create up to P5 trillion in economic value, equivalent to about 27% of the Philippines’ gross domestic product in 2020, according to a study conducted by global tech advisory firm Access Partnership and commissioned by Google.

This requires the Philippines to embrace digital skills training and education, accelerate digital adoption and innovation, and tap opportunities for digital trade, the study said.

“Unless these MSMEs change the way they operate, there is a significant threat to them,” Mr. Varadharajan said regarding more digital native competitors entering the market.

“They need to digitize faster through simpler products, especially those who do not have a huge IT [information technology] function,” he added, commenting on the opportunity Kissflow sees in the country.

With its core value ‘Keeping It Smart and Simple’ as an acronym in its brand name, Kissflow aims to modernize the legacy system of enterprises, small or large, by creating efficient applications around it, said Mark Anthony B. Zaplan, country sales manager for the Philippines at Kissflow.

“Business units, everyone in the organization, can build their own application as soon as they need it,” Mr. Zaplan said. “It is not exclusive to IT and programmers.”

Kissflow has served enterprises in the Philippines for the last seven years, garnering 30 customers to date, with plans to tap business districts outside the capital region, Mr. Zaplan said.

He noted the Philippines as the company’s first leg of expansion in the region.

Mr. Varadharajan said Kissflow is growing its global customer base of 1,600 companies, aiming to be one of the top two low-code industry players in the next few years. — Miguel Hanz L. Antivola