Digital Reporter

Across various industries, today’s business leaders are those who can best adopt and adapt to the latest in technological advancements. But with the plethora of new technologies available, many firms are caught guessing where to start.
According to a new study by ASG Technologies Group, Inc., most firms take their cues not from industry leaders, but from their governments—via data regulations set by local legislators.
“The survey we did showed that compliance is one of the most important factors which allows [companies to] decide on the technology that they want to deploy,” Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific region Praveen Kumar said.
Earlier this year, the European Union implemented the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. What followed was a spike in demand among global firms for workers able to get their systems up to speed with the new standards.
Amid the rapid changes in regulations elsewhere, other countries, such the the Philippines, are lagging behind.
“You can learn from certain countries which are a little ahead in terms of [regulations],” Kumar said. “Like the anti-privacy laws—it’s already here in the Philippines, the regulatory authority and financial sector implements it. The penalties may not be as stringent but it’s there.”
Locally, ASG found that companies are eager to learn, adapt, and innovate in various industries, looking to take leadership in finding ways to automate jobs and maximize use of their data.
Despite the slow movement in regulatory changes, companies in the Philippines are still very open to adopting digital transformation in their operations, and that’s reflecting in the type of employees they’re looking to hire, Kumar said.
“Understanding how data travels is relevant in today’s world to build skills in solutions for compliance which is one of the key drivers in most IT investments today,” he said.
“[I]f you learn certain software sets which will help you implement and satisfy those regulatory requirements a lot easier, then you become an asset to the organization.”
One of the talents in high demand amid the digitization and increasing data regulation would be data scientists, currently low in local supply. Earlier this year, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) launched a new master’s program on data science and a matching R&D facility to churn out local data scientists only this year. Ateneo is also set to offer a master’s program in data science by 2019.
AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang said they plan to keep local talents in the Philippines tby developing more data science programs in other educational institutions, in partnership with the government.

This isn’t only important news for potential hires, but for existing employees as well. Since having a full time data scientist in a company “is a very expensive proposition”, Kumar said that most companies today have begun looking for “citizen data scientists”, or employees able to identify and process data.
“[The company has] a bunch of data scientists who are actually crunching data, analyzing, deciding the tools to be used, putting it together, and putting it forward. But you as a person, are an added volunteer who is also paid for being there,” he added.
In the near future, these sought-after skills will highlight adaptable employees as invaluable asset to the company, Kumar said.