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PHL firms focusing on data and analytics amid pandemic crisis

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

MORE Philippine companies are looking at leveraging on data and analytics during the pandemic, which has spurred digital transformation across industries, SAS Philippines said.

“I think now I would not be able to pinpoint one barrier to entry because all of conversations I’ve had, whether it’s big enterprise, government, or small enterprise, everyone is talking about what else they can do with the data they have,” SAS Managing Director for the Philippines Maria Aileen Rodriguez told BusinessWorld in an online interview on June 10.

“Now is the best time to be in the Philippines working with data and analytics because everyone is curious. Everyone is curious and very open to do things differently,” she added.

Ms. Rodriguez also noted the barriers to adopting data and analytics have been brought down due to the pandemic crisis.

“Before, I would hear budget constraints; however, today everyone would say that as long as you show us value so that we can optimize the data that they have produced because of the rush to digitalization, they are open to hear us. Also, before, there were less people who were looking at the possibilities of software as a service, now it’s a board-level discussion.”

SAS, which has been operating in the Philippines for 30 years, has seen different requests and requirements from local businesses starting last year.

“For example, they sometimes think of SAS as something intended for big enterprises and government units; lately, because of the onslaught of everybody going into some form of digitalization, we had to realign our offerings to make them more easily consumed,” Mr. Rodriguez explained.

“We call this realignment some sort of t-shirt sizing. When you talk of t-shirts, there are small, medium and large sizes, and these are really about creating starter kits — not only for big enterprises, but also for medium and small enterprises who are with us in painting the journey of transformation.”

“Starter kits are not just small in terms of price. That’s not the point. Starter kits are really complete offerings — software services and education that bring everybody to a point where they can imagine the future and start this new kind of work, the way we reimagined things to be for 2021 and beyond as we go through this pandemic.”

Asked if businesses are now more interested in cloud software solutions than on-premise, she said: “Some people still prefer on-premise, while some prefer everything on the cloud; however, there are also some people who are somewhere in between or hybrid.”

“Though cloud has been like one of the buzzwords that you hear for the last few years even before the pandemic, I would say that a lot of people are still approaching it with caution, only because it’s new. A lot of people are dipping into the cloud in bits like they are not dipping the whole enterprise into the cloud,” she added.

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