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More Philippine firms now find it ‘easy’ to innovate, study says

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

MORE THAN HALF of Philippine organizations now find innovation in the country “easy,” after they increased their abilities to innovate amid a pandemic crisis, the latest study by Microsoft Corp. and International Data Corp. (IDC) Asia/Pacific showed.

“Since the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, Philippine organizations have matured in the culture of innovation by 4%, increasing their ability to innovate; 56% of these organizations now find innovation easy,” Microsoft said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

Before the pandemic, 77% of organizations in the Philippines found innovation to be “hard,” the study said.

“They have since changed perceptions with significantly less Philippines organizations and leaders (36%) having this sentiment now,” Microsoft noted.

“This is because they were forced to accelerate innovation in response to the disruptions in the market,” it added.

The study found an increase of 5.4 percentage points in the number of adopters of the so-called “culture of innovation” among Philippine firms.

“The culture of innovation is the synergy between four dimensions: technology, processes, data, and people. These allow organizations to drive sustained innovation,” Microsoft noted.

“In the span of six months, organizations in the Philippines have matured in the culture of innovation… In comparison, organizations in Asia Pacific saw an 11% growth in the culture of innovation maturity,” it added.

The report said almost half or 43.8% of Philippine organizations will be focusing on “having the right technology” in the next 12 months “to become resilient and be able to quickly recover from the crisis.”

Microsoft and IDC Asia/Pacific surveyed 213 business leaders and 231 employees in the Philippines within six months, before and since the pandemic.  Microsoft said the study was part of a broader survey among 3,312 business leaders and 3,495 employees “across 15 markets in Asia-Pacific conducted over the same time-period.”

Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, associate vice president, head of digital transformation at IDC Asia/Pacific, said: “We see amongst leaders a constant appetite for growth and evolution. During COVID-19, 45% of them (in the Asia-Pacific region) said they think their business model will lose competitiveness in five years’ time, as compared to 21% of firms in the Philippines.”

“This desire and urgency for continuous improvement through agility and adaptation to change will determine the success of businesses in this new normal,” he added.

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