To aid the country in improving its digital competitiveness ranking, which at present is at 57 (IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2020), Cisco Philippines jumpstarted “Ugnayan 2030,” a multistakeholder framework that involves government leaders, industry, and the academe.
The initiative aims to employ a holistic approach to help the Philippines build greater digital resilience by unlocking the value of digitization in the country. It is the local adaptation of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program. Cisco’s CDA team collaborates with national and state governments worldwide to accelerate their national digitization agendas.
The IMD Digital World Competitiveness Ranking presents the 2020 overall ranking for the 63 economies covered by the Center. The economies are ranked from the most to the least competitive.
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“The decline reflects the lack of talent in training and education,” said Karrie Ilagan, managing director, Cisco Philippines, quoting the IMD study. “The deterioration of these sub-factors is mainly driven by decreases in the availability of internationally experienced senior managers, attracting foreign highly skilled personnel and employee training.”
Ilagan further explained that while organizations have been utilizing the technologies available, the study also points to the urgent need to put a focus on skills development.
“We’re not only talking about IT professionals,” Ilagan said. “There is a need for greater investment to learn and acquire new digital skills and part of the adaptation is that we need to change our mindset to really embrace technology for individuals and organizations to thrive.”
Ugnayan 2030 identified three pillars wherein the efforts will be anchored on: connectivity in building a high-speed and reliable information highway, collaboration in building an integrated, and inclusive ecosystem. It will also include cybersecurity, which has become an important component of cloud-based technology.
Cisco will be tapping existing programs or may launch digitization initiatives aligned with the Philippines national IT agenda.
“We are experimenting with our partners on what makes the most sense and which industries would benefit most (from available technologies,” Ilagan said.
Cisco Philippines has already jumpstarted its Uganayn 2030 initiatives with the assistance provided to the Department of Health in the agency’s digital communications efforts. Cisco-ACCESS Health Research is an in-depth study to examine the status of digital technology integration in primary care.
Cisco Philippines is also Baguio City’s partner in the local government’s smart city and digitalization efforts. The company also designed the Cybersecurity Management Framework, which is an assessment of the COVID-19 Interagency Task Force to measure, manage, and reduce cybersecurity risks.
Before the pandemic hit, Cisco partnered with PLDT in launching a joint private 5G trial, which is an end-to-end incubation platform where enterprise and vertical industries can develop a wave of relevant use cases on 5G. In the digital learning aspect, the two companies collaborated to provide connectivity to schools through the mobile bus that allows students to connect to the internet and access online modules, particularly in the Department of Education portal.
“The speed of innovation, not just by Cisco but also of those coming from our partners, is something that we’ve never seen before and we know that this is really just the beginning,” Ilagan said. “It is just year one into our 10-year projection of finding solutions that will help build the foundation of digital resilience. I know it sounds very ambitious and lofty but we know this can be done.”
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