By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Migrating to cloud database from legacy or on premise will certainly entail cost, and perhaps affect a company’s profitability, but the benefits of automation brought about by new technologies will be long-term thus, sustaining profitability.
Mina Luz Lim, country managing director of Oracle Philippines, said that technology cost always comes up in their conversation with customers, but stressed this is a fact that companies have to understand.
According to a study by Accenture Research, artificial intelligence (AI) or automation has the potential to increase the profitability of 16 industries, including information and communication, manufacturing and financial services by an average of 38 percent by 2035. According to the Accenture Report, these three sectors will see the highest annual profits out of the 16 industries identified.
Jojo Uligan, president of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), told reporters that IT-BPM companies will all have to invest as they shift to AI, robotics and automation technologies of doing business.
“There is investment so our profitability will go down before going up because we need investments for training of manpower,” said Uligan as he explained that the only way to retool, upskill human manpower is by immersing them into new training.
Lim, however, said that companies should not look at the short term but rather for the long term because the productivity and competitiveness of these new technologies will surely make their operations sustainable and profitable.
“Cost will always be part of the conversation,” Lim said but once this is explained companies will have another view at adopting new technologies. For instance, she said, a company with field operations can save resources with technology because there is no need for more people on the field and coordination would be easier and faster.
“The bottomline is competition. So, I will invest money to keep my customers happy,” she said stressing that this will lead to more customers and more profit. At the end of the day, she said, “it is all about competition.”
“The benefits far outweigh the cost and these will always translate into dollars,” she stressed.
Lim cited Union Bank, the country’s first and perhaps the only fully-digital commercial bank that has gone ahead of their peers and got approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to go all out cloud in their operation.
Lim further noted that the banking sector is one of Oracle’s early adoptors of cloud, automation, robotics, and AI. Oracle has also strong presence in other sectors, including telco.
“There are early adopters in the Philippines especially small and medium enterprises. I am pleasantly surprised that our customers are really having an appreciation of what technologies can offer,” Lim said.
According to Lim, SMEs are already incumbent Oracle users and they are able to save because they only avail of services that they need. “If your requirement is only for five users, the company has to pay for that portion only. Oracle will take care of everything from technical support, upgrades and other costs. And if new functionalities come out, it is always automatic that you get the latest version of the technology,” she said.