The digital economy is already here, and it’s a matter of tapping and maximizing its potential. During the 6th National Business and Management Conference, De La Salle University Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Dr. Raymond Girard Tan delivered a keynote address on research trends in the digital economy and what this development means for multiple sectors particularly the academe.
Among those discussed by Dr. Tan include the current landscape of the digital economy, research and innovations as drivers for growth, and its implications to higher education in business.
The digital economy
Dr. Tan highlights that technology firms are now a dominant global force. With the likes of Facebook, Google, Adobe, and Twitter, among many others, these firms are leading the growth of the digital economy. “Technological innovations will change the global business landscape”, he adds.
One of the most cited business articles of the decade entitled “Business intelligence and analytics: From big data to big impact” further implies the rapid pace by which the digital economy will trailblaze in the coming years.
Dr. Tan states one part of the article: “Business intelligence and analytics (BI&A) has emerged as an important area of study for both practitioners and researchers, reflecting the magnitude and impact of data-related problems to be solved in contemporary business organizations”.
In the Philippines, information technology, business process management, and e-commerce were identified as one of the top 12 priority areas by the Department of Trade and Industry. This signifies the Philippine government’s focus on taking advantage of the opportunities brought by the digital economy.
Research and innovation
According to the 2018 Global Innovation Index, the Philippines ranks 73rd. The country was further ranked as follows: 86th in human capital and research, 44th in business sophistication, and 49th in knowledge and technology outputs.
Considering this development, Dr. Tan emphasizes the need to establish interdependencies between the government, researchers, industry, and general public to maximize the innovation opportunities. According to him, among the tools that will be required to implement these interdependencies include research and development support, policy-making, and goods and services, to name a few.
In the country, the Department of Science and Technology has developed the “Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda” for 2017 to 2022 that indicates the government’s support for technology-based innovations. The agenda also emphasizes emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics, and focuses on knowledge transfer, commercialization, and utilization in the technology industry.
Implications on the academe
Given these developments in the digital economy, Dr. Tan enumerates three main functions of the academe: transmitting knowledge, creating knowledge, and acting as a public knowledge resource. He furthers that one of the ways to do this is through extensive research and innovation.
Dr. Tan lists down several benefits with undergoing research in the academe: contribute knowledge as a societal good, provide solutions to complex issues, enrich the national talent pool, and enhance the university’s international reputation.
Moreover, these developments have further implications to individual faculty members in the Philippine academia. For instance, a shift in career identity from teacher to a teacher and researcher must be embraced by current faculty members. Moreover, developing a global mindset, career planning and time management, and shaping institutional processes and cultures are also important considerations.
“Business schools need to strengthen research to empower students and faculty to succeed in the digital economy”, Dr. Tan concludes.