Microsoft-IDC study reveals rosy outlook for businesses

POSTED BY: Lionell Go Macahilig
2019-03-27 15:12:00 PHT

Majority of business leaders and workers believe AI to have positive impact on jobs, according to the study titled Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI spearheaded by Microsoft and International Data Corporation (IDC).

The study, which surveyed 109 business leaders and 100 workers in the Philippines, found that 74% of both business leaders and workers see AI to help do their existing jobs better or reduce repetitive tasks.

Seventeen percent of business leaders believe that AI will create new jobs, while 8% also feel that the technology will replace existing ones. Interestingly, workers are more optimistic, with only 5% expecting AI to replace jobs, and 15% to create new ones. At the same time, 6% of workers expect no impact to their jobs in three years from now.

The study also found that workers are more willing to reskill than business leaders believe they are. Sixteen percent of business leaders felt that workers have no interest to develop new skills, whereas only 4% of workers are not interested.

“Microsoft’s vision for AI is first and foremost about people. AI technology cannot progress without them. This means that millions will need to transform themselves into skilled workers as well as learners that an AI future needs,” declared Ricky Kapur, Microsoft Asia Pacific’s Enterprise and Partners Group General Manager.

Kapur also said that it is encouraging to see that 88% of businesses prioritize skilling and reskilling of workers in the future. They plan to invest as much, or even more, in human capital than in new technology.

“The jobs of today will not be the jobs of tomorrow, and we have already seen demand for software engineering roles expand rapidly beyond just the tech sector. However, building an AI-ready workforce does not necessarily mean an acute need for technological skills,” Kapur added.

The top future skills required by business leaders in the Philippines include digital skills, IT and programming skills, adaptability and continuous learning, as well as analytical skills. The demand for these skills is higher than the existing supply.

MAIN PHOTO (from left): Microsoft Philippines Solutions Specialist for Data & AI Solutions Jek Hermida, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) FSVP and Head of Digital Banking Group Margarita Lopez, Microsoft APAC General Manager of Enterprise & Partner Group Ricky Kapur, and IDC Philippines Head of Operations Randy Roberts.