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Digital Workforces in 100 ‘Super Cities’

Upscaling job skills and empowering digital workforces will henceforth improve rankings for the Tholons annual Super Cities 100 and Digital Nations 50 list.


Tholons 2019: Philippines Still in Top
‘Digital Nations 50,’ ‘Super Cities 100’


MANILA, 02 May 2019 — To win the competition, governments and industries must therefore proactively confront and survive the impacts of digital disruption. Otherwise, nations will continue to lose or lag behind, affecting jobs and growth primarily in the outsourcing and technology industries.

Manila remains in the Top 2, however Cebu and Davao have gone down the Tholons 2019 Super Cities 100 list. But due to various factors, Bacolod as well as Santa Rosa and Iloilo are now out of that list.

Moreover, the Philippines has fallen three notches in the Tholons 2019 Digital Nations 50 list. From ranking second in 2018, the Philippines has in fact slid to fifth place for 2019. Still, it remains within the Top 5 globally.

Indian cities remain strong in the Top 10, but Sao Paolo, Dublin, Toronto and Singapore significantly improved in global ranking. Additionally, more than a dozen US cities are now entering the Tholons listing.

According to rank, the Top 10 digital nations are: (1) India, (2) Brazil, (3) United States, (4) Canada, (5) Philippines, (6) United Kingdom, (7) Russia, (8) Mexico, (9) Singapore, and (10) Argentina.

Super Cities and Future Jobs

A city councilor and concurrent ICT focal officer cited upscaling of work skills to anticipate upcoming 21st century jobs.

“Our city government must (rather) align policies, regulation and several other initiatives to support entrepreneurs. (Moreover, it must) continue to maintain an environment conducive for startups and other ICT businesses to grow. We need to scale up our skills and talent resource, and (instead) prepare our new graduates for the jobs of the future,” Bacolod City Councilor Em Ang said.

In particular, the 2019 Tholons ranking includes 12 US cities not in the 2018 list. They now include (1) New York NY, (2) San Francisco CA, (3) Los Angeles CA, (4) Washington DC, (5) Chicago IL, (6) Austin TX, (7) Boston MA, (8) Miami FL, (9) San Diego CA, (10) Seattle WA, (11) Philadelphia PA, and (12) Denver CO.

According to Ang, US cities that were already in the 2018 version have significantly moved up in the 2019 edition. Hence, these are: (1) Dallas TX, (2) Indianapolis ID, and (3) Atlanta GA.

Ang said this could therefore be attributed easily to US President Trump’s campaign promise to bring jobs back to America. “As a result, several high-profile US tech companies responded by bringing their operations back to US soil,” Ang stressed.

Areas for Improvement

“Our drop in this year’s ranking poses a challenge to all stakeholders and actually directs our attention to areas where we can improve,” Ang added, referring to Bacolod. “We look at this year’s result as an impetus to continue to pursue our initiatives to support and further develop the (BPO/BPM) industry.”

She said Bacolod’s decline in the Tholons ranking for now may be “a temporary setback” affecting BPO/BPM industry momentum. Nevertheless, “there is no immediate cause for concern,” Ang added.

Further, she said the ICT industry in Bacolod remains strong and continues to grow. New players are coming in and hiring more workers, which is therefore good for the local economy, Ang said.

Digital Workforces at Scale

Ankita Vashistha, chair and CEO of NY-based Tholons, said intelligent automation, machine learning, cognitive computing and applications moving to the cloud have already transformed businesses and the services industry.

“Tomorrow’s workforce will be a digital workforce at scale, consisting of digital workers and human beings working together,” Vashistha said. “Digital is now a critical element in disrupting and transforming industries globally.”

Vashistha added that technology, BPM companies and multinationals “need to align with the stark reality of digital innovation and transformation.” She added: “Most of the services will get commoditized for the biggest leaders in services globalization like the US, UK, Canada, Europe, India, Philippines, Eastern Europe and Latin America.”

Tholons said companies have been specifically seeking strategies to digitally transform their businesses. In particular, these include leveraging new-age technology like AI, mobility, analytics, cloud, social media, blockchain and cybersecurity.

Legacy and traditional businesses need to revisit their business models in order to harness the power of technology. Hence, industry leaders are realigning themselves to meet the speed and scale of digital transformation.


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