November 20, 2020 at 08:45 pm
Othel V. Campos
The Philippine information technology-business process management industry expects to recover from a flat growth this year, with both employment and revenues likely to achieve moderate expansion over the next couple of years.
The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines set revised targets for 2022, projecting the headcount growth at 2.7 percent to 5 percent, or around 1.37 million to 1.43 million full-time employees, and industry revenues amounting of $29.09 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 3.2 percent to 5.5 percent in the next two years.
IBPAP president and CEO Rey Untal said Friday while the Philippines was expecting flat growth in 2020, “the industry is still in a better position than other industries considering the detrimental impact of the pandemic to almost all sectors and industries.”
“While these new figures stand as the Philippine IT-BPM industry’s goal for 2022, it is equally important to know how we will be achieving them. The recalibration study also provided us with imperatives we and our stakeholders must undertake, not only to fulfill these targets, but to strengthen our sector locally and globally,” he said in a virtual briefing.
The briefing and announcement of revised growth guidance was the culmination of the 12th International Innovation Summit—a five-day global IT-BPM conference that incorporated the revision of the industry Roadmap 2020.
International consulting firm Everest came up with six imperatives that the industry should be able to satisfy to enable growth. These include the strengthening of telecom infrastructure to better support long-term remote work; acceleration of investment in talent development programs, especially for next-generation skills; and stronger pivot to digitally supplemented services by rapidly accelerating investments in digital and cybersecurity initiatives.
These also include consistent tapping of countryside potential by accelerating talent and infrastructure development outside Metro Manila; improvement of local industry’s position in the global market by enhancing focus on resilience, increased commitment from players and government, and ability to deliver complex services; and improvement in ease of doing business by enhancing and strengthening government support to offer a business-friendly environment.
“As we share our renewed vision for 2022, we want to highlight the importance of strengthened collaborations among our stakeholders in the private sector, government, and the academe. This is to help the sector continuously pivot and thrive so we can all unleash opportunities and break new ground to strengthen our position as one of the top investment destinations in the world,” said Untal.
The IT-BPM is a critical pillar of the Philippine economy, especially when it comes to job creation for millions of Filipinos. In 2019, the sector recorded total full-time employment of 1.3 million, up by 5.8 percent from 2018 while revenues amounted to $26.3 billion, representing a 7.1 percent increase from the previous year.
Similar to other industries, the IT-BPM was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but was able to leverage on the government’s immediate assessment of the industry as an essential sector.
Since then, the industry has demonstrated its resilience—starting with only 50-percent productivity in March to over 95 percent in November through a blended service delivery model.
The industry continued to grapple with challenges that came with the pandemic including the worldwide pressure on cost structures, geopolitical changes, increased focus on business continuity plans and urgency for automation and digital transformation.
While the global economy is bracing for a 4.5 percent downturn, the global IT-BPM industry is expected to outperform global economy as it maintains its forecast of flat growth.
Global ITBPM revenue, however, is estimated to post a growth of 3.5 to 4 percent in revenue over the next couple of years.