IBPAP outlines strategy roadmap for 2022, aims to help PH economy to rebound

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In photo: IBPAP President and CEO Rey Untal

By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Mindful of the critical role of the IT and Business Process Outsourcing industry in the economic growth in the Philippines with a 7.3% contribution in the GDP, industry experts and global leaders in the country gathered and discussed the roadmap for 2022 at the 12th International Innovation Summit (IIS).

Dubbed as one of the two pillars of the country’s economy, the IT and Business Process Outsourcing industry provides employment to around 1.3M people in more than 1,000 firms around the key cities of the country.

Essential workers

While many businesses had to temporarily stop operating during the time of the coronavirus pandemic, the BPO industry was allowed to operate even during the enhanced community quarantine. But due to lack of public transportations, other companies were forced to adapt work from home system, while others provide shuttle service to ensure uninterrupted operations

Interestingly, the IT and BPO industry in the country remains strong amidst challenges stood up to its challenges, as many companies made an immediate move to address some issues faced by the IT and BPO employees such as health and safety, transportation, the stability of internet connection for those who are working from home.

IBPAP Roadmap for 2022

Given all the factors mentioned above, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) officially unveiled the recalibration results of its Roadmap 2022 at the 12th International Innovation Summit (IIS), the largest annual IT-BPM gathering of industry experts and global leaders in the country, on November 19, 2020.

The IT and business process management (IT-BPM) industry has been playing a critical role in the Philippine economy, especially when it comes to job creation for millions of Filipinos on full-time employment of 1.3 million.

Similar to other industries, the IT-BPM was deeply impacted by the ongoing 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.

Recognizing the global and residual impact from the pandemic, IBPAP initiated a study with global research and consulting firm to recalibrate its Roadmap 2022 figures and identify critical imperatives that the industry must undertake together with its stakeholders.

On the last day of IIS 2020, the results and findings of the recalibration exercise was presented and it was highlighted that primarily due to the ongoing pandemic, both the global and local IT-BPM industry’s growth is expected to remain flat until the end of 2020.

Among the challenges being faced by the industry worldwide include pressure on cost structures, geopolitical changes, increased focus on Business Continuity Plans (BCP), and urgency for automation and digital transformation.

Because of these factors, the Philippine IT-BPM industry has set renewed targets for 2022, setting 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 to USD 27.88 billion to USD 29.09 billion with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.2 percent to 5.5 percent.

“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,” said IBPAP President and CEO Rey Untal.

As the industry is set to go forward, this growth will be enabled by accelerated digital transformation, a robust ecosystem, skilled workforce, and strong government support:

  • Strengthen telecom infrastructure to better support long-term remote work.
  • Accelerate investment in talent development programs, especially for next-generation skills.
  • Stronger pivot to digitally supplemented services by rapidly accelerating investments in digital and cybersecurity initiatives.
  • Tap countryside potential by accelerating talent and infrastructure development outside Metro Manila.
  • Improve 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.
  • Improve 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,” concluded Untal.

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