Louella Desiderio – The Philippine Star
March 3, 2023 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s information technology – business process management (IT-BPM) industry finished strong in 2022 as it outperformed revenue and headcount targets driven by demand for services in key sectors including banking, healthcare, retail and telecommunications.
In a statement, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said the industry’s revenues grew by 10.3 percent to reach $32.5 billion in 2022.
Headcount went up by 8.4 percent to 1.57 million full-time employees last year.
The IT-BPM industry was projected to grow by eight to 10 percent in terms of revenue. Headcount was also forecast to increase by seven to eight percent last year.
The group attributed the increase in last year’s revenue and headcount to growth in the banking, financial services and insurance, healthcare, retail, technology, and telecommunications sectors.
In addition, IBPAP said IT-BPM firms expanded in the countryside, particularly in Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Pampanga and Laguna, with over 70,000 new jobs created outside Metro Manila.
Last year, 31 percent of the IT-BPM industry’s total headcount was in the countryside.
IBPAP president and chief executive officer Jack Madrid said the performance in 2022 brings the industry closer to its target to generate 1.1 million new jobs under the Philippine IT-BPM Industry Roadmap 2028.
“We’re working on Roadmap 2028 with purpose and momentum. That’s the only way that we can hope to achieve our goal of building the industry to a 2.5 million-strong workforce and generating $59 billion in revenues for the country,” he said.
Based on the Philippine IT-BPM Industry Roadmap 2028, the industry aims to achieve $35.9 billion worth of revenues and have 1.7 million full-time employees this year.
Majority of IT-BPM firms have a positive outlook for this year with the survey conducted by IBPAP showing 83 percent expecting to post growth, despite a potential global recession.
On the other hand, 17 percent remained neutral with their growth forecasts for this year.
The survey showed firms would continue to outsource and use global business services this year to optimize costs.
It also showed investments are expected to come from the following sectors: animation and game development, contact center, cybersecurity, financial technology, healthcare, internet service providers, IT solutions, and shared services.
When it comes to IT-BPM locations in the countryside, Cebu and Davao will continue to be popular, with new hubs such as Iloilo, Clark in Pampanga, and Sta. Rosa in Laguna.
Top five challenges cited by the IT-BPM firms are talent and skills gap; cost pressures; work going to competing locations such as India, Poland and South America; adapting to evolving customer needs and business models like hybrid and remote work; and lack of enabling infrastructure in the countryside.
In terms of talent development, IBPAP said the IT-BPM Talent Summit would be held on April 26 to 27 to help the industry establish a national upskilling framework, expedite educational reforms, and generate 1.1 million new jobs.
“We have more partnerships, projects, and programs in the pipeline for talent development and the other acceleration levers and we don’t plan on letting up or slowing down because we realize that a lot is at stake here that’s beyond revenues, margins, or profits,” Madrid said.