IT-BPM Industry Briefing: Accelerate Philippines, The Roadmap To 2022 by Carlo Miguel Lao

Last January 12, 2017, John Clements Consultants held the first industry briefing for the year that focused on the IT and BPO Industry. JCCI was lucky enough to be graced by Ike Amigo, President and CEO of the Information Technology & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP). Coming from large companies such as Accenture, DTSI Group, and the Ayala Foundation, Ike Amigo brings with him close to 30 years of experience in the IT-BPM industry.

Ike brought up some very interesting data regarding the growth of the Philippines in the industry. His talk revolved around 3 major trends in the technology convergence: Digital Transformation, Automation and Artificial Intelligence, and New Delivery Models.

Within the last decade, the industry has proven that it is still one of the fastest growing and earning industries in the Philippines. The Philippines remains at the top among global contact center providers in the world, with growing potential for more back-office operations. The Philippines has ranked very well with regards to affinity, cost, talent pool, and service diversification. We even have the best English proficiency rating among countries such as India, China, Brazil, Malaysia, etc. On top of that, we were ranked the 2nd top outsourcing destination next to India.

One of the major trends, Automation and Artificial Intelligence, are taking companies by storm. Though Ike mentioned that automation will reduce low skilled tiers in the IT-BPM industry, he was quick to say that their projection of 1 out of 7 jobs is going to happen between 2017 to 2022 — that’s 73% of the workforce being trained and reskilled to be able to take mid- to high- skilled tier roles.

Later into his talk, Ike mentioned several high impact programs that would help maintain the growth of the IT-BPM industry. Upgrading the talent ecosystem, maintaining competitive incentives and regulatives, infrastructure development in the next wave cities, sustaining high business confidence, pivoting to higher value services, and strengthening the industry associations are just a few of the big plans to help sustain and incrementally develop our IT-BPM industry.

It was a very interesting discussion about one of the Philippines’ booming industries. Questions came up from the audience referring to the possible effects of the presidency and if the HR industry would be affected by all the technological convergence possibly happening between 2017 and 2022. Ike reassured everyone that there will be no political repercussions in the IT-BPM growth in our country — especially with all the buzz regarding both President Duterte and President-elect Trump coming into office. Furthermore, he stood firm saying that the HR businesses will not be affected as human interaction will always be an advantage over machines and automation.

Ike ended his talk by challenging everyone not to be afraid of change. Change is inevitable — it is painful and difficult, but change is what will keep the industry thriving. For change to occur, the person involved must be driven to change themselves in the process.