Preliminary Study for the Corporate Services Segments of the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) Industry

The Project, undertaken by the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology (DOST-ICTO) with the support of the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), aimed to develop the Strategy Framework for the Corporate Services Segments (CSS) of the IT-BPM Industry. These segments include: finance and accounting and insurance outsourcing and human resources outsourcing. The Project also identified underpinning issues and challenges relative to these sectors as well as develop initial recommendations that would lay the groundwork in improving and increasing the country’s ability to capture a larger share of these segments in the global IT-BPM market. A series of activities were pursued to help formulate the findings of the study. These activities include a survey among CSS service providers, mainly member-companies of IBPAP, followed by a series of focus group discussions. These were followed with a workshop that aimed to validate and integrate the initial findings. A forum was held in April 2013 with global in-house centers which also provided perspective to the study.

Executive Summary

The Preliminary Study for the Corporate Services Segment (CSS) of the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) Industry is part of the development of a broader information and communications technology (ICT) strategy to sustainably increase the Philippines’ share of the non-voice segment of the global sourcing industry. This project addresses the need to step up the value chain, especially in the CSS, given the twin threats from the growing number of countries pursuing the provision of offshore services and increasing protectionist pressure favoring nearshoring.

The Philippines is at the cusp of a demographic dividend. The available workforce (between the ages of 15 to 64 years) will soon constitute an overwhelming majority of the population. This should bode well for the country’s IT-BPM industry as it aims to double its headcount by 2016 with 1.3 million jobs in total. The need goes beyond just the supply of an adequate number of graduates. The IT-BPM industry, in close partnership with the academe and the education agencies of the government, need to ensure that the incoming workforce entrants are also trained in the right disciplines and in acquiring the employability skills sought after by CSS firms.

The CSS largely mirrors the imperatives of the larger IT-BPM industry. The workshop participants echoed the urgent need for a broad and sustainable education strategy that will assure large-scale improvement in the quality of the talent pool. Although many companies acknowledge the efforts of the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) and the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) as well as their own initiatives already in place, the clear consensus was that much needs to be done to integrate these initiatives into real collaboration among government, the academe, and the industry so that the necessary transformation in secondary, tertiary, and post-graduate education  can be achieved.

The near unanimity and the urgency of the call for talent development underscore the gestation and the scalability challenges of current industry programs on education. Clearly, stop-gap measures are needed. A clear low-hanging fruit might be the expansion of IT-BPM training programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to cover a much wider area where traditional education has not kept pace with workplace requirements.

The final consensus was on the need for a better orchestrated national IT-BPM strategy. Many participants admitted that they were not fully aware of some of the DOST-ICTO and IBPAP programs until these were presented in the workshop. Although this clearly indicates the need to review and improve the communications plan and program scorecards publication, the participants felt that there were several key gaps, notably:

  • The absence of a central industry information base, freely accessible to all potential stakeholders—locators, investors, local government units, universities, students planning their careers, recent graduates, parents, etc.
  • Resources that will help in executing programs in the areas of the CSS, specifically in terms of talent development, marketing, among others.

All told, the abundance of insightful observations in this study has managed to define not just the areas of concern but also the elements and frontlines of strategy. A broad outline of a strategic framework to serve as a solid foundation for the CSS road map exercise also emerged. This paper is meant to capture all the insights from the participants in the project. It is hoped that these insights will mature into a vision and strategy that will ensure the inevitability of the IT-BPM industry’s growth and also to spur more active thought leadership and IT-BPM industry scholarship.

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This study, commissioned to project consultants, is based on anecdotal evidence culled from the views presented by the CSS companies through the Industry Survey, the Focus Group Discussions and the Culminating Workshop supplemented by secondary data rather than firm and direct statistical data.

Despite the challenges of driving voluntary participation during traditionally hectic periods in the IT-BPM calendar, the IBPAP team was able to muster enough of the industry brain trust so that lively discussions ensued and valuable insights were gleaned from the sessions.

The Study Team is hopeful that the results of this effort will drive strategic initiatives that, in turn, will produce sustainable, long-lasting benefits for the stakeholders in the Corporate Services Segment, the IT-BPM industry as a whole, and the country at large.

Project Team
Patricia May M. Abejo, Director, DOST-ICTO
Gillian Joyce G. Virata, Senior Executive Director, IBPAP
Caesar O. V. Parlade, Practice Director, Integris Offshore Business Solutions
George R. Francisco, Consultant, Integris Offshore Business Solutions
Carolyn P. Echavez, DOST-ICTO
Indu V. Badlani, IBPAP
Alexis L. Chua, Integris Offshore Business Solutions

About the Publishers

 

Department of Science and Technology –
Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) www.icto.dost.gov.ph

The Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) is a government agency under the policy, technical and administrative supervision of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). It is tasked to lead and harmonize initiatives on ICT using a multi-stakeholder approach. Its primary thrusts include ICT industry development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.

In the area of ICT industry development, the DOST-ICTO is tasked to formulate, recommend and implement an appropriate policy and program framework that will promote the rapid development and improved global competitiveness of the country’s ICT industry, including the IT-BPM industry. Towards this end, the DOST-ICTO implements and coordinates strategic and targeted programs in the areas of industry capability development, marketing and research, and workforce development for said industry. The programs will also support the national government’s objectives of sustained economic development through the generation of investments and creation of jobs from the ICT industry.

Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) www.ibpap.org

The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), formerly the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), is the enabling association for the IT BPM industry in the Philippines. IBPAP serves as the one-stop information and advocacy gateway for the industry. With approximately 300 industry and support-industry members, including five associations—the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc., Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines, and the Philippine Software Industry Association—IBPAP plays a pivotal role in sustaining rapid growth of the IT-BPM and GIC industry by working to ensure an enduring supply of high-quality labor, supporting service innovation, and providing country visibility.

IBPAP assists investors in setting up operations easily and quickly in the Philippines. Relevant research, introductions to key government and industry officials, and a series of briefings at each step of the investment process ensure a seamless development process. Ongoing support is provided through a wide variety of initiatives, including programs for HR development, business development, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.

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