BPO industry rides AI wave

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
BPO industry rides AI wave
IBPAP is collaborating with research powerhouse Everest Group to refresh the industry roadmap and introduce an ambitious version for 2028.

MANILA, Philippines — The Information Technology & Business Process Association (IBPAP) is refreshing its 2028 industry roadmap to align its goals with the continued growth of the artificial intelligence (AI) landscape.

IBPAP is collaborating with research powerhouse Everest Group to refresh the industry roadmap and introduce an ambitious version for 2028.

“The AI landscape is a battleground, demanding a strategic update to align goals with the ever-evolving realities of the Philippine IT-BPM sector. With a determined focus on upskilling and re-skilling, IBPAP charges forward to achieve ambitious targets for job creation and revenue by 2025,” IBPAP said.

Based on the earlier launched Roadmap 2028, the industry targets to create an additional 1.1 million jobs in the six years. This will bring the sector’s total headcount to 2.5 million by 2028.

In addition, the industry is also targeting to reach $59 billion by 2028.

“As the Philippine IT-BPM industry rides the GenAI (generative AI) wave, the nation is uniquely positioned to seize opportunities. With support from the government, industry visionaries, and academia, IBPAP ensures the industry and workforce are not just prepared for the future – they are shaping it,” IBPAP president and CEO Jack Madrid said.

“The road ahead is no joyride but the promise of a thriving IT-BPM sector in the Philippines, navigating the GenAI wave, isn’t just exciting; it’s a journey filled with potential. Join us in this adventure, where innovation and tradition coexist harmoniously in the realm of GenAI,” he added.

The IBPAP earlier described the rise of GenAI as both an opportunity and a challenge for the IT-BPM sector.

The group acknowledged the potential of AI to boost productivity and business value when combined with its skilled workforce.

“In the Philippine IT-BPM sector, GenAI is not just a supporting act; it is the headline, enhancing employee experiences and elevating service quality to new heights,” IBPAP said.

Similarly, the group recognized that the rise of AI also brings an upskilling revolution.

“Delving into AI applications, mastering data handling, and sharpening emotional intelligence and creativity skills are becoming the norm. IBPAP recognizes the urgency and has spearheaded an upskilling uprising: executive training, technical courses and practical GenAI applications,” the group said.

Moreover, IBPAP also acknowledged the need to partner with educational trailblazers and talent development innovators to prepare the workforce for AI.

In November, the IBPAP said the industry is working on the strategic integration of GenAI, banking on its potential to boost productivity.

“The Philippine IT-BPM industry acknowledges the challenge and opportunity presented by GenAI. A study by MIT Sloan attests to the transformative potential of GenAI, revealing a 14 percent boost in productivity for contact center agents using conversational AI assistants, with a significant impact on newer or less-skilled workers,” Madrid said earlier.

He explained that the impact of GenAI on jobs has been a widely discussed topic, with companies and various sectors exploring its potential to improve productivity, customer experiences, cost reduction, and revenue growth.

“In this context, IBPAP is dedicated to responsibly harnessing the power that AI holds. This dedication is reflected in the organization’s commitment to collaboration, investment in training, promotion of innovation and advocacy for supportive policies. Through these efforts, IBPAP aims to maintain the competitiveness of the Philippines in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry and its labor force amidst the challenges and opportunities presented by an AI-driven world,” Madrid said.

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