Freeman Cebu Business

Cebu IT-BPM industry keeps positive post-pandemic outlook

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Decision makers in the Information Technology and Business Process management (IT-BPM) sector in Cebu are seeing positive growth trend post pandemic despite ongoing threats of the virus.

However, to back-up this improving trend, local stakeholders are calling for government support, particularly on expediting vaccine rollout.

Forecasts of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) point to US$30 billion in revenues and increased headcount to 1.5 million full-time employees by end of 2022.

Joslyn Canon, director for community relations at Qualfon Philippines Inc., said the government must accelerate the Covid-19 vaccination not only for personal protection but also to lower the risk of transmission that may imperil business operations.

Aside from vaccine rollout, capacitating municipalities within the province to have good connectivity infrastructure will also boost the appetite of BPO and IT companies to set up sites in the countryside, thereby reinforcing the positive growth trend amid the pandemic, said Mike Cubos, founder and owner of Performance360 Global Services.

“We have to create a hub in the countryside where entrepreneurs, who want to be a part of the industry, will be mentored so they will have a better success rate in the industry,” said Cubos during the Cebu Business Month (CBM) 2021 IT-BPM Coffee Table Discussion.

Cubos, who is also the CBM 2021 chairman, added that to sustain the expected growth, the industry must also innovate and shift to higher-value jobs.

Meanwhile, Avensia Philippines Inc., Cebu operations manager Rasmus Bodin Lofgren, believes that to support the growth trend in outsourcing, access to quality education and technology is also important to meet the target growth.

According to Lofgren, quick access to education and technology will enable a company to quickly recover and look for new markets.

Although growth is expected, the industry is also bracing for a slower growth pace.

Cebu IT/BPM Organization (CIB.O) president Perth Cabaña has warned players that regardless of the pandemic, the slow growth phase is not a surprising phenomenon, but it is a normal cycle that takes place in any business.

In fact, the IT/BPM sector in Cebu continued to stay steadfast despite the hard lockdown in 2020.

“The industry has not declined. Yet, it continued normal operations except for few flexibilities like work-from-home,” Cabataña added.

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