Friday, September 05, 2008

IT and IT-enabled outsourcing latest upsurge in Cebu economy

Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled outsourcing investments have emerged as the latest growth driver of the Cebu economy after export-oriented industries and tourism, Though outsourcing in software development and data transcription services have been in Cebu since the 1990s, but the industry received a pace  only after 2K.

According to the Cebu Education Foundation for IT (C Ed F-IT) the number of software developers  raised  from 850 to more than 5,000, while IT-enabled service workers increased from 7,000 to more than 20,000 from the 2001 to 2007. Between 2001 to 2007, around 70 percent of investments were in information and communication technology (ICT).

Among the challenges faced by the industry was, the supply of the right quality of human resources. As it requires high quality workers able to work in a global work environment, communicate with international clients and colleagues, technically competent in their fields and computer literate. Outsourcing companies have to compete with other industries in attracting qualified workers. As a new industry, many people are still not familiar with outsourcing and the many career opportunities that it offers.
Potential workers, particularly high school students who are still deciding on what career path to take, need to be informed about career opportunities in the outsourcing industry, especially in higher valued BPO, ITO and ESO services.

 Cebu gave a good response to the initial challenges of the development of the outsourcing talent pool by upgrading the skills of workers and through the development of training programs in higher education institutions. As a result of which the challenge is generating more interest and attracting more people to invest in a career in the outsourcing industry.