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Sunday, 1 February 2015

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Lanka needs to project itself as an IT-BPO destination

Sri Lanka is fast emerging as a global IT–BPO destination in the world. However, it is necessary to promote and enhance the significant contribution that digital technology can make to Sri Lanka’s economic prosperity, Chairman Federation of Information Technology Sri Lanka. Chintaka Wijewickrama told Sunday Observer Business.

.“We need to look into certain things as the industry needs to progress in a rapid manner.

It could become one of the three key revenue generating industries with proper facilities and human resources,” he said.

The country needs to project itself as a destination for IT/BPO by having knowledge, soft skills and correct attitude to attract more businesses.

We need to showcase the opportunities by having exhibitions and through promotional work by the Chambers of commerce where display of talent and facilities could be made, he said.A recently carried out survey has found that Sri Lanka's fast-growing information communications technology (ICT) industry faces difficulties in hiring skilled staff, finding good office space and accessing fast Internet links, it said.

Although the IT export industry will continue to grow fast, the industry is confronted with various concerns that could become a hindrance to its future progress, according to a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

A key concern is the inability to access ‘quality’ office space with parking facilities at a reasonable cost, said the survey commissioned by the Export Development Board which wants to make IT a top export sector.

“Lack of skilled staff, particularly with high-end technical skills and English language skills remains critical,” it said.

ICT and BPO (business process outsourcing) companies still faced high costs associated with communication as well as poor service quality internet facilities, the report said.

The sector also faced competition from rival IT export nations.

“Access to markets remains a significant concern with the client base opting for cheaper markets followed by lack of opportunities for small companies,” the report said.

“Poor country visibility as an IT destination, absence of up-to-date technology, and time consuming procedures to obtain services from institution such as the Department of Inland Revenue and Customs further act as barriers to the industry,” it said. “In addition, global competition from IT giants such as India and emerging market such as Eastern Europe and South America remain a hindrance to the future growth of the industry.”

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