For the first time ever, the Philippines has started to lose in the global outsourcing ratings as the Tholons surveys indicated negative growth for all the country’s leading outsourcing cities after almost a decade of positive growth.
The 2016 Tholons Survey saw Metro Manila moving to fourth place from second, Cebu dropping from eighth to 12th, Davao from 69th to 85th, Bacolod from 85th to 97th, and Santa Rosa from 82nd to 100th.
This was revealed by Jonathan Arvin Adolfo, executive secretary of the National Information and Communications Technology Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) during the Slingshot Cebu Conference spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at an uptown hotel.
The Tholons Survey ranks the top outsourcing cities in the world on an annual basis. The company recently fused its two categories of emerging and fully-emerged cities into one overall survey.
Shifting tech landscape
In his presentation on the “Tholons Report: Challenges and Opportunities,” Adolfo cited that the present workplace has changed with the introduction of automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive computing, thus drastically affecting the ICT landscape and capabilities of the country.
“Traditional business has become technological business. Big data and analytics will be the ‘new oil’ or driving force,” he told the audience during the conference, which bannered the theme “Accelerating the Innovation Economy through Digital Transformation.”
The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry has remained quite dependent on voice-operated systems, improving only slightly in Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), the latter of emerging as a strong global trend.
Adolfo added that the wake-up call refocuses efforts to develop startup systems in Manila and the countryside, especially Mindanao. According to him, also needed is an effective and sustainable support mechanisms for the success and growth of start-ups.
Regarding the plight of startups, the speaker cited several factors that have led to a high failure rate of 95 percent. Among them were the lack of business skills, capital, reluctance to take risks, failure to be relevant, and hesitation to blow one’s horn when successful.
By RICHARD RAMOS