The Information Technology- Business Process Outsourcing (IT_BPO) industry in the Philippines comprises eight sub-sectors – call centers, knowledge process outsourcing (KPOs) and back offices, animation, software development, game development, engineering design, and medical transcription.
Outsourcing practices that operate in the country are third party offshoring and captive markets. The latter seems to be gaining growth recently, but the presence of 3rd party outsourcing seem to be more prevalent. Call center operations contribute most to the industry followed by back offices and KPOs.
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) records indicate around 788 call centers operating in at least twenty different cities and urban centers. What used to offer simple call center services has now expanded to industrial competencies of various customer-relations subsectors due to the natural abundance of educated and English-proficient workforce in the PH.
Creativity and versatility of BPO workers allowed other support services such as medical transcription and animation to flourish as well. With continuous education and support for learning digital technology, the Filipinos can remain internationally competitive in case abrupt changes occur in the outsourcing industry.
Business outsourcing is a sustainable industry in the Philippines. Projected revenue for 2017 to 2018 is over $25 billion. The call center segment, which employs more than a million Filipino professionals at present, is the biggest contributor. However, the use of new automated systems such as artificial intelligence in call centre operations could decrease the need for human resource in the coming years. To sustain jobs and to add a new segment in the IT-BPO industry, data science and analytics would be a favourable alternative.
Data scientists from other countries see the potential of Filipino IT professionals in promoting Data Science in the Philippines. If the promotion of Analytics and Data Science is well supported by the government and private sector, the possibility of foreign companies outsourcing jobs in this field will be viable. Analytics may be a high-value profession, but the Filipino workforce is willing to undergo the necessary trainings to be competent for the jobs.