IBPAP 2023: Shaping the Future of IT-BPM in the Philippines

The Philippines’ Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry gathered in full force at Okada Manila from September 27 to 28, 2023, for the IBPAP Summit 2023. This highly anticipated two-day conference brought together industry leaders and experts who shared valuable insights and strategic directions that promise to shape the future of the IT-BPM sector in the country.

In attendance were Intelassist delegates: Angelica Alcayaga (Director of Finance and Accounting); Cherrie Mae Salazar (Senior Operations Manager); Tristian Jeff Mababa (Information Technology Manager); Renz Alvaran (Assistant Operations Manager); Neil Sobrejuanite (General Manager); Zaljane Lajoya (HR Supervisor); and Ariane Mesa (Senior Recruiter).

Intelassist employees in attendance at IBPAP 2023 Summit.
(Left to right): Tristian Jeff Mababa, Angelica Alcayaga, Zaljane Lajoya, Renz Alvaran, Ariane Mesa, Cherrie Mae Salazar, Neil Sobrejuanite

Forging Ahead: Tech Forward Philippines

Under the theme “Forging Ahead: Tech Forward Philippines,” the IBPAP Summit 2023 emphasized the Philippines’ commitment to its digital transformation journey. Industry leaders highlighted the pivotal role of technology in advancing the nation’s economic standing on the global stage.

The event showcased the increasing synergy among the government, private sector, and academia, encouraging innovation and providing essential support for the thriving tech industry. Discussions revolved around diversifying services, offering higher-value solutions, and reskilling and upskilling to adapt to the rapidly changing tech landscape. Ethical and environmentally friendly practices gained prominence as companies shift their focus beyond profit. Distinguished speakers, panel discussions, and networking opportunities made the summit a platform for vision-sharing, insights, and valuable connections.

Jack Madrid and Nancy Giordano: Visionaries Shaping the IT-BPM Industry's Future

Jack Madrid, CEO of IBPAP, set a positive tone with his opening remarks. He emphasized the immense potential of Filipino talent as the cornerstone of the IT and BPO industry. Madrid encouraged industry stakeholders to embrace innovation and excellence, fostering an environment where local talent can thrive.

Nancy Giordano, a renowned Tech Evangelist, echoed Madrid’s sentiments. She emphasized that the integration of AI into the industry should be seen as an opportunity for growth, not a cause for fear. Giordano presented three provocations for navigating the evolving landscape of AI in IT and BPO:

Stop the Fear: Debunking the myth that AI would lead to widespread job loss, Giordano highlighted AI’s potential to increase productivity and efficiency, offering more opportunities for skill development and accomplishments.

Act Now for Productivity Surge: Giordano stressed the importance of immediate action in preparing for the productivity surge that AI can bring. With AI’s assistance, efficiency and productivity can be enhanced, allowing employees to allocate more time to innovation and process improvements. This shift, she argued, is crucial for the industry’s continued growth.

Tech Forward is the Way Forward: The final provocation emphasized the necessity of remaining aggressive in adapting, learning, and applying new technologies. Giordano’s mantra, “Tech forward is the way forward,” encouraged industry leaders and professionals to embrace a proactive approach to AI integration, positioning the IT-BPM industry at the forefront of innovation.

Generative AI: Revolutionizing Industries Worldwide​

Companies like Betterteem, Accenture, and GoFluent are already harnessing the power of AI to improve employee experiences, streamline operations, and enhance customer interactions.

Generative AI has become a topic of global interest, with the potential to reshape industries and unlock new possibilities. Several key factors highlight its significance:

Global Regulatory Initiatives: Over 11 countries are already taking steps to regulate the impact of generative AI, highlighting the importance of ethical and responsible AI development.

Microsoft’s Investment: Microsoft’s investment of $10 billion in Open AI, the creator of ChatGPT, underscores the strategic importance of AI in the tech industry.

Skill Gap and Opportunities: Generative AI is set to create new opportunities for the IT-BPM industry, especially in countries like the Philippines, where a younger population can be skilled to meet evolving talent needs.

Scarce Talent: Currently, less than 1% of AI professionals possess Generative AI skill sets, making it a high-demand, low-supply field.

Philippine Potential: The Philippines has the potential to harness generative AI opportunities and establish an AI research center to support smaller businesses.

Remote Work Solutions: Generative AI is poised to address critical challenges in remote work by enhancing data security, automating tasks, and providing real-time assistance to employees.

Henry Aguda on "Connecting Everybody to the Internet"

CEO and President of UnionDigital Bank Henry Aguda’s straightforward yet transformative concept of “connecting everybody to the internet” resonated strongly with the summit’s attendees. Aguda stressed the crucial role of universal internet access in driving progress, innovation, and inclusivity in today’s digital age. His message underscored the need for concerted efforts to bridge the digital divide, ensuring that all individuals and communities have equal access to the vast opportunities and resources available through the internet. This, in turn, can lead to more equitable socio-economic development, increased global connectivity, and an improved quality of life for people worldwide.

Diversity and Inclusivity at the Heart of Workplace Transformation

One of the focal points of the summit was Page Executive’s Carla Lastimosa talk during the “Driving Diversity and Inclusivity in Workplaces” workshop. She emphasized that true diversity goes beyond just hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds; it’s about creating an inclusive environment where every employee feels valued and can contribute their unique perspectives. Lastimosa also highlighted the importance of mentorship programs as a powerful means of supporting underrepresented employees and helping them advance in their careers.

Elevating Employee Experience: Embracing Hybrid and Flexible Work Models

The workshop on “Elevating Employee Experience” challenged conventional workplace norms, exploring the evolving landscape of work arrangements, advocating for hybrid and flexible models that empower employees to choose how and where they work. This shift signifies a departure from rigid office-centric norms, reflecting the changing dynamics of the modern workforce.

Enhancing the employee experience is a priority for many organizations, as revealed by surveys and studies. Employee-centric initiatives can lead to improved retention rates and organizational resilience:

Remote Work Interest: Most respondents express interest in remote work opportunities, emphasizing the need for flexible work arrangements.

Digital Transformation: Digitalization is a critical driver of employee experience transformation, focusing on pulse surveys and employee feedback.

Cost Savings: High turnover rates can cost companies significantly, making investments in improving employee experiences financially prudent. 

ESG Initiatives: Aligning Values with Broader Goals

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) initiatives are gaining momentum as organizations recognize the importance of aligning their values with broader societal and environmental goals. Here’s why ESG matters:

  • Driving Forces: ESG programs are fueled by customer and employee expectations, investor demands, and global regulatory pressure to combat carbon emissions.
  • RFP Inclusion: ESG is set to become a part of Request for Proposals (RFPs) in the future, indicating its growing significance.

The IBPAP Summit 2023 left attendees inspired and equipped with a clear vision for the future. As the IT-BPM sector continues to evolve, it is evident that the Philippines is poised to thrive amidst innovation, leveraging its talent pool and a forward-thinking approach to technology adoption. The summit reinforced the country’s commitment to shaping a future where diversity, inclusivity, technology, and responsible business practices converge to create a brighter and more equitable world.

To gain further insights into the future of the IT-BPM industry beyond 2023, don’t miss IBPAP’s IT-BPM Roadmap 2028 here.

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