The country's software services outsourcing sector reached positive growth of 37 percent in 2011 according to a recent study done by the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA). This percentage translates to $993 million in revenues.
A growth rate of 11% -- which means jobs for about 50,000 information technology (IT) professionals - was also seen.
One of the reasons cited for the growth was the increased number of international businesses engaging the services of local firms for their software and IT requirements.
PSIA president Nora Terrado added that companies were able to raise the efficiency and revenue per full-time employee (FTE) because of improved utilization of the present talent pool. The need for technical workforce,on the other hand, was augmented by government and industry players who focused on training fresh graduates and mid-career professionals.
The increased demand for IT services last year, Terrado further explained, helped place these trainees into mainstream IT positions. She cited this along with process optimization and innovation as the other factors that helped contribute to last year's increased IT outsourcing revenue.
In addition, a growing number of local companies are moving from service orientation to product development. With this trend in mind, the PSIA created a special interest group on product development (PD/SIG). The group's aim is to help the software development sector build and commercialize at least 10 software products "all globally recognized" in different categories by 2016. For each of these software products, the projected revenue from offshore customers is at least $1 million.
Given the globally competitive environment, the convergence of BPO and IT services, the advent of cloud computing, and a number of other developments affecting the industry, Terrado said that product and services innovation as well as capability development are important in sustaining the local sector's growth trend.
Local areas of potential growth for this year are independent software testing, application enhancement, remote infrastructure services, and maintenance and support.