Bangladesh has potential success in the field of ICT. The country is already blessed with the demographic dividend, more than 50% of the population in prime working ages (15-54) since 2007.
It’s true because of the pandemic the success rate has slowed down. Even many tech giants have paused their business because of COVID-19. According to International Data Corporation, the growth rate of global IT expending has reduced 3%-4% by end of 2020. Let’s know how Bangladesh is grappling with the current crisis and hopefully will win The software and ITES industries in Bangladesh have started growing rapidly in recent years. Though the ICT industry is small compared to the population in Bangladesh but the growth rate is remarkable.
The ICT industry which encompasses technology is a first changing sector and keeping in this mind the industry segmentation has been designed. We can divide the ICT sector into two broad categories- IT and ITES. IT services split into Application services which include – system integration, – IT infrastructure, – consulting. And Engineering services which include- the hardware and software development and testing. On the other hand the ITES category can be split into Horizontal process which include the call center and business process management like HR and Supply Chain Management. Vertical process outsourcing that include Banking, manufacturing, telecom, pharmaceuticals. Knowledge Process Outsourcing that include business research, animation, data analytics and other specialized processes. And the latest entry into this category is Automation Services that include task automation and business process as a service.
Since 2010 the ICT sector has grown by more than 40% in our country. According to Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), over 1500 software and IT-related companies have registered in Bangladesh. (Anon., 2020). From these 1500 companies over 800 companies are directly providing software and ITES services with over one million local ICT professionals. Over 500 companies are exporting their products or services to more than 30 companies. It is estimated ICT exports worth over $1 billion, here North America is the main destination. This tremendous growth in the ICT sector assumed to create great demand for services which includes the opportunities in U.S business with professional training and equipment support.
The 1500 IT/ITES companies are involved in most of the verticals of value chain in the ICT. Which ranging from customized application development and maintenance to business process outsourcing. Banking, pharmaceutics, RMG, telecom and textile sectors are highly driving the local demand.
The entire gamut of operations are covered but the ITES segment in Bangladesh. As it exploits IT to improve efficiency, drive revenue growth, increase profitability of an organization. This in turn can be broken down which are broadly categorized as BPO into vertical, horizontal and knowledge process outsourcing. A major portion of Bangladesh’s ICT market exports which is standing at 17% include data processing, voice services and animation among others rely on technology for delivery. On the other hand the IT sector includes services that need extensive technical expertise. To help businesses reach their goals the services offer Platform as a service (PASS), Software as a Service (SAAS) models. All the other examples of IT services are product design, technology consulting, infrastructure development, systems integration and ERPs.
On the other hand another part of IT services is software development which falls under the engineering services section of IT services. It is extensively sought after by international organizations looking to outsource this facet of their operations abroad. From platform and software development to to testing specialized software design this segment has beyond opportunities. In fact IT is the driver of digital growth around the world. For a while now Bangladeshi companies are out sourcing IT related services and freelancers from Bangladesh have recently joined this platform. However, by the support of the software development teams the integrated and multidimensional nature of the software development can be acquired. Bangladesh need to think big and different to achieve a mammoth feet in the sector of ICT. For that Bangladesh has to overhaul its effort toward ICT outsourcing. The government will, private sector capability, talent availability and enabling infrastructure are the essentials and already in place. Now, Bangladesh with the right set of actions can leapfrog into the domain of IT/ITES outsourcing and can do it heavily by leveraging its inherent advantages.