Improving the quality and accessibility of internet connectivity across the island must become a top priority for the Sri Lankan government if it is to continue fostering the growth of the country’s Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT/BPO) sectors, according to Chairman, SLASSCOM, Sujiva Dewaraja.
“The IT/BPO industry is one of the top 5 export revenue earners for Sri Lanka. However unlike other exports what we are really selling here is the intellectual capacity and abilities of our people. This industry is generally considered to be less reliant on government support in comparison with tourism, and agriculture. However it still requires support.”
“For this industry to develop, the basic infrastructure needs to be in place in order to create opportunities so access to broadband internet is going to be as important as other infrastructure projects like ports and airports,” Dewaraja said.
He added that relatively high electricity prices along with high internet costs were examples of other challenges being faced by the industry today.
“We are well aware of the issues that the government is facing regarding the price of electricity, but both internet access and electricity needs to become cheaper and more available. There has been a lot that has been accomplished in this regard but there still more that needs to be done. In that context, the government needs to invest heavily in this industry in order to improve access to the information superhighway in the same way that it is now investing in its other infrastructure projects around the country,” Dewaraja urged.
He made the comments during an event held to mark the launch of the Sri Lankan Chapter of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) yesterday.
The IAOP is a global standard-setting organization and advocate for the outsourcing profession. It is the first and only global professional membership-based organization to establish standards for users, providers and advisors of outsourced services.
Through the launch of its Sri Lanka Chapter, IAOP aims to provide a platform for creating awareness of Sri Lankan IT/ BPO amongst IAOP’s 200,000 members worldwide, providing for useful networking opportunities. The organization also hopes to increase competencies and best practices through IAOP training workshops ultimately leading to an IAOP Asia event to be hosted in Sri Lanka down the line.