Is It Too Late to Invest in Pakistan’s IT Industry?

The IT Industry has seen a surge all over the world, and Pakistan is no exception. Based on market sector observations, one may find it convenient to say that the growth has been rapid and the graph goes up from time to time.

To make an informed decision, one must rely on factual data as it could definitely clear the fog of mayhem and confusion in this regard. Anything other than clear-cut facts may only mislead, and that is something we are well aware of. It is no secret that the IT industry has indeed grown to remarkable horizons; however, when we refer to statistical data, it may suggest otherwise.

According to the article published in The Express Tribune earlier this year, the IT Industry experienced a 23% decrease in its exports. It also states that the root cause behind it has been “a clash between the official and grey remittance channels.” Another reason cited was the 20 to 35 % decline in computer and telecom services. However, if we consider recent events, including the global pandemic and the recession that followed, businesses found opportunities to grow their ventures with a much different yet contemporary approach. This led to the transition from performing operations manually to executing them virtually. In fact, many industries found a ray of light in the darkness that engulfed the entire world.

Moreover, tech entrepreneurs found opportunities to reach target consumers globally as they were not confined to carrying out operations within the walls of their organizations. With digital strategies taking over the way businesses were carried out previously, there had to be a rise in the exports of the IT Industry at large. However, the question remains, was that rise at a sustainable rate? Not only that, is the IT industry’s growth rapid or rather slow?

Another news article mentions that although the rapid cosmopolitan growth of the IT Industry is apparent, statistically, Pakistan’s IT industry made rather “sluggish” progress. As per the article, the growth in the industry was 5%, and one of the major underlying issues that negatively impacted the industry, according to analysts, is the policymaker’s indifferent approach towards unconventional export sectors.

When it comes to the IT industry, our nation may face a challenge when adopting and relying on it as the idea is considered unconventional. However, we can’t ignore the fact that some key factors not only affect the IT industry in Pakistan but also the tech industry worldwide. This brings us to one of the major concerns that keeps businesses from relying on the tech industry, which is the security threat.

There are various factors that make security a major concern for business pioneers when they think about conducting their business activities via tech industry channels. Their first and major concern is scams, as scammers find it considerably easy to break through the security walls of organizations, stealing their monetary assets and the sensitive/private data based on which a business is running. Having said that, these concerns are not just limited to Pakistan. The fear of scams is prevalent everywhere, but due to technological advancement, various countries have devised measures to prevent such security threats.

Pakistan, on the other hand, being relatively new, finds it hard to adopt this new, rather progressive method of conducting business. The main reason entrepreneurs are reluctant is that they don’t have the means or measures to deal with data threats and theft. However, what people fail to realize is that diving right into the tech industry and exploring it to its core can help solve the issue altogether. We need to understand that the solution is right where the root of the problem is. Once that has been tackled, the IT industry can grow by leaps and bounds.

Then there are other areas of concern besides cybersecurity, including the insatiable demand for innovation and transformation. Though COVID-19 wreaked havoc, the good part is that the pandemic increased the demand over the past two years as more businesses resorted to digitization. This meant that more underlying issues would affect the growth of the IT industry not only in Pakistan but also in other parts of the world. If such hurdles are not dealt with in time, they can cease to impact the IT industry in the years to come.

As for the concerns related to the growth of the IT sector, it includes cost inhibition, supply chain interferences, integration and upgrade, backup issues, hardware and software matters, geopolitical factors, and artificial intelligence (AI) learning and performing operations.

Nonetheless, the solution to all these problems associated with the IT industry lies within the industry itself. If timely measures are not taken, such issues could create more problems, hindering overall progress.

On the flip side, if we take a look at the tech industry in Pakistan, a significant number of people are employed in it, providing individuals of all age groups the opportunity to unleash their full potential

Moreover, it has allowed those who could not commute to work remotely and earn a living using the channels of the IT industry. But despite that, many people are still facing issues. One way to get rid of those problems is to train individuals proficiently and make them use digital advancement to perform better.

An article published in The Economic Times states that the tech industry relies greatly on various factors, which include changes in business, ups and downs in economic conditions, development in the tech world, and the threat of severe recession worldwide.

It won’t be wrong to say that the year 2022 started with strong growth and made the tech industry go through a rollercoaster ride, but as the year neared its end, the deceleration was apparent. However, the good news is that experts and analysts worldwide have positive expectations in terms of the growth of the IT industry in what is left of the year 2023 and the years to follow.

Putting Pakistan into perspective, the IT industry is still an infant industry and is yet to achieve what it’s destined to accomplish in the coming years. Hence, it is safe to say that the industry is far from its peak, and good days are ahead of it!

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