NationalVolume 14 Issue # 19

Constraints in IT industry of Pakistan

Digital marketing is a field of Information Technology that is ruling the business houses through different types of campaigns. Under the aegis of globalization, e-commerce and liberal economic values have clinched the world. Woodrow Wilson was the American president who whipped up the leading economic powers to adapt and adopt the low tariff and tariff-free trade some decades ago.

Later innovative ideas erupted in the field of IT which motivated the world to shift their economic activities on online interaction by promoting distance interaction using IT. That is the reason that most of business activities are arranged and done online in the contemporary era. Most of jobs, lives, activities and business have become digitalized in the present-day world. Lives of human beings have become automated. Even online marketing that is also known as e-commerce under the umbrella of scientific revolution has occupied a significant place. Even IT houses have been set up in the countries which are contributing immensely to the world economy such as the UAE, the US, the UK and others.

According to the findings of Research Consultancy global Information Technology is expected to reach $5 trillion in 2019. United States of America is the leading and largest technical market in the world that is representing approximately 31% of the total. Round about $1.6 trillion will be generated from the industry by the US in 2019. Not only in the US, but also in other parts of the world, governments are facilitating the IT industry to compete international marketing services to boost up their economy by empowering their national companies. However, the boot is on the other leg in Pakistan as the IT industry got trapped in the quagmire of knotty challenges. The industry never got much attention of rulers to meet to the international standards to back up their economy because of a number of technical, educational, and systematic issues. These issues are the primary barriers and constraints in the way of IT revolution or development in the country.

The Pakistani Information Sector occupies only 1% of the total global IT industry. More than 5,000 IT companies have been registered in the country. However, most of the companies are unable to meet their pledges and expected growth because of a number of administrative, technical and industrial issues. Higher management is more committed to extracting its financial interests by formulating polices which exploit employees, in fact, as warned by Karl Marx. Inadequate knowledge about management, dictatorial psychic patterns, within the team leg-pulling, distrust of employees, and ineffective lower management are the mostly prevailed causes of decline of the IT industry in Pakistan on organizational level.

Mostly IT houses in Pakistan are devoid of professionalism. The roots of the policies which are implemented on IT or software houses can be traced easily back to culture and societal norms of the land that negate and threaten professionalism. “Saith culture” or “feudal culture” can be examined in the houses. The culture leads to depressed official environment that dissatisfies employees as well as their working capacity to attain a target.

On state level, the government never gives priority to the IT industry in practical ways. Even, the Information Technology Ministry is usually headed by a person who lacks IT knowledge with zero background of the field. Neither any government has to announced a national IT policy nor encouraged the companies with grants or special incentives. Lack of intellectual property protection, legal framework for ecommerce, technology parks and incubators are the motivational factors in the decline of the industry. Even, the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has failed to present any strategy for the IT sector.

The poverty rate is increasing with the passage of time in the country. Unemployment is escalating as the time passes. Even, IT graduates are unable to find appropriate jobs in their field. IT is a vast industrial sector that could be beneficial to ramp out poverty to much extent by producing jobs. It is a technical field that relies on skills but not on degrees. Thus, the government should take measures to support IT companies, make a legal framework for satisfaction of employees to save them from unethical polices of the management, and engage youngsters in IT fields. Management of existing IT companies should also professionalize their office environment by giving respect to employees. International standards of professional ethics should be followed by liberating themselves from the shackles of traditional mentality of humiliation and exploitation.