‘A Growth Model for the Sri Lankan ICT/BPM Industry’ presented to CSSL President

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Dr. Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama presented his book titled ‘A Growth Model for the Sri Lankan ICT/BPM Industry’, to Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) President Eng. Damith Hettihewa at the CSSL Secretariat recently. 

Dr. Abeywickrama is a past President (2017-18) of CSSL and has published his doctoral dissertation for the benefit of the industry and copies of his book will be available at the CSSL library for the reference of its members. 

The publication discusses the growth challenges and develops a growth model for the knowledge industry focusing on export revenue aspects of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Business Process Management (BPM) sectors.

“ICT/BPM industry in the era of 4th industrial revolution is a real opportunity for Sri Lanka to become a wealthy nation. Previous industrial revolutions created wealthy nations such as Europe, Americas and Japan and we are yet to witness which country will grab the I4.0 opportunity. If Sri Lanka is to succeed, our policymakers need to act fast. The growth model developed by Dr. Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama for his PhD. thesis would be an important reference model for Sri Lankan policymakers to come up with policies and strategies to achieve the industry objective of making ICT/BPM the number 1 net foreign exchange earning industry,” said CSSL President Damith Hettihewa congratulating on the publication.

Sri Lanka has an immense potential to build itself as a destination for technology-based products and services. The research develops a national growth model for the said sectors, and is presented via this book. 

This industry records the fifth highest foreign revenue for Sri Lanka as at now. Post end of civil war, this is one of the sectors where Sri Lanka had placed highest hopes on, from the country’s economic growth point of view. In 2016, a target was set to achieve $ 5 billion in revenues per year by 2022. However, by 2019, the country was not on track to achieve this. This has been revised in 2020 to achieve $ 3 billion by 2025. The newest target is also challenging. 

In this context, there was a need over the past several years to identify factors affecting the growth and develop a researched model to help steer its growth. That was the purpose of this doctorate research. It is also a topic close to the researcher’s heart as an industry leader being a past President of CSSL in 2017 and 2018, the national apex body for ICT professionals.

Key findings are that Sri Lanka has not been able to achieve expected growth in the sector due to various factors such as continuous instability in the country, skills shortage, poor branding, weak sales networks overseas, immature startup ecosystem and issues related to ease of doing business. An overall lack of leadership and the non-existence of a monitoring process to achieve the previously set targets also have had a significant impact.

The key outcome of this exercise is a growth model for the Sri Lankan ICT/BPM industry. This is a key research milestone for this industry and academia. Such a broad academic research on this area has not been done in Sri Lanka regarding growth of ICT/BPM industry, and this fills that gap and provides the Government of Sri Lanka, industry bodies, the professional association, companies and professionals a basis and a guide as to how macro and micro strategies should be formulated in order to achieve the set industry goals. An execution model also has been proposed to take the sector forward. This work also has been published in international academic journals.

Dr. Abeywickrama’s publication ‘A Growth Model for the Sri Lankan ICT/BPM Industry’ is also available at all major bookshops or online at Grantha.lk: https://grantha.lk/bpm-industry-dr-yasas-vishuddhi-grantha-lk.html.

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