Agreed that geo-political concentration of power in the times ahead is expected to be contrary to the status quo of the past, does it guarantee that we might just be one of the beneficiaries? At least one of the benefits of this expected geopolitical shift whereby, a true power hub will be a technologically-driven region instead of a oil-powered region, is an option of capacity development, when having or not having access to a natural resource determined whether a nation belonging to the region would be a beneficiary or not. Answering the question, it is most definitely technology-driven capacity building and utilization that will determine whether Pakistan comes out as a beneficiary in the changing world of tomorrow that has already started mutating.
Given this, what do we stand to loose?
Unethical business practices and a lack of concern for the common good. To a bureaucratic and not a technocratic mind, that is the biggest challenge that further categorizes into specific issues and challenges.
Turning Mirrors Into Windows
Determined to fight all obstacles and challenges, Pakistan looks forward to securing a power position in the world of tomorrow, hailing from an economically SAFE region of South Asia and Far East. According to Nadeem Malik, VP Strategy at InfoTech, this can be done when there are no mismatches at the organizational, institutional, and/or national level between budgetary spent executed vs. needed to be competitive if not excelling in one’s domain, especially IT that is capable of bringing exponential growth at a fractional cost. Given that, the wise would never economize spent on an economizer yet that hasn’t always been the case in the local market.
Going ahead, ambition and vision needs to go hand in hand. Somehow, there is always a lacking or lagging of either one that turns a brilliant idea into a hot air balloon that took off well but never landed back! Fortunately, replacing helium with oxygen requires alignment of passion and skills with a broader mindset when growth of the organization, institution or a national entity should be the bigger aim instead of wasting resources on lining up a team of ‘yes mans’. Therefore, organizations should consider and allow, in addition to organic growth, growing through mergers and acquisitions.
Moving on, where above-discussed takes care of sound business and managerial skills that will be required of a technocratic Pakistan, systemic changes required relate to educating, training and bringing the workforce at par with International educational standards, and a continuous investing in infrastructure development promoting growth of IT as a sector and as an enabler.
Myra In Process
As Victor Hugo puts it, “He who opens a school door closes a prison,” a boom in the IT Sector that is still relatively nascent in Pakistan as compared to other regional players, has opened several doors of possibilities. Bit by bit, growth in the IT as a sector and as an enabler in Pakistan has allowed it to proceed into National Capacity Building1, gain Export Market Focus, Global Positioning Focus, and Development Goals Focus, as exemplified ahead.
Employing more than 110,000 professionals with Year on Year Growth in Exports by approximately 61% as verified by P@SHA, the IT Sector is the only sector in Pakistan that never experienced a recession and multiplied the workforce contributing consistently towards national capacity building. Presence of various level-headed players in the industry providing trading, banking, risk management and decision-support systems to the financial Industry with crash recovery, and control systems, providing an IT Strategy to Public Sector Institutions with respect to design and deployment of eGovernance and Citizen Services Solutions and assisting with design and deployment of ERP (EAM/SCM/CRM/PRM) systems for the manufacturing sector are only a few examples indicating an extensive involvement of the IT Sector in helping Pakistan reach developmental goals, and accordingly bring technocracy to the rescue. As an enabler, the above-stated efforts can be furthered by individual players within the IT Sector by taking technology to the agricultural sector taking expert systems to the farmer.
Where India stands to provide world-class outsourcing services globally, Pakistan is slowly gaining momentum in the field of Enterprise Architecture Development, holding a vast client portfolio based out of U.S. and Europe contracting services of Pakistan-based IT companies for Enterprise Architectural Development indicating it a possibility for global positioning focus. Expanding outside conventional markets, few companies like InfoTech3, a leading System Integrator from Pakistan, have expanded to unconventional markets like Africa that hold a promising future.
As mentioned above, in a technologically driven world, being a frontrunner not only contributes towards sustaining a constant stream of revenue and socio-economic development of the country, but also helps towards improving foreign policy relations with other countries. Most relevant example of this is the relentless support and aid provided by World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and various International NGOs and Human Rights Groups towards flood relief for Pakistan. Concerted efforts of Google Pakistan towards promoting and highlighting flood relief efforts, earned Pakistan $250,000 for relief efforts, a grant issued for the first time by a technology house of such magnitude! Other than wiring-in funds, the IT Sector has helped put Pakistan on a path of recovery from the devastating floods by promoting and facilitating efforts of all Pakistanis whether tech-savvy or not – via blogging, SMSing short codes, collaboration, and most importantly, information.
Now that it is undoubtedly agreed upon that Pakistan stands to gain quite a lot from rigorous capacity building towards developing IT full-fledged as an enabler for making Pakistan a beneficiary in the changing world of tomorrow, what should be done hitherto? Grow a wishbone as Robert Frost puts it, “A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body – the wishbone”, and follow a determinist’s approach committed to the cause of taking Pakistan on a path to socioeconomic development.