PH must have ?always on? infra to keep top BPO standing: analyst

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[/caption] XMG Global, an analyst firm founded and headed by Filipino-Canadian Lauro Vives, said in an advisory on Monday, August 13, that while personnel safety during a crisis, the Philippines must have a crisis management plan specifically focused on ?keeping the lights on? for every business, particularly the BPO industry which services the global market. ?As more work is outsourced to the Philippines, business needs and globalization are forcing investments in real-time applications and human resources to fulfill business processes 24 x 7,? said Vives. ?This is rapidly transforming the business continuity planning requirements. Therefore, it is incumbent upon outsourcing service providers and captives to have a workable and effective business continuity plan in place, and address ?return to normalcy? practices,? he added. The analyst said the rains and flooding for the past few days have created a heightened awareness of the lack of preparedness of the Philippines, and has affected outsourcing operations in Metro Manila, through disruption of service and the lack of human resources to run operations. ?The lack of governance will continually fail to adequately consider or document the critical needs of the outsourcing sector, in which the President may have failed to appreciate,? Vives pointed out. A good reference for disaster management, he said, is the Japanese tsunami experience of 2011, which showed that country?s resiliency in having a ?business as usual? attitude. ?Despite the cumulative effects of the calamity and the painstaking recovery process, the Japanese government helped mobilize thousands of workers to continually keep business operations running. More importantly, the Japanese government did not deter businesses from continuing operations,? he noted. In the same way, Vives said sustaining operations especially in high geo-physical risk areas such as the Philippines is always a key-determining factor when selecting a location. ?Not being able to support business operations sustainability during a time like this has deleterious consequences for the country. If the Philippines is to maintain its hold as a legitimate and reliable global provider of outsourcing and captive services, the country will have to meet the demands of the global market at any given point in time and in any given situation,? the analyst said. ?This means the need to work towards establishing an ?always on? economy that mitigates risks in the face of any crisis. It is the country?s ability to always be operational, regardless of the degree of crisis; which includes the availability and mobilization of business-critical resources to run operations, which are the people,? Vives added. To do this, Vives said the country must institute safeguards such as ensuring ?continuity of services and revisiting old statutes such as the 1987 Constitution, Article 12, Section 17 that allow the state to temporarily take over, or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest, during a national state of emergency.? He said the resulting devastation highlighted the lack of essential infrastructure to support an industry that is currently employing over 700,000 Filipinos that contribute to globalization and play key roles in supporting business operations internationally. The responsibility for continuity of services must also syndicate service providers and captives to ensure their workforce has the ability to telework, particularly for critical functions, he said. Vives said that although the Philippines has come a long way in strengthening utility infrastructures such as power and telecom services, it has continued to struggle with other essential infrastructure. ?An unexpected natural disaster such as the past tropical depression, exacerbated a fundamental disconnect between the government and the needs of the outsourcing industry. The calamity also further highlighted the lack of critical infrastructure for the country to be ?on? in any given situation,? he concluded. ]]>

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