Software companies play a major role in bolstering the economy of a country.
Pakistan has an enthusiastic software industry that is confronted with a wide variety of challenges. It is a matter of considerable concern that this country constitutes only 1% of the global IT industry that is totally inadequate compared with the increasing need for the development and growth of IT sector in Pakistan. Despite having enough potential to expand and rise, the growing number of software companies are unable to utilize it to the fullest because of the fence of challenges that encircle them.
Here we shed some light on the considerable issues Pakistani software companies are confronting with.
1. Lack of support from the government
Today, there are over 1500 registered software companies in Pakistan while the number is gradually increasing. However, still, when it comes to government grant and incentives to the IT sector, there is a lack of support from the government.
Moreover, there persists a lack of deliberation on the allocation of the budget to develop IT centers and institutes in the country.
2. Managerial issues and human behavior
Numerous managerial issues further contribute to challenges that Pakistani software companies are facing.
Weak HRM practices such as:
- Lack of transparency within the work environment.
- Lack of employee involvement in strategic decision making.
- Lack of training and development programs for employees, etc., negatively affect the level of enthusiasm of employees.
Moreover, because of organizational politics, the operation of a smooth workflow becomes impractical.
3. Poor education system
The software education sector of Pakistan is failing to bridge the gap between a software graduate’s skills and the needs of the IT industry in Pakistan.
Creativity, innovation and keeping up with the latest trend in the technology is the key requirement in the IT sector however, educational institutions fail to impart them among students. Moreover, as globalization continues to surge, selling software internationally is becoming more significant for software companies that involve communicating with foreign clients. Unfortunately, the majority of the software institutions are still a step behind the standard to inculcate pupil’s communication and interpersonal skills required for the job.
4. Unavailability of internet
Internet blows life to the software companies, but a large number of populations in Pakistan is still deprived of the internet. Although in the past few years, broadband penetration in the region has risen and the bandwidth is moderately affordable in here, finding a good browsing speed, and reliable internet is still a nightmare for the individuals and organizations.
5. Power issues
With the shortage of power in the country, operating a software company in Pakistan is pretty inexpedient. Due to the frequent outage of electricity that seems to appear everywhere in the country, the overall economy of the country has adversely affected.
6. Weak judicial systems and security of intellectual property
As the country is in the course of strengthening the intellectual rights regime, the intellectual assets of software organization are insecure. Copying someone’s work is as easy as falling off a log here. Due to weaker law enforcement and shaky judicial system, the software industry in Pakistan has been facing great challenges of unlicensed usage and piracy in various forms, for decades. Even though there is sufficient punishment in the constitution of the country, however, no criminal has ever faced it.
7. No proper framework for e-commerce
There is a lack of legal framework for e-commerce and e-payment system in Pakistan which is why software companies are facing hardship building trust with their international clients. Acknowledging the increasing number of software houses in Pakistan, the government should have a specific regulatory framework designed for e-commerce in the country.
Steps to be taken to eliminate these issues
Considering the importance of software houses for the national economy of the country, steps should be taken to eliminate issues that software companies in Pakistan are facing today.
- The government (present and future) and concern authorities must pay strong attention to strictly implement the prevailing legislation and policies to discourage hackers and pirates.
- The government should bring necessary steps in practice, taken by other developing countries to combat cybercrimes.
- The government should support the IT sector by allocating a suitable budget for it.
- Educational institutes should be well-equipped in line with the latest requirements of the software industry. While the curriculum should be updated as per new innovations and changes in the field.
- Special emphasis on the educational institutes in Pakistan should be laid on the enhancement of communication skills in the students so they can be able to communicate with foreign clients effectively.
- In order to eliminate workplace politics and to enhance productivity, employees must be given opportunities to add their voice in strategic decision making.
- In order to breed healthy competition amongst employees, employers should conduct award shows regularly and should provide rewards and bonuses.
- Steps should be taken to improve the internet service at the national level.
- The government should take necessary steps to overcome the power crisis in the country.