Zahra Niazi-Pak-IT-SWOT-EB Rev2-29 April 2024-HM1-ED-SSA-APP-Web

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Abstract

In recent years, Pakistan’s IT industry has shown significant potential for growth while confronting various challenges. This Working Paper presentsa comprehensive SWOT analysis to assess the industry’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in detail. It identifies a young demographic base; large freelancing sector; and financial attractiveness for offshore outsourcing of IT services as the major strengths of Pakistan’s IT industry. On the other hand, the study identifies concentration of IT exports to a few destination markets; limited portfolio of IT products and types of domestic startups; supply and demand mismatch of skills; gaps in meaningful access to the internet and the digital divide; bottlenecks in ‘ease of doing business’; and inadequate employment of requirement engineering processes as the main weaknesses. The major opportunities for the industry include the presence of an enabling infrastructure; a thriving fintech and ecommerce startup ecosystem; growing inclination of students towards ITrelated degree programmes; rising penetration of internet and smartphones; and increasing global demand for IT services. The major threats facing the industry include a competitive global IT marketplace; brain drain; policy inconsistency; and evolving cyber threat landscape. For Pakistan to capitalise fully on the potential of its IT industry, it is important to build on its strengths but, equally important, address and overcome its weaknesses. Additionally, it will be imperative to seize the existing and emerging opportunities and mitigate threats to the country’s IT sector to yield sustained positive performance outcomes and augment its strengths over time.

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