INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) professionals will play a crucial role in keeping companies’ competitive edge as they adopt artificial intelligence (AI), a technology education company said.

“AI adoption might soon no longer be a nice-to-have, but a competitive advantage among tech companies and enterprises that rely on technology,” GoIT Chief Executive Officer Anton Chernyi told BusinessWorld in an e-mail interview.

“Industries will soon see the value of having AI perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks, leaving them with more time to focus on how they can drive business growth,” he added.

Mr. Chernyi said this development shows the need for IT professionals in helping build the needed tools.

“They will have a crucial role in this increasingly digital world, as they will help companies develop tech-enabled tools and create better solutions towards innovation,” he said.

“All the key IT roles, from software developers to project managers, will be the driving force in guiding these companies as technology becomes even more sophisticated by the day,” he added.

However, Mr. Chernyi pointed to a talent crisis in the IT-business process outsourcing sector, not only in the Philippines but globally.

“We are aware of this alarming situation, though it should be noted that the crisis is not just observed in the Philippines,” he said.

“A recent study of Asia Pacific enterprises, in fact, revealed that four out of five of them are facing difficulties in filling these IT positions. There is also the looming fear of losing jobs due to an increase in AI adoption all over the world,” he added.

He noted, however, that the reason for the talent crisis is not because people are no longer interested in pursuing an IT career.

“It’s simply because, with technology becoming even more sophisticated by the day, the skills that were once essential might soon become obsolete. This is also taking AI into account, with its ability to handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks,” he said.

“Put simply, the lack of relevant IT skills plays a major role in the talent crisis that is observed all over the world, not just in the Philippines,” he said, adding that the crisis is hampering the growth and innovation of global enterprises “unless they become more proactive in addressing it.”

Mr. Chernyi said the Philippines has a thriving IT industry that is expected to create more IT professionals.

“Right now, the country’s IT industry makes significant contributions to the economy and employs millions of Filipinos. There’s also a high demand for Filipino IT professionals abroad,” he said.

“In fact, the Philippines is one of the leading destinations for talent, and the sheer number of Filipinos working overseas, along with an equally large number of Filipinos working at outsourcing companies, is proof enough of this global demand,” he said.

He added that GoIT considers the country as a source of unique talents for the digital landscape.

“The Filipino workforce of today is predominantly young, with more millennials and Gen Z-ers entering the talent pool every year. They are also well-versed in technology and are one of the most proficient in the English language. More importantly, Filipinos have a track record for displaying a remarkable work ethic, even when under immense pressure,” he said.

Mr. Chernyi said with these characteristics, Filipino workers continue to be in demand in other industries, making it harder to find the ideal professionals.

“These qualities show why Filipinos are suited for an IT career, be it in their own country or abroad,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile