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IT Work Force in Sri Lanka


Describe the current “IT workforce” in Sri Lanka, the “job categories” in it and how it has been evolving over the last decade (year 2000 onwards). Clearly state your data sources.

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									                 CS5103 Information System Management
                                  Assignment 1
                                 Type: Individual
                               R. Ahilan | 09-9053
   1) Describe the current “IT workforce” in Sri Lanka, the “job
      categories” in it and how it has been evolving over the last decade
      (year 2000 onwards). Clearly state your data sources.
Answer Plan:
      Importance of IT in Sri Lanka
      Job categories in IT
      The initiation of IT work force in Sri Lanka
      The statistics of evolvement in IT workforce
      IT workforce forecasting
Information Technology and its Importance to Sri Lanka
Information Technology (IT) can be defined as study, analysis, design,
development, implementation, support and maintenance of computer based
information systems. It includes all the productions and applications of hardware
and software. It is commonly believed that, more than any other factors,
leadership in IT is essential for health and growth of Sri Lankan economy, but
this leadership is being threatened by the shortage in the qualified IT workforce.

Job categories of IT Workforce
The IT industry utilizes a very broad range of skills. That is, IT hardware
manufacturing relies on mechanical, chemical and many other engineering
disciplines with the services of electrical and electronic engineers. Although the
occupations involved in IT would be quite large, only the followings are
considered as the job categories of IT workforce: computer scientists, computer
engineers, system analysts and programmers.

IT Workforce in Sri Lanka
The IT workforce of Sri Lanka has started to evolve from late 1994, when the
country participated in a German computer fair to explore new markets for its
manufactured computer software. Even after 15 years of evolvement, there is a
shortage of skilled labors in the industry. Achieving the breakeven point by
equaling the IT workforce supply to the demand is still being a dream, because of
the migration of IT professionals to better nations where they can have high pay
rated and better living conditions.

Current IT Workforce and how it has been evolved
According to a survey implemented by Sri Lanka ICT Association (SLICTA) in
2007, the IT industry shows signs of maturity and also it highlights the need to
keep increasing the supply of high quality IT professionals. Some of the findings
of the survey include;
   1. In the end of 2004 the IT workforce in Sri Lanka was 20,276 which is a
       growth 30% from 2003.
   2. It grew by nearly 10,000 over the two years from 2004.
   3. It is estimated that nearly 14,500 It workers are required in the period of
       2007 – 2008.
   4. When there was a need of 5755 graduates in 2007, only 2216 were added
       to the workforce. This ratio was 5724:5034 in 2006.

There is another survey carried out by Asian Oceanian Computing Industry
Organization, further forecasted the IT workforce in Sri Lanka towards 2012. In
its findings it states that the IT workforce to be increased from 5000 in year 2004
to 25,000 in year 2012. This is due to the fact that software exports to be
increased by US$ 1,000M in year 2012.

The actions taken to satisfy the future demand
Due to the fact that IT service sector was the largest component of GDP (54%) in
2003 (Source: Rising Demand, SLICTA, 2007), and continuously expanding, the

government of Sri Lanka is trying hard to reduce the gap on the demand and
supply of IT workforce in the country by opening new institutions and faculties
such as Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, IT faculty in University of
Moratuwa, National Institute of Technology and the like, with welcoming the
affiliated programs with the foreign IT institutions. Continues surveys are being
carried out by the relevant bodies to fill the information gaps in IT workforces in
Sri Lanka. Foreign investments on IT are being welcomed and encouraged.
Furthermore, there is a necessity of attracting the work force to be in the country
by building strategies by the related bodies.

Below figure 1 depicts how the software workforce evolved during the last
decade and expected to be evolving till 2012.

   Figure 1: Software Workforce From 2004 to 2012, source: Rising Demand,
                              SLICTA, survey 2007

   2) Take a reasonably large Sri Lankan organization that is older than 10
       years as an example and explain how its IS activities have evolved
       into what it is today
   Answer Plan:
       About the organization
       Existing system and the need of IS
       Human Resource Management system
       Evolvement of HRM, hence the IS of the organization
Informatics International Limited
The company that has been selected for the analysis is Informatics International
Limited (here after this will be referred as IIL). IIL is coming under the Informatics
Group of Companies that has, following Strategic Business Units:
       • Software Development & Systems Integration
       • Joint Ventures for Off-Shore Software Development
       • IT Education

The IIL, formed in 1983, by Dr Gamini Wickremesighe. It is one of the oldest and
largest IT companies in Sri Lanka with an unblemished track record, offering
innovative and quality solutions in nearly all vertical markets.

The need of IS

The need of Human Resource Management (HRM) system was raised in year
1999, when the number of employees of the organization reached 500. Till that
time, employees’ in and out times were tracked in a book called employees
attendance book and then staffs from the Human Resource (HR) department,
had to enter them into the spreadsheets manually. After manipulating them, they
had to submit a report to each manager about their subordinates’ in and out time
with total worked time, leaves taken and the like in each week. And also, they
had to remind the corresponding employees to submit their leave slips, if they
haven’t done so, using the data entered.

Some of the issues in the existing system include;

   1) Manual data entry of employees’ in and out times - daily

   2) Dedicated staffs for the data entry and monitoring of the signatures, of

   3) No controls or tracks of where the employees are during the office hours (
       inside or outside of the office premises)

   4) Manual data manipulations and report generations - weekly

Human Resource Management System

In year 2000, the HRM system has been implemented with the integration of an
Access Control System, in the organization. Access control is a system which
enables an authority to control access to areas. After implementing the system,
the in and out times of employees were tracked via this integrated system using
employees’ access to the access control system via proximity cards. On the
following day, previous days’ status with the staffs’ in and out times are notified to
the corresponding managers via emails, automatically. The reminders to submit
the leave slips (manual) also sent via this system when the submission of this
slips, hasn’t been entered to the system within a week.

The top management of the organization was satisfied with the solutions
provided by the system and the top management requested the relevant team to
continue the phase 2 as well to further improve the system’s functionality to
provide better facilities to its HR department.

Further improvement in Phase 2

It was decided to automate following functions of the HR department by
improving the functionalities of the HRM:

1) Storage of Employee details – Name, DOB, qualifications, dependents, etc.

2) Automate leave applications- currently it is via manual form fillings (leave slips)

3) Tracking of leaves taken for each employees – number of leaves, types of
leaves (casual or annual or medical)

4) Automate insurance and incentive claims – currently it is via manual forms

In year 2002, phase 2 of the HRM system has been completed. With these
improvements, using the intranet employees can apply for their leaves,
managers can approve or reject the applications and claims can be made. This
enhanced the efficiency in the process. The team didn’t stop here, moved to the
third phase with further improvements in the system.

Phase 3

In phase 3, the functionalities for task allocations (by managers), time sheet
entries (how the task is being evolved, by subordinates), performance
calculations of each employee and the overall performance calculations of each
units/department, were implemented. After the implementation in 2005, a trial run
went for 1 year in implementation department only. The tasks were allocated to
the employees who were outside of the office (at home) or country, and tracked
using this system. The drawback was that, employees had to connect via VPN to
access the system, if they are outside of the office.

Currently, the whole functions of the HR department have been automated via
the HRM. Drastic improvements in efficiency and effectiveness are being
observed, in the process.

   3) Take a reasonably large Sri Lankan organization as an example and
       explain how an effective IS can help it do much better than it is doing
   Answer Plan:
       About the organization
       Existing manual system
       Where the IS needed?
Sri Lanka Post
Sri Lanka Post is an organization which exists for more than 209 years and
employs more than 17,000 employees. It is one of the oldest government
departments in existence today in Sri Lanka. The organization offer variety of
services from facilitating communications of people via letter mails, telegrams
and the like, philatelic services, financial services such as money order services,
and banking services.

There are no waves of innovation in the organization from its birth. There were
several attempts put to implement an Information System to automate at lease
one of its functionalities, but nothing succeeded due to several reasons such as
lack of internal IT work forces, internal politics, no enough fund allocations and
the like.

IS needed in Money Order Transaction
From employee’s point of view, automation of two functions using the information
systems will be discussed further. The first one is the automation or money order
transactions. Mainly, two methods of money order transaction services are being
provided by the organization. They are, Ordinary Money Order (OMO) and
Telegram Money Order (TMO). Mostly OMO is being accessed by most of the
customers because of it’s cheaper than the other methods and majority of these
customers are from rural areas. The existing system has been illustrated in the
below Figure 2.

            $                                                           $

   Post Office in Area 1                               Post Office in Area 2




                                Receipt, via post
                                                    Customer who intended to
Customer who sends the money                           receive the money

Figure 2: Existing Manual System of Ordinary Money Order

Customer who sends the money will be paying the money needed to be sent,
and receive a receipt from the post office in Area 1, copy of this receipt will be
sent to the person who will be receiving the money (second party), by the first
party. Post office will send a copy of this receipt to the post office in Area 2. By
submitting the received receipt, second party can receive the money from Area 2
post office.
The issues in this manual process include;
    1) Delay in receiving the money- will take time to receive the receipt via post
         to both the second party and the destination post office
    2) Needed a huge process in reconciliation in both the sending and receiving
         post offices
    3) Human resource wastage – currently 500 employees for doing
         reconciliation task only.
    4) Monthly nearly 2.5 million rupees is being spent on this service for only for
    5) Unreliability – Not sure whether the money will reach the destination

   6) The money can be received only in the sent post office ( only in Area 2,
       not in Area 3)

Introduction of an IS via web, will help them to overcome all the above listed
issues. The system will be used to connect all the post offices in the island. A
staff in Area 1 for an example will receive the money and enter the details in the
system and issue the receipt from the system. An email will be sent to the
destination post office and to the target person (second party) soon after printing
the receipt. The staff in Area 2 will notify the second party via phone. The details
in the system will be used to verify and authorize the second party when issuing
the money.

IS needed in Electricity Bill Payment
In the similar way another function of the organization can also be automated,
that is electricity payment receives. In the current process, after the payment of
the electricity bill, the post office received the payment will send a details to the
regional electricity board and then the customer’s accounts will be updated. In
this process, if a person wanted to get the electricity back after the power cut due
to the late payment, will take 2 weeks minimum because of delay in
communication between post office and regional electricity board.

By implementing an IS, can enable interconnectivity of post offices and electricity
board offices. This will lead to do the payments at any post offices and immediate
reflection in the accounts at the customer’s electricity account.


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