The Potential Role of the Software Industry in Supporting Economic Development

The Potential Role of the Software Industry in Supporting Economic Development

Sherif H. Kamel (The American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch631
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Abstract

Emerging information technologies provide a solid and promising platform to support economic development. In that respect, the information and communication technology sector has been one of Egypt's strongest economic sectors with increasing prospects for job creation, productivity, scalability, impact and growth. One of the subsets of ICT, the software industry, is gradually becoming more visible, stronger and mature in terms of output and impact both locally and beyond. Software is arguably the best entry platform for developing nations, like Egypt, into the global ICT production complex. Local companies and startups in the software development space have started their operations over the last decade trying to capture a segment of the regional and global market opportunities. This article assesses the developments in the software industry in Egypt and the potential role it can play as a contributor to economic development through the establishment of an export-oriented outsourcing software industry capitalizing on one of Egypt's primary resources, human capital.
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Background

The ICT sector in Egypt has been steadily growing since the late 1980s. During the period 2011-2012 given the political developments that took place in the country there was an apparent slowdown in all economic aspects, including ICT. However, in 2013, the minister of ICT expected the sector to go back to its double-digits growth by the end of 2014 to match the growth that was taking place during the period leading to the fiscal year 2009-2010. Moreover, it would come at an ideal time as a solid platform and a strong and effective support mechanism to the overall economic revival of Egypt. For the long term, projections indicate that by 2017-18 annual growth rate will reach 20% and will account for 6% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and the sector will help create 500,000 jobs (Helmy, 2013). These projections naturally change on a regular basis. However, judging from the potential and trends in the marketplace, there is enough evidence that the software industry is probably on course to meet these set objectives.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Incubator Programs: A form of collaboration between industry, corporations, the business community and the educational sector through the availability of “space” that is used to formulate solutions that meet market needs and consequently help create employment opportunities especially among the youth.

Informatics Projects: The projects that involve in any way possible the use, design, delivery, implementation and management of information technology irrespective of the elements involved including software, hardware, telecommunications and others.

Information Technology Outsourcing: Reflects the outsourcing of computer or Internet related work, such as programming to other individuals or companies.

Tailored-Applications: Applications based on industry or organizational needs to complement the off-shelf software applications available in the marketplace.

Building Blocks: Reflects all the critical success factors of the information and communication technology industry and that include: hardware, software, human resources “humanware”, networking and information “infostructure”.

Smart Village: The concept reflects a model technology park represented by a landscape comprising office space designed for different development and service-oriented offerings of information and communication technology companies; thereby giving each the benefit of economies of scale; usually located outside the city.

Information Technology Startups: They are the small and medium-sized enterprises and startups that are focused on information technology applications and services.

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