ATSI aims to swell programmer ranks
Association of Thai Software Industry (ATSI) will urge the Digital Economy and Society Ministry to allocate funds for grooming 100,000 programmers within five years to support digital transformation and Thailand 4.0.
ATSI president Janechira Prayoonrat said the country needs at least 100,000 programmers to get ready for software service customisation and implementation over that period.
The industry currently has 30,000 programmers and 2,000 IT students graduating each year. Software firms need to spend 140,000 baht per programmer for six months of training.
The industry wants the government to allocate funds for human resource training to rapidly grow the size of the workforce.
In the future, programmers may be replaced by artificial intelligence technology, but they can upskill to system analysts or system engineers, Mrs Janechira said.
In a bid to accelerate market demand, the association is also asking for a 200% tax deduction on up to 1 million baht in purchases of local software.
Mrs Janechira said local software firms are still waiting for new incentives from the government to encourage the use of software.
The tax exemption measures are intended to help stimulate demand.
Local software also needs to receive ISO and CMMI certification in order to ensure quality, Mrs Janechira said.
“The tax privileges will help attract some 14,000 medium-sized companies to invest in local software,” she said. “Most local software firms have experience, are more reliable and less risky compared with startups, so the government should support them to stimulate growth of the country’s digital economy.
Of Thailand’s 2.8 million small- and medium-sized enterprises, 700,000 are small firms.
Apart from new accounting software that supports PromptPay, SMEs also need customer relationship management, project management and budget management software, Mrs Janechira said.
“We foresee huge opportunities for which businesses will need to invest in new automation and digital transformation applications,” she said.
ATSI has 900 members, fewer than 10% of whom have shifted to the cloud model. But by the end of next year, at least 70% of local software firms are forecast to shift to cloud-based services because of pressure from customer demand.