The way in which the onset of the internet revolutionized how we do things, a similar wave has erupted in this era of technology, the one we are entering into, the one full of innovations that were never seen before. The proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) as well as Blockchain, has made it imperative for organisations to make sure that they have a new breed of technology experts for an effective adoption and sustenance of these technologies.
This breed of experts comprises of full-stack architects, ones who are proficient in major technology components such as user interface, mobility, front-end and back-end databases, etc. While pursuing Agile technologies, organisations would require Agile coaches along with Scrum masters. They would also require highly informed Machine Learning engineers with strong foundations in Computer Science, ones who have the knowledge of leveraging data and programming scalable computing environments like Hadoop. Moreover, DevOps Engineers will continue to be in high demand these days in order to build and maintain cloud infrastructures. The onset of these new technologies essentially suggests that we will not have to move towards acquiring new skills for innovation and gaining competitive advantage.
According to McKinsey’s predictions, the demand for these new skill sets could be four times their supply in a matter of five years from now. The need of the hour is therefore to upskill the current workforce on these skills. Unfortunately, not many organisations are investing in their development. On the other hand, many Engineers either refrain from upskilling or leave the process mid-way. An online survey done by e-learning firm Edureka on around 400 IT professionals, found that 42% give up after starting to learn a new technology, mainly due to lack of self-motivation. On the other hand, 24% say they give up around half of the time while 34% say they rarely or never give up.
Organisations, including ours, are beginning to revamp their systems and talent development platforms for the development of these skill sets. These organisations are gearing up to provide the opportunities and the requisite environment for the employees to upskill themselves. However, the primary responsibility to upskill and stay relevant in their jobs should be with the employees themselves.
What is required from the employees is a growth-focused mindset, the desire to continuously challenge themselves, be open to unlearning & relearning and get out of their comfort zones to start working on new technologies, even if it that means investing time away from work. The role of the organisation here should be to support the employees in honing their existing skills, identifying & leveraging their strengths, expanding their skill sets and competencies at the domain and technology levels and gaining relevant certifications. It would work in favour of the organisations to allow space to the employees to try new things with the new technologies. Most important is for both to work in synergy as they grow to the next level to create value for themselves, for the customers.
While Indian organisations have started to identify the need for such a change, the actions towards developing these skill-sets in the future digital technology seems to be moving at a slow pace. It is time to invest in the future capabilities if we want to maintain our image of producing the best IT professionals globally.