History seems to be repeating itself as we prepare to encounter a disruption very similar to what happened when the internet started. Just as the onset of the internet created different ways of doing things, the new technology era that we are entering into, is creating innovations that were not seen before.With the rise in robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, andBlockchain technology, we are getting more connected than ever. To ensure effective adoption and sustenance of these, we need a new breed of technology experts.
According to SJ Raj, Senior VP HR, Newgen Software, the role of a Software Engineer is now, not only to develop codes, but to become an, ‘Experience Designer’.
“This new role is an overlap of the IT function and other customer centric functions. These Experience Designers will be expected to create experiences and not just products, though human centered designs that get to the heart of the customers. These Experience Designers, or ‘Product Owners, will be expected to have a clear, long term vision of the entire product life cycle, how it needs to be delivered and what effect it is likely to create for the customer,” shared Raj.
The responsibility of this new engineer will also be to communicate this vision and the expectations to internal and external stakeholders. As such, it is difficult to afford to have Software Engineers, who are happy working on their codes in their own cocoon only.
It is time to invest in the future capabilities
Raj further maintained that organizations, including theirs, are beginning to revamp the skill sets that we look for in our hiring decisions. “We need full-stack architects, who are adept in all technology components such as UI, mobility, front-end and back-end databases. In addition to the scrum masters, we also need agility coaches. Their primary role will be to create and roll out plans to support agile processes in the organization, through their effective communication and influencing skills with people across functions and levels. We now need more informed Machine Learning Engineers, who know how to use data, can program in scalable computing environments such as Cloud and Hadoop, and have strong foundations in computer science. Dev Ops engineers are in demand to build and maintain cloud infrastructures,” he suggested.
While Indian organizations have started to identify the need for such change, the action towards leveraging data and digital technology to improve workand workplace is still catching up. It is time to invest in the future capabilities if we want to maintain our image of producing the best IT professionals globally.
Employees to focus on continuous learning and being flexible
Srividya Kannan Founder, Director – Avaali Solutions Pvt Ltd feels, the topic that is being intensely debated recently is the future of work and where jobs will be replaced by technology.
“In the past few quarters, we’ve seen all kinds of facts and figures around job losses and how digital is changing the human resources landscape. On the one end, there are huge risks of job losses, and on the other end, enterprises are facing severe shortage of relevant talent for the workplace of the future. Automation related job losses are predicted across all economies and industry segments,” she notified.
However, enterprises also have this other challenge of a wide gap in digital talent. A few recent survey reports suggest that over half (54%) of organizations agreed that they lost competitive advantage because of shortage of talent. While digital talent was always thought of alluding to technical skills, what is getting increasingly pronounced is the talent gap in soft skills in addition to hard skill. Digital talent includes both hard skills such as AI, Analytics, IM, ML etc., plus soft skills in the form of positive attitude, comfort with ambiguity, customer centricity and passion for learning.
Kannan also shared that over 29% of employees believe their skill set is redundant now or will be in the next 1–2 years. “Gone are the days where one focuses the first 20 to 25 years of their life on education and the remaining 40 odd years on work. Being relevant for the future of the workplace will require that employees focus on continuous learning and being flexible and adaptable to new requirements of the new demands from the workplace,” she concluded.
Enterprises will need to have a clear blueprint that defines specific skills required for success, the skill gap and putting in place an executable plan to fill the gap.