The dawn of Industry 4.0 is all set to lead and drive technological innovations. Over the last decade new technologies including the likes of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, Cloud computing, 4G, defined the role of technology in creating new business models and build competitive advantage in existing businesses. The year 2020, has similarly witnessed a surge of innovation with Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation, 5G Networks and Internet of Things (IoT) leading the way for the next wave of growth across sectors. Such solutions have always witnessed higher adoption from larger enterprises and organizations but the same cannot be said for the smaller businesses that are operating in India.
Technology will continue to be a differentiator for any business and stakeholders are realizing the power it can bring to the business. New technology solutions are becoming popular and accepted but they require specific skillsets for implementation and adoption. While expertise is required to develop solutions it is also equally important that necessary capabilities are developed for knowledge transfer and technology. Therefore by 2021, as technology adoption continues to gain momentum, businesses would require support from their workforce, to possess technical acumen, to keep abreast with changes technology can bring across diverse industries and sectors.
In 2019, India spent $20.6 Bn in the IoT industry but the solution is still at an extremely nascent stage of implementation. This is primarily due to challenges that exist in India over clarity on technology priorities and more importantly the absence of talent needed to drive the change. Similarly, while there has been lot of discussions around AI and its benefits, less than 25% of Indian enterprises have deployed AI solutions, so far. Limited understanding of AI and availability of talent pool has minimized the impact it can have on business and the differentiation thereof. More so, the inadequacy of trained AI professionals limits companies from adopting AI infrastructure that can make them more agile, drive new business models and efficiencies. The common theme that persists in low adoption of emerging technologies can be attributed to the lack of technical skills and trained talent across industries. If businesses have to leverage technology and leap frog one needs to invest in skilling across technology platforms to drive higher adoption.
As we move along, businesses and working professionals are realizing the importance of skilling and reskilling which allows them to stay relevant in an increasingly dynamic business environment. Upskilling trends during 2020 were largely focused on technology, with bulk of the requirements emerging in the space of cyber security, cloud computing, data science, etc. The future of skilling will continue to focus on these domains but also focus on some of the non-technology proficiencies as well. To continue to stay relevant in the coming years, working professionals must focus on:
- Tech Skilling: Continuous learning and exposure to Industry 4.0 with focus on learning adjacent tools supporting the core technologies. For example, professionals who want to specialise in Data Analytics should also skill themselves with tools such as Power BI, Tableau or Structured Query Language to stay relevant and contribute in a meaningful way.
- Programming languages and platforms: Beyond the foundational programming languages such as C++ and Python, professionals must expand their portfolio to get trained in programs such as Go programming, Ruby on Rails, Elixir, Devops which are increasingly becoming popular. These are largely adopted in Western countries but lack of awareness and skill set in India is limiting adoption of these platforms.
- Fresh Skills: For new recruits the requirement for building foundational skills has to be a combination of learning in the early phase of learning in schools & colleges and training in institutes which impart skills in the programming domain which includes the likes of Java, Python and C++ or even basics on AL/MI/Block chain.
- Non-technical Skills: To succeed in a dynamic and competitive job market, professionals must build on non-technical skills such as interpersonal skills, project management skills, language proficiency for On-site jobs and soft skills for career advancement.
- New Age Digital Tools: As businesses continue to expand their digital footprint, digital marketing will take precedence and further attract skill seekers from diverse segments
The skilling space will continue to witness emerging hybrid learning models driven by continuous learning which will be the mainstay for working professionals. Technological advancements and skilling will go hand-in-hand, to not just help individuals in their work but allow businesses to keep pace with new trends and evolve with technology. Technology is constantly in motion and as it evolves, new skills are needed to cope with the changing business dynamics. Therefore the need to upskill/ reskill and many times acquire fresh skills is the need of the hour. The future of skilling will see convergence of technology with clearly defined business objectives to drive change and ensure smooth transition across industries.