Technology driven innovations and Digital Transformations are fundamentally disrupting the world of work and facilitating higher value creation for businesses, better governance and service delivery for Governments, and higher incomes and quality of life for individuals. Pro-active digital strategy is no longer a choice, it is a necessity for today’s organisations – those lacking one are in jeopardy. The single largest critical ingredient for a successful digital strategy is access to specialised talent. Lack of skills is a key concern, especially because a whole array of skills is needed for a successful Digital Transformation. Learnability is a key attribute that is sought after in people – the ability to constantly unlearn, relearn and update.
Our industry stands at cross-roads. On one hand, various disruptive technologies threaten over 25 years of existing business. Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, Big Data Analytics, Cyber Security – to name a few, are changing the way we work globally. Evolving job roles around new technologies areas will be in high demand in the near future. On the other hand, there is an opportunity to create new service lines leveraging these same new technologies. Collaboration is the key to success in such disruptive times. There is a global shortage of skilled workers. No country has more skilled, digitally trained workers than they have jobs for.
NASSCOM has constituted a FutureSkills workgroup (in partnership with BCG) to understand the implications of these disruptive technologies and shape the future skilling/reskilling initiative for the Indian IT Industry. FutureSkills, a NASSCOM initiative, is an industry utility to get India started/accelerated on the journey to building skills and collaborating with global partners to becoming the global hub and partner of choice for talent in the field of emerging technologies. This was inaugurated by our Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi in February 2018. NASSCOM FutureSkills initiative focuses on eight new emerging technologies that will open up new areas of work and have a significant impact on existing service lines – Social/ Mobile, Cloud, Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, VR, 3D printing. There is a potential opportunity for 1.5-2 million people to work on next-gen technology areas in India within 4-5 years. The FutureSkills taskforce identifies 55 new job roles and 155 distinct skills identified against these new technology areas.
In the UK, NASSCOM is collaborating with techUK. The recently launched UK-India Tech Alliance (18th April 2018), during PM Modi’s visit to London, is a formal structure created between NASSCOM and techUK, that will bring together key actors to collaborate on strengthening partnerships and discuss challenges and concerns. The aim will also be to seek support of both the governments to develop policy alignment in relevant areas by providing a forum for regular dialogue and the exchange of ideas. As part of this Alliance, NASSCOM and techUK have signed a MoU to build future ready skills in new technology areas for workers of both nations. This entails knowledge exchange from the FutureSkills initiative by NASSCOM; as well as exploring the expansion of the FutureSkills platform to ensure Indian and British citizens are best placed to seize the opportunities future jobs will present. We are grateful to the Governments of both nations for supporting this Alliance, and announcing it as part of the UK-India joint statement.