IPSoft has been working on to automate a lot of IT Infrastructure management work and their CEO Chetan Dubey goes a step ahead in declaring that “cognitive technology” which relies on artificial intelligence has a potential to disrupt the way BPO industry works today.
I believe him completely. The inefficient and manpower intensive BPO industry certainly generates jobs for millions, but just like many other forms of jobs, this will too get automated soon. It does not mean that jobs will go away, rather more will be created and there will be no dearth of jobs in coming years. The issue will be however, the skill availability.
“ Focus on producing high quality engineers was simply left to handful of colleges which do not have enough capability to match the market needs…”
It is coming out again and again that sudden high demand of IT professionals over last two decades resulted in huge number of engineering institutes getting created, resulting in mass scale production of engineers who marched in to take the newly created seats of IT industry, with mostly low skilled or semi skilled needs. Focus on producing high quality engineers was simply left to handful of colleges which do not have enough capability to match the market needs. The education industry is still unable to correct itself while millions of young graduates keep passing out from colleges and queue up for those jobs, which would no more exist. The new ones getting created would need absolutely new kind of education, which will take decades to fix if left for policy makers. Industry here has to take lead in taking over part burden from colleges and helping create better skills than what gets produced.
Another factor which will come in big way is the mindset of such graduates who got used to decent salaries with a lot of jobs available and as a practice focused on getting higher salaries instead of honing skills and learning new technologies. The trend of young semi technology skilled employees moving to become “Managers” quickly by jumping upon for an MBA degree being provided by another set of poorly equipped colleges too caught up fast. This not only produced poorer skilled employees but even poorer managers. This quality in general has started telling its impact fast on the overall economy where the new entrants in global IT market are making their presence felt. It is not a far fetched thought that India may face a serious threat from countries like China who are building these skills faster and quietly.
Just like any other form of industry, IT industry is also poised to change. The question is if India can take the role of a change agent or just get subjected to change. Probably companies like IPSoft can lead this change process.
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Picture Credits : IIMIDR ,for representational purposes only
By Alok Kumar