Technology automating itself – Clouds of change becoming darker

alok kumar education india change
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

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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2 Responses

  1. Excellent work and I use the adjective with care. I have read all your posts on a single reading because I think you are telling something which are manpower -rich but talent-poor industry does not say or does not need to say.

    I wrote a post and I have acknowledged your contribution at the end.

    20 learnings from Indian IT industry -

    (Courtesy : In my search for getting a historical as well as riveting perspective of Indian IT industry, my apprehensions proved to be true, Too much manpower but too little talent. In the whole steppe, I finally found a lone commentary from Mr. Alok Kumar and I acknowledge many facts which I have borrowed from him. Read his blog like I did – all posts in the form of hard reading. I recommend it highly. His blog is Future Tense.)

    I think you should take some master-classes for Indian IT professionals. This wisdom will save them in off-shore as well as in on-shore.

  2. Michael Bian says:

    Outsourcing is important for several reasons.

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