As process automation and other digital innovations shake up the information technology and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors, India’s leading IT-BPO industry group is looking to prepare for the future by “re-skilling” the workforce.
As computing becomes cheaper and more powerful, many enterprises are bringing automated solutions to bear on routine back-office functions such as data entry, transactional processes and customer service. These technologies, with names like robotic process automation (RPA), robotic desktop automation (RDA) and intelligent automation (IA), are still in their early stages of evolution, but they are expected to eliminate many low-skill IT-BPO jobs in the years to come.
India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) sees the future of the IT-BPO sector and is calling on the industry to re-skill its employees to be prepared for a world of digital business. DATAMARK, a U.S.-based provider of BPO and contact center services, operates two service delivery centers in India.
NASSCOM estimates up to 40 percent of India’s four million IT-BPO workforce will need to upgrade their skills over the next five years to keep up with an increasingly automated industry. There is a need for cybersecurity experts, mobile app developers, and data scientists, NASSCOM officials said. Emerging skills that will be in high demand include big data analytics, service delivery automation (robotics), and artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“Going forward, the focus for companies will be on skills and proficiency levels rather than scale; hence, it is becoming imperative for employees (both current and potential) to skill themselves in domain-specific requirements,” NASSCOM said in a statement to media.
To this end, NASSCOM has announced a re-skilling initiative in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group to improve the skill sets of nearly 2 million industry employees. The partners intend to create an online platform that will offer participants education in eight key technologies: virtual reality, Internet of Things, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, 3D printing, cloud computing and social and mobile app development.
“The need for re-skilling talent is a reality that we have to address,” said NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekhar. To keep up in a fast-evolving technology environment, the IT industry must reinvent itself by re-skilling its employees in new and upcoming technologies. Looking at the future needs of the industry, NASSCOM will continue in its efforts to create opportunities for skilling and re-skilling of employees to make them competitive for the industry.”
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