Today's organizations are scaling their skills quotient and upskilling employees to remain relevant to the 21st century environment.
There is only one constant in the 21st century,
a period in the history of the world where disruption has been the
norm. Over the last several decades we have seen myriad developments
sweep over the planet that have led to change. These include
geo-political shifts driven by the rise of emerging markets, global
economic upheavals, ageing populations the world over, acts of terrorism
and of course the arrival and high consumption of powerful technologies
we would never have dreamed could exist.
is in this century that we have seen the arrival of the now ubiquitous
computer, which has expanded in power and capability even as its
footprint has shrunk. From giant, monolithic super computers that
occupied equally gargantuan spaces, to devices that boast an
exponentially higher computing power, but fit into the palm of a hand,
technology has come a long way.
have witnessed also the rapid and rampant growth of laptops, handhelds,
and smart devices in enterprises that have emerged as accepted tools for
personal and organizational productivity. It is in this age too that we
have seen the rise of mobility, one of the most revolutionary and
inclusive forces, which has emerged as a great productivity enhancement
tool for modern road warriors within organizations.
by these external changes and global trends, companies have altered the
way they view themselves internally and conduct their businesses.
of the most significant developments within organizations in fact, has
been the deployment and increasing use of cutting-edge technologies in
the conduct of everyday tasks, and with a goal of improving
productivity, efficiency and profitability.
the last 50 years, as computers and smart devices have proliferated
across the enterprise landscape, they have ushered in a phenomenal
metamorphosis in the manner in which work is done.
the altering nature of work, the skills that organizations have
required over the years, have also taken a quantum leap. From the time
they embarked on their IT journeys, they have been focusing extensively
on forging a talent pool that is comfortable with the state-of-the-art
and engages easily with technology. They have also hired people who have
expertise in the technologies that the companies have invested in and
the critical know-how to use them optimally.
a country such as India in particular, organizations have been looking
to increase their techie manpower as they have added sophisticated
hardware, software, and communications equipment on their turf.
during the early years of computerization, companies hired IT people
such as computer and communications engineers, programmers, software
architects and maintenance staff, in more recent times, the profile of
the technological workforce has undergone a significant makeover.
reason for this is the arrival of the next phase of technological
evolution—what we are now referring to as Digital Transformation (DT),
or the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The reality is that technological
disruptions of a greater order than known before are causing companies
to relook at their employee base and see just how will adjusted it is in
terms of existing skills sets to the ongoing Digital environment.
they adopt what is commonly called Industrial 4.0 technologies,
companies across industries are going through a process of upskilling
and re-skilling employees.
posse of these incoming technologies including SMAC (Social, Mobility,
Analytics, Cloud), Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence,
Machine Learning, Robotics and Natural Language Processing, to name a
few, and the changing paradigms of talent deployment, are making
reskilling an imperative.
are therefore preparing their people to seamlessly straddle existing
and on-the-horizon technologies so that they can save themselves from
obsolescence and contribute to the building of a future-proof and
It is true
that already many firms in India have established dedicated programs to
re-skill existing employees and invested massively on training
initiatives. According to IT-BPM industry spearhead and India's leading
chamber of commerce, NASSCOM, the country's top companies have already
reskilled an average 50 percent of their employee base to fit people for
job roles of the future.
by NASSCOM in fact indicates that the IT-BPM industry, which currently
employs around four million people will need an additional 1.2-2 billion
employees to maintain existing growth momentum and achieve its targeted
revenue goal of USD 100 billion by 2025. To get here, and in order to keep pace with the automation of the sector, up to 40 percent of the workforce will need to be reskilled in technology, domain, social and thinking.
its enterprise members therefore, NASSCOM has launched an initiative
that is aimed at skilling/reskilling 1.5-2 million people (both
aspirants and current employees) over the next 4-5 years. The chamber is
working with over 20 companies to achieve this target. Additionally,
NASSCOM has announced the launch of the NASSCOM Leadership Resource
Center, a global collaborative learning community aimed at building
differentiated leadership competencies in future leaders of the
Meanwhile, employees within organizations too have become more conscious about reskilling to stay relevant. A
recent study by global management consultancy firm Accenture on the
changes that technology is expected to bring to work over the next five
years, has shown that employees are now looking to invest their free
time in learning new skills such as technical skills, creativity, people
management, ability to work with intelligent machines and judgment and
decision-making to stay relevant.
It is becoming increasingly
clear that reskill or perish is now the new success mantra for
organizations. It is not only a path to staying productive and
profitable, but simply an imperative for survival in the new age.
Authored by:- Prakash Menon, President, Global Retail Business, NIIT Ltd.