As new technologies such as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence increasingly take over low and mid-level jobs in Indian IT companies, the IT Industry is facing a serious challenge to its earlier role of a mass job creator. Companies will now have to look at new ways to ride on these emerging technologies to create smart job opportunities, according to industry veterans.
India IT and ITes industry have been cutting jobs over the last few years as new technologies have made employees redundant and obsolete. For instance, A M Naik, chairman Larsen & Toubro, earlier this week, said of the 18.5 per cent attrition of its IT services company L&T Infotech, less than 12 per cent of people normally leave voluntarily, the rest of them become obsolete, either due to inefficiency or due to lack of technological knowledge.
A recent report by US-based research firm HfS Research said that Indian IT services industry may lose 6.4 lakh "low-skilled" jobs to automation over the next five years. By 2021, it said that globally, the IT industry would see a net decrease of 9% in headcount, or about 1.4 million jobs.
Last year, industry body Nasscom, in its report, Nasscom Perspective 2025:Shaping the Digital Revolution, predicted that human workers will increasingly be replaced by machines globally. By 2025, about 260 million jobs, including those of knowledge workers as well as industrial and service positions, will be replaced or augmented by technology worldwide, it said in the report. As per the data collated by Nasscom, the industry added 200,000 employees in FY16, compared with 230,000 in FY15 owing to rising automation, digitization and other technology interventions.
The Indian IT-BPM employee base of the industry touched 3.7 million in FY 2016.
While reduced workforce means cost advantage for IT companies, it is still a matter of worry for industry body Nasscom who has underlined building capabilities as one of the main agenda for the next few years. The industry needs to, the Nasscom said in the above mentioned report, design, develop and roll out a massive re-skilling program to train and reskill 4-5 million people.
Indian IT players over the last few years have pressed the paddle for the retraining of its employee base as new technologies take centre-stage at clients business environment. For instance, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), country's largest IT services provider, is training 100,000 employees on digital technology. Similarly, Infosys had announced that it will train 40 per cent of its workforce in design thinking.
RiTara Apps Software Pvt Ltd
in a recent report said, intelligent machines entering business en mass over the next few years will provide organizations an unprecedented opportunity to unleash the true potential of their workforce of the future.