In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, K Nageswara Rao, Vice President – Engineering, Asia Pacific Technology Centers, Unisys, explains how disruptive technologies are creating opportunities as far as the Indian job market is concerned.
In our world of constant disruption and transformation driven by technology, the job market and subsequently skillsets of employees are undergoing massive changes. Disruptive technologies are also changing the way we do business, and organizations that constantly re-skill and up-skill their workforce currently stay afloat. IT firm Unisys, which has been active in India for more than 25 years, has evolved with the market and has grown substantially in terms of talent, capabilities, processes, and infrastructure. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, K Nageswara Rao, Vice President – Engineering, Asia Pacific Technology Centers, Unisys, explains how disruptive technologies are creating opportunities as far as the Indian job market is concerned.
CXOToday: Please elaborate on the IT job market in the APAC region and specific to India especially in the context of disruptive technologies
Disruptive technologies will bring about changes in job markets irrespective of regions. Evolution that occurs will be replicated across geographies. Having said that the Indian job market will find massive opportunities to learn and expand in terms of skill sets and in jobs, due to emerging technologies like AI, blockchain and so on. These new paradigms provide huge scope to develop new applications and to improve and enhance the services we provide our customers across the globe. Another key element that is bound to grow with disruptive technologies is that of security and privacy. Be it at an enterprise level or at an individual level, these elements cannot be over looked.
The need for upskilling and reskilling is crucial in the disruptive technology space. Emerging technologies have created new job roles such as cyber security, data scientists, platform engineering among others. That in turn require new skill-sets in areas such as big data analytics,cloud&cyber security services, IoT, Robotics, AI and ML and so on.
Today emerging technologies are no longer buzz words, instead they have gone ahead to become part of technology that we actively use. Up-skilling and reskilling are vital in order for organizations to be relevant and stay in the game. It is also important to invest in reskilling and upskilling so that enterprises can retain quality talent and attract new ones.
Up-skilling is not only about learning, developing and delivering but also about the mindset required in order to deliver effectively. We see various organizations making efforts to drive upskilling through various initiatives such as hackathons along with training and upskilling courses.
Disruptive technologies are now included in syllabuses for colleges and IT professionals have the opportunity to explore them before they are exposed to an actual working environment in the form of projects and proof of concepts.
CXOToday: Can re-skilling help solve the employability problem?
From an individual perspective any new skill-set learnt or areas that one can improve their capabilities in, is going to increase their employability quotient. For young technology profession’s, opportunities to familiarize themselves with emerging technologies help them make informed choices when pursuing further education. This group of talent comprises of the new generation of workforce.If they are skilled in the use of emerging technologies, they will be very valuable additions to the talent pool available to the IT industry.
Organizations like Unisys also work with academia to bridge the existing gap between academia and the industry through campus connect programs, webinars and events like Cloud 20/20. Filling this gap with relevant knowledge will help greatly in bringing the new generation up to speed with the current technologies of today. This can promote creativity in terms of innovation, evolution and growth of the individual and the industry as such, hence possibly reducing the employability problems.
CXOToday: What programs should IT companies initiate that can accelerate learning in industry 4.0 services?
There are multiple ways in which companies can help accelerate learning. For instance, Unisys works closely with NASSCOM, individual companies and with academic institutions in order to create brain share. Our flagship event Cloud 20/20 engages with academia and bridge the gap that exists between them and the industry. Through this initiative, we create opportunities across multiple colleges for students to learn disruptive technologies in a working environment. The reach is significant, and we have received over 27,000 registrations in the last ten years. It serves as a platform for students to come forward and deliberate new ideas and craft innovative solutions. We look at it as the pathway to create the next generation of influencers. We engage with the developer community through annual hackathons. We also interact with the senior technical veterans in the industry through Tech Series – a platform for industry experts to come together, ideate and share best practices.
Fostering and building an activelearning culture within the organization by encouraging employees to take charge of their career and nurture talent through constant learning practices, is one of the strongest routes to adopt.
CXOToday: What are Unisys’ efforts on campus connect and mentoring?
In addition to Cloud 20/20, we also engage with colleges through specific interactions called‘Campus Connect Initiatives’. We have signed MoUs with two colleges – Chandigarh University and NMIT (NITTE Meenakshi Institute of Technology),Bengaluru.
In NMIT, we frequently send our technical experts to the college and engage in tech talks to create mind share. We wereinvolved with their board of education toinclude some parts of Unisys’ operating systems into their curriculum for exams.
We also conduct workshops and recently, there was a day long workshop conducted on blockchain.
The communication is not just one-way; Unisys invites faculty members from various colleges to come to our premises and talk about some of the technological disruptions. Recently, there was a 26-hour workshop on AI andML in our campus by a facultymember of NMIT.
CXOToday: How can CIOs accelerate growth with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning etc.
These technologies are holistically connected depending on the application and domain that one is addressing. The focus should be on how the applications can be designed and upgraded based on the technological advances available at hand before development and implementation.
CIOs should stay ahead of the market especially with disruptive technologies, since they are not just buzz words but are a reality of today.The CIOs should take cognizance of the current scenario and develop applications involving latest technologies to ensure higher efficiency and functionality. The utilization of the current technologies must be done with caution in order to include only the most relevant ones and build smarter and more efficient applications that benefit the end users.
CXOToday: What are your growth plans for Unisys India Technology Center for 2019-20?
Established in 2004, Unisys India delivery center, has grown substantially in terms of talent, capabilities, processes, and infrastructure. Today, we operate out of multiple state-of-the art facilities in two cities: Bengaluru and Hyderabad, with a headcount of about 4500, as of December 2018.
The Unisys India Technology Center has been vital in developing cutting edge research and drives a culture of innovation to create Industry 4.0 ideas, for clients. The center is actively involved in the development (design and architecture) of all technology products. 35% of patents granted to Unisys in 2018 are from India and 25% that have been filed from Unisys are from India.
Growth is a natural process that happens in Unisys. Unisys India Technology Center is a microcosm of Unisys global and Unisys India plays a part in everything that happens in Unisys globally.
In 2019, we are currently looking to increase our technology workforce at our Hyderabad center who will largely focus on emerging technologies.
We are beyond those days where growth was measured just in numbers. The growth is now measured in stature, the work that we do and the technologies that we develop here. We are an extension of the global team hence we participate in all activities of Unisys globally.
In the last couple of years, we have been working on disruptive technologies with the sole objective of addressing the client and business challenges in the best possible ways by modernizing the existing solutions and products that we have, along with staying relevant.