It is getting harder to predict the future state of the technology sector —as the pace of change is quite high. But as I look into the future , I can safely base my predictions on the oft-used ‘People+Process+Technology’ framework.

Most chief information officers (CIOs) acknowledge that these three pillars work and operate well in tandem. Each has to be considered in context of the other two pillars to have a holistic and satisfying approach to workplace success and individual career development.

People

Rapidly-evolving technology is changing the rules of work, and talent management is no exception. Today, we need people who dream code. And to this end, companies are investing in designing a new organization with a holistic approach to recruitment, management and engagement of talent.

Globally, we will find that talent will increasingly come from non-traditional channels (for IT), including community colleges, vocational schools, organizations such as Year Up and the National Academy Foundation in the US, and even self-education channels.

In India, the situation is a bit more complex, with a wide skill gap emerging as a significant cause for concern. According to a Gartner study, 25% of Indian CIOs list overall lack of skills as a top-three talent gap, compared to 12% of overall respondents.

It will be a while before Indian firms start hiring from non-traditional channels but hiring from smaller (tier 2 and 3) colleges is a novel opportunity that is on an upswing. There will also be increased demand for continuous, on the job learning opportunities for teams to upskill and re-skill.

Process

The future trends in processes are closely linked with the ongoing drive to digitally transform. Digital transformation and digital business are top priorities for most Indian companies. About 37% of Indian CIOs listed digital business as a top priority, compared to 28% of global top performers, and 21% of all respondents in Gartner’s survey. Modern CXOs are invested in building a ‘change agile’ organization with improved efficiency, collaboration and customer intimacy.

I expect to see rising acceptance of an agile mindset and the deployment of small teams to test and accelerate innovation—whether it leads to success or failure, both of which yield learning opportunities.

Another interesting development is how relationships with customers are evolving. From working with customers on the outside, we moved to design thinking approaches to better understand customer expectations and deliver better results.

This year, I am confident that the organization of the future will work in close collaboration with customers. IT teams will find greater success by integrating their customers at every step. We will move away from a process of reporting milestone-driven progress to one of ongoing collaboration.

Technology

When it comes to technology and agility, at present, innovation is the dominant trend and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

The IT enterprise of the future will demand teams and individuals who are not just quick but also have the technological know-how to innovate. Rapid change will require IT teams to remain tech savvy. Therefore, we are likely to see professionals brushing up on the latest programming languages and tools, and adopting a continuous learning model.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are trending topics in the industry right now. There’s no denying that AI is a significant technology trend with a potentially far-reaching impact, but is it really the technology to render millions jobless? Is it really the one technology that can change the world as we know it? To be honest, a lot of it is hype.

Yes, AI will replace some jobs, but it will also create new ones, including new roles for IT professionals that include soft skills. The key here will be that individuals are trained to succeed in these new roles. Continuous learning and upskilling are crucial for the workforce gearing up to harness AI.

In the year ahead, I expect that we will move beyond AI hype, and businesses will harness it for data-driven ‘thinking tasks’.

Digital transformation initiatives at enterprises will consume AI services to make significant decisions and provide real-time instructions.

We are living in a moment of accelerated change. The technologies we use, the way we work and play, as well as how we interact with each other, are all in flux. Change always breeds uncertainty, but I’m optimistic that we will combine human ingenuity with emerging technologies to bring about a better world for all.

Bask Iyer is chief information officer of VMware and Dell Technologies.

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