India’s digitally skilled workforce is growing roughly 20% annually but demand will rise at a compounded annual growth rate of about 30% between FY19 and FY23
BENGALURU: Digital skill development has become a key business priority for India’s information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (IT-ITeS) sector as the country is likely to face a huge demand-supply gap going ahead.
According to a Nasscom report--Future Skilling for the Digital Economy--India’s digitally skilled workforce is roughly growing at 20% annually but demand will rise at a compounded annual growth rate of about 30% between FY19 and FY23.
"Therefore, incorporating digital skill development has become a key business priority with 94% of organisations having integrated digital skill building as part of their overall organisational strategy. Further, adoption of online and technology-powered learning has grown, with 63% organisations leveraging online platforms for learning," the report said.
The Indian IT-ITeS industry is adopting a multi-pronged strategy to fulfil its talent needs. According to the report, organisations have found it conducive to use a mix of ‘build’ and ‘buy’ to fulfil their talent needs.
For niche technologies and those in the nascent stage, companies are ‘buying’ talent and using freelancers or gig workers. As it moves into the mainstream and demand increases, scalable learning models and platforms are used to ‘build’ capability – which refers to training talent in-house. As per the findings of the report, about 77% of organisations prefer building talent internally while 38% of companies used gig workers and freelancers to fill the talent gap.
An interesting trend of acquisition activity in the IT-ITeS industry has been ‘acqui-hiring’, where a company is bought for the capability it possesses. As per the survey, this creates a direct link between business strategy and talent creation. About 21% of companies surveyed used acqui-hiring to augment their existing talent pool.
For instance, Google acquired Halli Labs in India that worked in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to offer better solutions. Fashion e-commerce player Myntra acqui-hired Bengaluru-based InLogg in 2017 to strengthen its supply chain capabilities.
Organisations have started focusing on developing skill development processes tailored for the digital era. For example, Infosys Ltd has created more than 75 new courses to make its employees future ready. The company has adopted several strategies, including creating a full stack workforce, power programmers, enabling niche design skills, and domain skills.
Cognizant has reskilled and upskilled its associates through Cognizant Academy, equipping them with skills in areas such as data science, design thinking, cyber security, interactivity and gamification, Internet of Things (IoT), automation, analytics, cloud technologies, AI and ML.
Wipro Ltd uses TrendNxt, a skill-based learning framework, which aims at enhancing employees’ technical knowledge. It follows a credit point approach wherein credits are earned by undertaking technical certifications and attending technical training.
The Nasscom report said that there is a shift from traditional job roles to building ‘composite’ capabilities that require interplay of technical and professional skills. AI/big data analytics, cloud computing, and intelligent automation emerged as the top three technologies in terms of learning importance and certifications completed by employees in FY2019. This trend is expected to continue over the next two-three years. Communication, problem solving, and continuous learning skills are among the top professional skills that organisations want to inculcate in their employees.