Article (August-2017)


Skill-up to remain resilient and sustainable

Rituparna Chakraborty

Designation : -   President

Organization : -  Indian Staffing Federation, New Delhi


1. How do you see the scenario of mass layoffs in IT sector to change in future?
Ans. With newer technologies in artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation and cloud computing, which help complete the job with less manpower, software companies are now going to be in demand. It's a situation where in the available talent hasn't kept up with the pace at which the industry was evolving and hence, many of them find themselves redundant. The consolidated trend may continue for the next 1-2 year, but we see it as an opportunity for IT professionals to upgrade themselves and get into the new - age technologies where demand is going to be huge. It is a transitory phase. However, things would look up in the next two quarters as IT services companies successfully steer towards a stable growth phase. Pink slips are likely for some of the jobs in manual testing, technology support and system administration since these are increasingly going to be managed by AI and robotics process automation based systems.
2. What all sectors and functions will be highly impacted by job cuts?
Ans. The different functions which will be impacted by job cuts are the following: QA, Security Testing, Performance Testing, Business Process Management & Execution, Infrastructure Automation, Code Review, Security Operations, DevOps, Cloud Infrastructure, Medical Diagnosis and various aspects of Project management etc.
The different sectors that are being impacted by layoff are information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors and telecom sector is also expected to continue with this as the pace of job creation is slowing down. Mid - and senior - level professionals and many lower - level employees too are likely to face the axe in the coming months. Several large IT and telecom companies are in the process of laying off employees. The layoff won't be specific to any single group, but has spread across the company's worldwide offices and business units, including sales, marketing, human resources, engineering, finance and more. 
3. Is there a greater need than ever to stay updated, up-skill, re-skill and remains employable?
Ans. As technology continues to evolve on a daily basis, the life cycle of skills is shorter than ever before and change is happening at an unmatched scale. As robots, automation and artificial intelligence perform more tasks and there is massive disruption of jobs, we see a wider array of education and skills - building programs being created to meet new demands. Companies should conduct regular performance reviews to ensure that they have the right employee skill sets necessary to meet client needs and achieve our business goals. This process results in changes, including some employees transitioning out of the company.
The current commotion about automation is a sign of progress. We should focus on the opportunities that automation will create for us. While many jobs are taken away still a significant number of jobs will remain and many will be created. However, there is one skill that can't be automated and that is design thinking. I believe in a future where whether you are an engineer or an architect, you will remain resilient and sustainable due to design thinking. It's only our ability to remain agile and curious that helps us solve problems.