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#1. What are some of the top trends in the technology world? Which technology is the most promising when it comes to innovation and solving real-world challenges?
Technology is making sweeping changes across all segments. Artificial Intelligence along with Analytics and Machine Learning will have a profound impact on the corporate world as well as day-to-day life of an individual person. The impact of innovation is more felt in areas like manufacturing, health, agriculture, education, entertainment, genome and the list goes on. Breakthroughs in these segments are having direct impact on the human beings. Also, by leveraging information technology, people in far flung areas can be treated through concepts like tele-medicine, thereby ensuring universal health and make health services accessible and affordable.
#2. How do you see 2019 panning out in terms of technology adoption among companies? What will you tell the companies who are still working on legacy IT tools and technologies and resisting this move to digitization?
Let me answer this question in a different way. I am sure, those who adopted IT tools and technologies would know the worth of such technologies. Their mindset is such that they would adopt newer and innovative technologies and concepts to stay in competition. But my advice to those who abhor technology, is that they will lose competitive edge, and will be obsolete. The key attributes of any successful business, particularly, SME are productivity, efficiency, quality and agility, which can only be achieved through Automation. A small-scale industry refusing to adopt Automation will be out of business in the digital world. In the fast-changing technological milieu, my view is that only the fittest and smartest can survive and rest will fall on the way side.
#3. How significant is the need for today's tech professionals to upskill amid this rising threat of automation technologies? Should organisations do more to introduce reskilling/upskilling programs? If yes, what are some of the Learning & Development initiatives that you'd like to recommend?
Automation is an antithesis of employment generation. Every government, whether it is developed or developing, is facing this problem in one way or the other. The latest figures in the US indicate that retail segment, which accounts for considerable employment, is shrinking in terms of absorbing people. EvenIT, which used to absorb a number of educated youths, has considerably reduced its intake on account of artificial intelligence, automation and robotics etc. Automation Technologies will make certain type of jobs redundant, while new kinds of jobs will be created. Up-skilling and re-skilling etc. are therefore very important.
The policy framework should not focus on people, merely as a factor of production. It is heartening to note that top corporations in the world such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc. are giving importance to this issue of employment versus automation. Let us face the facts. A farmer or a mason who is 50 plus or so cannot be up skilled to take a digital job. He should be trained for taking up such jobs that fit in his/her mental ability, past experience and on technologies and concepts that can be easily comprehendible and executable.
A lot of work has to be done in identifying such avocations. Admittedly, it is a work of corporations, governments, non-government organizations andof course, social scientists and economists. Grooming up the talented people in the IT operations, particularly in the cutting-edge AI operations will not happen in a vacuum. Industry and academia have to come together, sponsor projects, innovate and disrupt technologies and importantly commercialize them for the good of the humanity. That needs an ecosystem that puts premium on research, incubation, acquisition of patents and flow of discoveries and technologies from laboratories to the work places.
#4. What will be the hiring outlook in IT in the year 2019?
Hiring outlook in IT industry is very promising in 2019. The US Industry is booming. Most of the Indian IT industries, which are dependent on US market, are expanding as a result. However, the skill sets for new hires are changing. There is a high demand for new technologies like AI, Data Science, Analytics, etc. The demand for old technologies like Java, C,Cobol will be reduced significantly.
#5. As you'd be aware that, members of TechGig's over 3.2 million strong community are currently vying for the top honors at the ongoing Code Gladiators 2019 contest? What will be your parting message for this passionate community of coders trying to shine through in this intense coding competition?
I am aware of this competition. The subjects chosen for programming this year are apt and contemporary such as blockchain, e-commerce, software testing, artificial intelligence and fintech. It is a good thing that there is a keen competition for being adjudged as the best coder. I wish the participants the very best and hope similar contests are held frequently in other technology frontiers also.
Asoke K Laha, CEO, Interra Inc
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