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Future of Indian IT: Reskilling, Specialization and Analytical Skills Crucial For Success

Despite a challenging past few years, 2019 will be a good year for Indian IT, predicted industry experts, who spoke at a recent TiE Chennai event on the Future Of IT Industry & The Road Ahead, at IIT Madras Research Park. However, reskilling employees on new technologies and encouraging analytical skills is imperative to achieve success, they felt.

The session focused on outsourcing trends in 2019, impact on offshore delivery capabilities and opportunities for mergers and acquisitions.

Congruent Solutions co-founder and President, Balaraman Jayaraman, was one of the speakers at the event.

Speaking on recent trends in IT, Venkatarangan Thirumalai, Whitespace leader, software engineer and author, said that 2019 “looks to be the year that things are going to stabilize and hopefully turn for the better for the next few years”. Stressing on the fact that there was a lot of momentum in the IT industry, he said that nearly a trillion dollars “are going to be spent as per Gartner on IT Solutions – a 4% increase from the last couple of years.”

Customer expectations, he said, have increased in the last few years. “They expect 10 times more features at 10 times less cost and delivery has become weeks, if not months. Also 10x type of feature requirements,” he said. He added that now, thanks to technology, “If you don’t do this, your competition can”.

Bala pointed out that in the past, “labor arbitrage was a key component which contributed to outsourcing”. He added that it “will continue to be there but may not be the key driver going forward. People have to demonstrate value beyond cost difference – that could come through specialization in certain technologies or specialization in certain domains.”

Organizations have started outsourcing what was initially termed ‘core’ functions. Going forward, he said, with increased focus on data privacy and information security, “there is tremendous opportunity for people to build practice around that – information security specialization and consulting in those areas”. He stressed on the need to “keep your ear to the ground” as there is a “lot of outsourcing beyond software”.

He also compared custom development or bespoke development markets with system integration and product implementation markets. He said that clients in the Middle East, India and South East Asia “prefer a platform implemented for them as opposed to funding ground-up development”. However, in the US, there are opportunities for custom development too. “The core enterprise platform would be a product but a lot of custom development happens around that, and that’s a huge opportunity,” he said.

Swaminathan, General Partner, Threshold Partners added that for a company to sell its products or services to a US client, it has to be either “industry or technology focused” or a geography player, albeit a “big” one.

On the topic of emerging trends in technology, Venkat spoke about automation, data storage and analytics, ML and AI. In addition, promoting a “collaborative and open culture” in the workplace is becoming increasingly important, he said.

Bala stressed on the need to reskill employees on new technologies, and also to encourage analytical thinking and problem solving abilities.

To view the video of the event on the TiE Chennai YouTube channel, click here.

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