IT industry

DevOps and talent gaps in the Indian IT industry

There were over 2,250 tech start-ups founded in India last year. In April 2021, in just four days, six start-ups became unicorns. The top three IT companies in the country hired a record 1.7 lakh employees last year, and plan to recruit almost the same number in 2022 as well. The Indian IT industry has also become the leading sourcing destination across the world, accounting for approximately 55% of the market share of the USD 200-250 billion global services sourcing business in 2019-20. Furthermore, the industry also accounted for 8% of India’s GDP in 2020.

India is one of the most promising markets for IT companies to grow in, for both new and established players. A young population, rapidly changing economy, massive adoption of new technologies and an urgent need for digital transformation across the board has set expectations for post-pandemic digital growth.

Setting the stage with DevOps
In April 2020, Satya Nadella said that Microsoft had seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. Truer words have never been spoken. The pandemic shone a light on what it means to be digital ready. We see it all around us. Companies that understood the changing trend and leveraged it were able to succeed. Of the 43 Indian start-ups that became unicorns last year, the top three sectors were FinTech, EdTech and SaaS, accounting for almost 45% of the total funding activity and the emergence of 21 unicorns. It is called: understanding your target market and working towards meeting its needs.

As enterprises build agility and resiliency into their operations through digital transformation and cloud migration, they need a model that keeps this momentum going. One way is to identify the tools and processes that will drive this automation.

The competitive ecosystem and impatience-to-grow mindset has put the adoption of DevOps as a strategic choice enterprises make to drive innovation. It helped close the gap between business and client needs and ensured business continuity in a disruptive marketplace. Now, we see this trend further shift towards Microservices, compared to a conservative approach of “lift and shift”. Built on the cloud, this allows for scaling up to meet business demands and managing operations far more smoothly.

An industry survey found that 45% of the companies used microservices for data analytics and business intelligence, and 41% for database applications. These companies also reported 30% higher customer satisfaction and retention, and 29% better security of data and faster time to market. They also saw improvement in quality and flexibility. Going forward, I expect to see more and more organizations implement microservices to keep up with an ever-evolving marketplace.

Closing the tech talent gap
As more and more businesses adopt new technologies like DevOps, we also see an increase in the demand for DevOps experts. The leading job search portals have seen a 75% increase in listings of DevOps jobs, while social media platforms like LinkedIn saw a 50% increase in the mentions of DevOps as a skill.

We saw the intense hiring drive happening in the Indian IT industry. However, a large task force that works on only legacy platforms will not help in the long run as it does not address critical business points. Businesses must address this skill gap by identifying and bringing in necessary new skills and training existing teams to adopt to new and emerging technologies. This is not a concern, however, for born on the cloud companies as they hit the ground running with best practices in both technology and processes. Overall, we need digital-savvy technology talent that is ready for this new normal.

Upskilling is an investment that leaders need to implement as the expectations and responsibilities expand within roles not just for developers but also for IT and Ops too or they will be looking at a labor shortage. Enterprises need to provide more supportive resources, such as testing environments, for in-role learning that enables developers to train (and even fail) in a safe and protected environment.

Investing in the future
The pandemic dealt a hard blow to every industry. However, India’s IT sector has been able to transform itself from a traditional service provider to a product company with global delivery capabilities. The industry shows positive signs and can overcome this unique challenge. We saw companies make investments in the cloud, digital payments, cyber security, and more, which are all paying dividends now.

Where earlier, Indian IT companies reported an annual growth rate of 6-7% before the pandemic, NASSCOM estimates that this number has gone up to 15-20%. Just last month, six Indian IT companies were listed in the top 25 list of most valuable global IT services brands. With the right investments in critical areas, we might not only keep pace with our global peers, but also move ahead. The Indian IT ecosystem is teed up and ready to go. We just need to take the right shot to get the hole in one.

The article has been written by Prashanth Nanjundappa, VP of Product Management, CHEF Business Unit, Progress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *