Artificial intelligence is now an actuality that Indian enterprises are looking to embrace or have already embraced to a certain extent. The global phenomenon is rapidly driving disruptive changes in the adoption of new technologies, business models, and jobs. From creating more immersive experiences for customers to enabling productivity, and helping businesses become more agile, AI is poised to become a global economic growth engine. However, skills shortage has become a hindrance and reskilling a necessary trump card for enterprises looking to truly embrace artificial intelligence.
Nishikant Nigam, EVP and Chief Delivery Officer at CSS Corp feels that as cognitive technologies become an integral part of how businesses and people operate, ecosystem players – right from organizations to the government to talent have to adopt fresh thinking and approach to ride the digital wave.
“Aspiring technologists have to seriously consider reskilling – raising their skillsets, learning from different sources, and investing in peer-learning, while remaining agile and responsive to the demands of the market. The days when one could choose a technology, specialize in it and work on it for years together are now history. The new mantra is to continuously evolve, be experimental, and be open to and invest in continuous and lifelong learning,” he says.
In fact, it is not just the students or aspiring technologists that need to consider reskilling, even CXOs need to be onboard the digital transformation march to encourage the same in their organizations. Mr Nigam says quoting an Intel-IDC report from December 2017 that nearly 70% organizations in India are expected to deploy AI solutions before 2020. Sectors like telecom, media, and technology in India have been the top early adopters of AI, while retail services and healthcare are supposed to see a surge by 2019.
“Organizations have started building their own labs to create a breeding ground for digital technologies. These labs can find solutions to crucial business problems and also enable employees to come up with disruptive solutions and learn new skills to upgrade themselves. In order to foster and create truly digitized organizations, senior leaders and CXOs must recognize and encourage a strong digital culture within their organizations, along with a strong digital strategy,” says Mr Nigam.
“Creating a digital culture helps organizations to enable more customer-centric engagements and build better solutions. This in turn can help them to bring employees more in alignment with customers’ journeys, and encourage them to make informed, context-aware decisions, focus on continuous improvement and take calculated risks,” he adds.
Uptime, service responsiveness and security are the top three concerns for a CIO states Mr Nigam while adding that AI based IT ops can amplify these three aspects that drive better employee engagement and experience. AI brings in an aspect of self-learning and continuous improvement over a period of time which can bring in levels of proactive performance and remediation that humans cannot match.
Since it has become of utmost importance to formulate conducive regulatory policies that are critical to drive investments, collaboration, and adoption of emerging technologies, enterprises have begun to work closely with academia and students to raise skill gaps, and lead investments and collaboration in cognitive and emerging technologies.
In order to do the same, CSS Corp has built a digital career progression framework to reorient their service lines and re-align the growth of employees to meet growing business needs. Termed ‘Reimagine’, the framework has specifically been built to fast-track employee reskilling initiatives within the organization, in niche digital technologies including robotic process automation (RPA), AI, analytics, cloud, DevOps and IoT.
“Additionally, the framework enables collaborative learning and greater personalization through Virtual University, MOOCs, online portals and learning communities. Reimagine promotes democratization of learning and fosters a culture of innovation within the organization,” says Mr Nigam.
CSS Corp has won the NASSCOM Digital Skills 2017 award for having one of the best digital reskilling platforms in the Indian IT industry, and results of Reimagine has brought in significant increases in critical business aspects, including resource utilization, team productivity, employee learning and development, and increase in revenue per employee. The framework has also created more career and growth opportunities, while resulting in an overall drop in attrition, Mr Nigam declares.