Software industry

Software industry adopting to new work paradigm amidst Covid-19: CP Gurnani, Tech Mahindra

As the pandemic continues to spill across the globe impacting lives, livelihood, and businesses it has made us realise that we need to flatten the curve and move forward on a war footing. With lives at stake, it becomes our foremost responsibility to have a humane approach to the situation, step up and create a safety net that will help maintain a balance while keeping employees safe and motivated.

New opportunities

COVID-19 has also proved to be an opportunity for countries and businesses to look beyond regular working ways. This has also led software service providers – the industry that employs around four million people – to recognize and accept ‘remote working’ as the new norm. The “Future of Work” will involve fast-tracking the adoption of collaborative solutions, automation and security solutions with new-age technologies like IoT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, edge computing, and ultra-broadband solutions.

Opportunities in the post-Covid-19 archetype will come in all sizes and shapes. We need to overcome challenges towards reshaping for business continuity and reskill for better opportunities. As businesses juggle between new systems and processes, priorities and challenges, they will need to identify systems resilience issues and address them in the post-pandemic world. The businesses must revisit the customer profile, assess new requirements, suggest them opportunities and prepare teams to deliver the software support for it.

Technology enabling new work paradigm

Today, the Indian software industry has to use its prowess and provide technology that will help meet the requirement of safety and security, in an ecosystem, that is inclined to continue work from home as a new normal. Depending on the sector and scenario there will be a need to leverage new-age technologies and automation to enable future-of-work. The new world order will involve faster reskilling and setting up of agile work teams that will operate efficiently in this or similar work environments.

Virtual reality, robotics, drone-enabled delivery systems, digital systems in manufacturing and supply chains will be first in the lane for adoption. There is also a need for a robust security system and digital infrastructure. Security & risk management teams have to be more vigilant keeping regulatory issues, data and identity thefts and cyber-attacks leading to a security breach in perspective, especially involving critical data, client information, confidential data among others.

Already players are fast-tracking their next level of technology adoption towards scalable and secure cloud infrastructure and specialised software, collaboration solutions and telecom infrastructure.

Managing the virtual employee

As the sector works towards re-organising a more efficient model of contactless and borderless work, teams will need to take care of a cohesive business and software framework. Working towards an integrated command and monitor mechanism to address all these challenges will enable companies to minimise downtime. This will help safeguard remote access capabilities while ensuring that working structures and security measures are in place to assist leaders in managing timelines, quality, and checks.

Efficient and effective communication across the table

This goes not just for the employees but also with the partner ecosystem, business associates and the changing customer behaviour at large. Currently, customers are also feeling the pangs of uncertainty and how will things move on here onwards and if they are in safe hands or not. This calls for assurance and transparent communication in order to help set the pace for delivering mission critical action plans as per schedule.

This is also a time to effectively and continuously communicate that a company’s utmost priority is and will remain mitigating risk to its associates. Communication around the staggered return to work, new social distancing norms at workplace, new policies, infrastructure and behavioural changes to minimise risks and maximise performance have to be clearly formulated and communicated.

These are testing times for us; however, every crisis brings with itself an opportunity – it is about how you manage the risk and the choices you make, that will determine your success. The software industry in India got the impetus to innovate, grow and establish amidst a crisis in the year 2000. Yet another opportunity knocks our door within two decades. If we get our act together and play our cards right, the software industry in India will reclaim the top position amidst the Fourth Revolution.

By CP Gurnani, MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra.

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