A candid conversation with Biswajit Mohapatra, IBM India on Industry Insights and Trends for coming days… – By Runali
Reviewed By – Akash Goel
WHAT IS FUTURE FOR INDIAN IT INDUSTRY?
During the era of 1995 to 2000, the focus of Indian IT industry was centred around cost arbitrage. Soon it shifted towards quality credentials during the period 2000 to 2010. Every other Indian IT Service providers were rushing to acquire CMM, PCMM, ISO certifications since it was considered by clients as a differentiator to outsource work. However, the era we are all into today, soon the quality credentials became must have to do business with and organizations started looking for newer means to win in the marketplace. Today survival of IT organizations completely depends on technology innovation and process innovation. While clients are looking for cost, productivity and time to market advantage, adoption of automation is one of the key levers today in client’s digital re-invention journey
The good news is that NASSCOM predicts exports of IT services to grow in the range of 7-8% while domestic IT demand is expected to grow at 11-12%. However, to sustain the growth, IT Industry should come together and focus on workforce strategy, talent development and technology eminence to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION? IS THIS A HYPE?
The general trend seen is people are mistakenly considering digitizing operations as digital transformation. As you know the whole world is becoming interconnected, intelligent and interdependent. In my view, revamping customers experience, reinventing industries and reconfiguring delivery models is all about digital credibility and capability of an organization. There are organizations strong on digital leadership and capability behaving as digital masters while others are either beginners or conservatives. However, all are embracing digital transformation journey to create a differentiated value proposition.
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON ROBOTS TAKING AWAY JOBS?
Automation, AI, Robots are not going to take away our jobs. These are in fact going to complement our jobs. Think about the amount of source code getting written every day – millions and millions of lines of code. That will take every one of our time to maintain the code one day. Can we really afford it? Hence automation. AI and Robots are going to focus on more repetitive tasks while we focus on high-end works which are our core competency. This will only help us to move up the value chain. Though there is a lot of robot-bashing happening in the industry, I strongly feel the next 3 years going to be period of flux and soon after that, all the dust will settle down. However, I would also like to caution here that those who won’t focus on acquiring new edge skills and reskill themselves, they are going to be exposed to job loss. What worked yesterday is not going to work the same way tomorrow.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR ASSOCIATION WITH SCIT?
This has been a long association of almost 12 years. I got an invitation to speak at the “STATE OF THE IT” seminar. The acceptance I got from the students and faculties after the seminar was the starting point for me. The amount of support I have received from all the faculties and students in last several years is rewarding. I strongly believe passion in education can drive change and Education is my calling which brings me back to SCIT again and again.
WILL INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA COLLABORATION HELP TO ADDRESS SKILL GAPS?
A recent IBM study suggests addressing talent shortage will be instrumental in preparing India for a competitive global economy. Industry-Academia partnership can bridge India’s skill gaps to a large extent. Developing a more practical, applied and experienced based solution, embracing technologies that improve educational access, experiences and outcomes as well as building a deeper relationship with ecosystem partners will enhance higher education so that it matches existing and future skill requirements. Industry participation in education curriculum development is increasingly supporting successful education outcomes.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AT YOUR JOB?
I am motivated by the buzz of working in a team. It is very rewarding working closely with others who share the same goal. I like to rise to the challenge as part of a concerted team effort. I am self-driven, self-directed and it excites me to work with clients and contribute to their transformation agenda.
HOW ARE GEN-Z WORKFORCE MANAGED IN ORGANIZATIONS?
Gen-Z is soon going to dominating the workforce. Different management styles are required to get the most from them. Organizations need to adopt sharing and caring culture, making the roles more entrepreneurial, providing plenty of career advancement opportunities, creating opportunities for recognition, communicating quickly, providing more productive infrastructure and giving constant quick feedback.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR SCIT STUDENTS?
The pace of change that is taking place around us due to the rapid adoption of technology is creating newer challenges and opportunities. It’s important to anticipate those changes and become the change agents to drive those changes. You must be adaptable enough to unlearn, learn and relearn to remain relevant. I strongly believe there is no substitute for honesty, hard work and commitment.
Mr Biswajit Mohapatra is GlC Cloud Migration Factory Leader in IBM. He has been associated with SCIT for a long time teaching, coaching and mentoring students on various facets of Software Solutions Management, Enterprise Architecture, Technology Management and many other related seminars. He has truly been an inspiration to hundreds of SCITians over the last few years guiding us on how to advance our careers while being humble and down-to-earth at the same time.