It is being called the start of the fourth industrial revolution. Call it whatever, but there is no doubt that the new decade will usher in new technologies that will change the way people work, skill themselves, hire talent, and revolutionise industries like entertainment, healthcare and transport.
With the 28th edition of NASSCOM Technology & Leadership Forum (NTLF) scheduled for this week, we spoke to Debjani Ghosh, president, NASSCOM about Techade 2020 and the broad themes for the industry in the coming decade. Excerpts from an email interaction.
With so many new technologies on the anvil, are we at an epochal stage in the evolution of tech and how humans work?
We are at a point where at the inception of the next decade (2020’s), we will witness the democratisation of technology and its accessibility to all regions, as well as more immersive, personalised and affordable technology. Building on to this, reduced turnaround times, increased outreach and pinpointed go-to-market strategies will unlock a whole new world of new opportunities.
More importantly, this decade will also diminish the fear of job losses that influenced political capital all across the world. Currently, AI poses as the dominant force-multiplier and it is estimated that a 15 trillion-dollar market opportunity will rapidly unfold in the next decade. Clearly, nations and private entities alike which populate this space will control the industry. AI, of course, will not work in isolation but the combinatorial power of deep tech and IoT, Cloud, Big Data, etc. – will help humans approach the next orbit.
This is being called the fourth industrial revolution. Do you agree? Why?
We are in a new age of automation that is constantly driven by unprecedented technological advances. The pace of automation and its scope continues to grow exponentially, amounting to our current state that is the fourth industrial revolution we have been in.
We must brace ourselves for the upcoming decade as we enter the third decade of this millennium. It is imperative to highlight how the next decade will witness businesses accelerate innovation and deliver value, thus establishing a successful enterprise. Technology has enabled us to achieve scale and business process efficiencies like never before, and is essentially, re-writing the rules of competition. India’s vision is to establish itself as a leading digital economy by ensuring the pace of digital transformation in the country is accelerated at a level that showcases it as the enabler.
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As we progress further into this revolution, at our current rate of development, innovation is advancing quicker than ever. Organisations and people that don’t stay aware of some of the significant-tech patterns, take the risk of being abandoned. In the post-digital world, digital realities, related products, and services will be hyper-personalised. We will require a technology vision that’s intensely customised and complementary to constantly changing on-demand experiences.
Of the new tech being rolled out, what has you most excited?
What interests me the most is the data paradox and how it will play out in this decade. Whether we are going to have a global framework for data ownership, usage and security or this will be left to each country to figure out. How will we resolve the conflict between the use of data for innovation and security? Will higher security enhance innovation? What will India’s strategy be for optimal data utilisation with focus on privacy and security? These are extremely important questions that need answering and the choices we make around it will have a huge impact on shaping the future of businesses and countries.
What would you have loved working on?
I am lucky enough to already be working on what I love, and that is collaborating with the industry and government to figure out the most optimal way to orchestrate the advancements in technology in order to achieve maximum impact in India.
Is the need to reskill an opportunity or a challenge?
The industry is finally giving reskilling of talent the attention that it deserves and acknowledging that it is mandatory for survival. There are increased investments towards training and equipping employees to ensure they are future-ready with skills required in the years ahead. 2020 will be the new decade of talent and innovation at work, where a country with the right amount of digital talent is going to win the talent war.
The workforce landscape in India has evolved significantly over the last decade where the industry has gradually moved to non-linear hiring model across its scope of work. As more innovative and sophisticated technologies come into being, the need for digital expertise arises in every sector. Organisations today are transitioning and redefining their businesses through the implementation of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. With technologies driving their future, new job roles rapidly emerge. The only challenge is the absence of a modern, skilled workforce. To address this widening gap, employers are now focusing on skilling programmes to help meet industry demands. Thus, new technologies can predict opportunities for the future, enabling companies to act and reach profitable solutions based on these opportunities.
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