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Saturday, September 24, 2016

What Will Have A Bigger Impact On The IT Industry: Digitization Or Donald Trump?

Here are a few buzz words and concepts trending hot in the Information technology market: IOT - Internet of things, RPA - Robotic process automation, Digitization, Mobility, Analytics, 3D Printing, Ambient User Experience etc.

If you are a computer science or IT graduate you might have got introduced to terms like natural language processing, robotics, artificial intelligence etc. in your course curriculum. Few years back these were just theoretical subjects taught in most universities, today they are becoming reality. We are not moving but actually running fast towards the age of "No human touch" and "Machine intelligence".

What does this mean? It means that our lives are going to get better and better with each passing day. We will able to get a lot more done in a relatively very less time. Productivity improvement, time and cost savings, greater and faster reach and very pleasing user experience are some of the key benefits.

Are there any side effects? Yes, ofcourse there are a few serious side effects. Let us look at some of them:
  • One innovation will eat another. Market trends will change very fast. If you make one wrong choice as an entrepreneur you may get washed out in no time.
  • Low level jobs like data entry will cease to exist because of innovative solutions offered by robotic process automation. Another example is where large stores like Walmart will have robots fill the product shelves and not humans.
  • Business processing management jobs will get impacted by platforms like PEGA 7.1.
  • Virtual & Augmented reality will bring the world closer by removing the challenges of distance. However, this will impact the jobs of middleman/ agent/ brokers.
  • Project management tasks like administration and coordination will get reduced by the use of highly efficient tools and digital dashboards.
  • Self learning programs based on artificial intelligence and next best action decision making will give tough competition to human intelligence.
Having said the above let us look at some of the options for future; especially in the Information Technology industry.

What are some of the safe/ evergreen job options for the next decade?

Business Analyst/ Domain Analyst/ Functional Analyst

Job profiles of Business Analysis, Industry Domain Analysis and Functional Analysis will remain in demand irrespective of the technological changes. In fact, their demand will continue to increase due to the fast changing business and technology landscape. So if you are a finance, banking, insurance, supply chain, manufacturing, marketing, sales or any other business domain expert then you may be safe as compared to the software engineers/ java programmers/ oracle developers etc.

Data Scientist/ Data Analyst

Social media giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter provide platforms that generate and gather huge data from its users and consumer base. Business intelligence technologies are able to provide intelligent trends and decision making information. However, there is a growing need of experts who can scientifically analyze this data and perform statistical analysis and research to extract knowledge or insights.

Support Analyst (Advanced Technologies)

As long as the IT systems exist the job of support analyst will continue to exist, however with time it will change its form and shape. Next generation analysts will be expected to perform more than just the rudimentary root cause code analysis. For example, if an application is built on PEGA 7.1 platform then the support analyst will need to understand how PEGA works, mere knowledge of Java will not help because PEGA is based on the concept of "No Coding". Another example is MongoDB developed by MongoDB Inc., it is a free and open-source NoSQL database program which is going to challenge the way traditional relational Oracle database support works. So the next generation support analyst will need to ramp up on all such advanced technologies.

Technical Architects/ Solution Architects

Demand for those who excel in technical and solution design will increase. Technical and solution architects will need to upgrade themselves to keep pace with the new IT trends like: adaptive security architecture, advanced system architecture, mesh app and service architecture.

Senior Management

With the digital revolution there is an opportunity for the companies to move towards a model where they will have leaner management teams. This may most likely have an impact at the middle management level, senior management roles will continue to exist. Idea generation, agile implementation and customer focus will continue to be the priority of senior management.

Conclusion

There are few jobs/ roles which will continue to be evergreen but those are really very few. Professionals in Software and IT Industry need to get ready for a big change. In the last 20 years IT industry has blossomed because of outsourcing and offshoring, very soon this will be a story of the past. This is a bigger change than what even Donald Trump's election can bring and this change is unstoppable. Business priorities and technology revolution will change the skill requirement, job type, job role and responsibilities at the ground level. More than the skill upgrade this shift will require a mindset change. Be ready to embrace it.