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Why is it necessary for IT employees to learn new skills sets

Why is it necessary for IT employees to learn new skills sets

  • IT employers are continuously asking their employees to acquire new skill sets
  • As a result, employees are at the receiving end of the stick when it comes to re-skilling themselves along with their day-to-day work

IT job, once considered a niche of the private industry, is going through a hard time currently. Its not that the shine had gone away from it, but it seems like this industry needs a round of gold coating to bring back the aura it had earlier. Does this mean that, if not gone, the shine has actually faded away ? May be yes. Does this require IT employees to learn new skills sets ?

Lets have a look how is this impacting the companies and employees….

Employees in almost all of the IT companies are getting a new task to complete – up skill/re-skill. The companies are asking employees to upgrade their skill sets and learn some new skills to cope up with the challenges the industry is facing today. One may consider this as an opportunity or a challenge depends on the perspective, but the message is loud and clear.
With employees sticking to only their deep rooted skills sets learned over the years, employers are finding it difficult to get projects involving new technologies.

In this era of continuously evolving technologies and digital transformation, its imperative for employees to learn some thing new and provide added value to the productivity and deliverable. This in turn benefits the employees too. Companies having employees trained on new skill sets impresses clients more than the ones with expert in good old technologies.

Lets take a look at some factor that have made it necessary for IT employees to learn new skills sets

1) Automation – Automation, although just a word, have taken the entire industry by storm and surprise at the same time. This is a technique of performing tasks without putting manual efforts. Its a practice of identifying those activities that are being performed repetitively. And once identified, deciding whether those activities can be performed without involving human intervention. Once automated, such activities can be performed automatically. As a result human effort is saved and time is reduced which improves productivity.

But the catch here is that do we know how to perform automation ?
Now this question poses a new task – learn automation. As a result employees have to pick new technologies used to perform automation and explore those. This means that a technique which will save time later will first ask to invest time to learn it.

Why to save time, is it that important ?
If not for employees, but for employers/clients its very important. Less time means less money needed. And anything that saves time and money is win-win situation for vendors and clients both. In this era of cost cutting and reduced spending, its very important to automate and save money.

Conclusion – Time spent on Automation today might reap in big benefits in terms of saving in the long term.

2) Digital transformation – This phrase means that moving from an era of manual efforts towards digitally enabled. Although the definition looks similar to automation but the context is different here. Digital transformation means that involving technologies in all the areas of business processes and in all the industries. It often means to utilise new technologies to go paper less, less documentation in every thing we do, reduce dependence on hardware and utilise more from software, whether professionally or personally.

There are various new technologies available in the market which have helped companies in getting digitally transformed.We might have heard of cloud computing, Big data, Artificial and Machine Learning. These are the skills which have and are helping humans to achieve digital transformation.

With cloud computing, we can actually save a lot of hardware and storage space to save data via storage-as-a-service. Not just data we can in fact leverage cloud in terms of platform-as-a-service or infrastructure-as-a-service.

Big Data is another important tool which can help a lot in achieving business analytics in a digital manner. This tool has a high potential in making informed and intelligent business decisions based on the data collected over a period of time. This helps various industries in making business decision and creating strategies.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is another powerful tool to imitate human thinking. This tool has been in existence since years but not much has been done on it so far. But nowadays a lot has been talked and done on this subject. And if used properly, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning combined can help us a lot in achieving bigger results in
terms of human-thinking saving.

Conclusion – Once again we are left with the choice of learning these new technologies. And if time is spent diligently to learn them, these are big benefits waiting for us en-route.

3) Brexit and US-China trade war – While these two are very vast subjects in themselves and not a right fit for this article, however they do have an indirect connection with the topic of the article.

With Brexit decision getting delayed till Jan 2020 and ongoing US-China trade war, there are some hiccups in the way IT contracts are being handled. We all know that US and UK/Europe are the major markets for IT companies. And the two issues highlighted in this point have largely impacted these two countries.

As a result there has been a hesitation among clients in awarding large deals to the IT vendors. Even the deals that were once discussed are put on hold due to these concerns. Due to this delay in finalising the contracts, IT vendors are facing a problem of cost cutting. And to avert the impact, they have to convince clients by showcasing the new skill sets their employees have acquired over a period of time. This will also help to stand above the competitors. They may also have to strike a deal with clients at a possible low cost under such concerns.

Now this can happen only when IT vendors themselves can save time and money which is possible only when new skills sets are actually learned.

Conclusion – The two issues highlighted in this point may be resolved in some time, but its imperative to be on toes and learn new skills sets to be able to survive in this era.

(This article represents the personal opinion of the author and does not intent to strike a connection with any industry or company in particular. Please read ‘ Disclaimer‘ page for more details.)

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