Your basic computing skills are no longer relevant to IT companies

The Indian IT industry generates at least one lakh new jobs a year. But if you think that makes jobs readily available, the reality is different. That is because the industry, which employs more than four million people, has changed the way it hires. Basic skills are no longer in demand, and companies want candidates to be job-ready from day one.

At a time when the sector continues to be on a hiring spree, Moneycontrol looks into what has really changed in the way IT companies recruit. The five-part series looks at each emerging trend with a detailed lens.

“Looking for an engineer, preferably with specialisation in the computer science segment”, read a newspaper ad by an Information Technology (IT) sector major seven years ago. Today, IT firms are no longer looking for basic engineering school graduates for jobs. While these schools are still one of the avenues of hiring, companies are looking for niche skills to meet the changing demands of the business.

 From the basic knowledge of the computer software that IT sector firms were looking for, it has moved to skills like data mining, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain development.

A recent study by online education company Simplilearn says that five of the top IT jobs of the future in India are data scientist, AI engineer, cloud architect, cyber-security expert, and digital project manager. Fresh graduates for these positions are most-preferred.

“There is a widely-held view that the IT industry is facing a challenge around hiring employable professionals. To an extent, this is true because the services and solutions landscape is evolving so rapidly that one needs to constantly reinvent themselves to thrive in this environment,” said Visweswara Rao, the senior vice president and chief human resource officer at IT services firm CSS Corp.

5G network as a game changer in the automotive industry and a basis for enhanced driver tech

‘According to Barclays, an autonomous car could generate 100 gigabytes of data per second, and with a response time of less than a millisecond and output of 1Gigabit, 5G will be the new definition for speed.’

The rise of autonomous driving assistance features in cars is quite prominent and a lot of it depends on connectivity since V2V (vehicle to vehicle) and V2I (vehicle to infrastructure) are extremely crucial for autonomy. There is where the relevance of an upgraded, reliable and responsive network comes in. The current financial year of 2019-20 could see the rollout of 5G network in India. We currently have Internet-connected cars in the country, for example, Hyundai Venue and MG Hector. With the onset of a faster network, commercial and economical development could see breakthroughs like smart city development and enhanced driver assistance features.

“There has been significant progress as large Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are conducting trials with major service providers. In addition, test labs for specific verticals are being set up to focus on key sectors such as banking, railways, agriculture, manufacturing, health, power and more. We will see an increasing number of use cases ranging from connected and affordable healthcare, smart cities and homes, efficient and secure autonomous cars, to robotics, immersive gaming, immersive education and more,” says Aditya Chaudhuri, Managing Director and Lead – Communications, Media & Technology, Accenture India.

“For example, 5G vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V) could allow lead cars to communicate hazards to following cars, increasing reaction time and safely allowing car convoys. It could also reduce the time to find parking and help decongest roads to benefit commuters,” He further added.

Arvind Gopalakrishnan, VP & Head of Solutions, Products and Sales Engineering at Aeris Communications, explains “The basic need of digital India is ubiquitous connectivity and it cannot be successful without effective, affordable internet connection with the last mile reach. A key challenge for the automotive industry as they implement 5G core network is ensuring they have the right infrastructure enabling seamless and undisrupted high-speed connectivity and security. 5G will propel automotive from current state of on-demand information to real-time vehicle to vehicle connect to autonomous control into a full-blown 5G experience,”

“Autonomous driving or a driverless car is the next most advanced form of mobility and will generate huge amount of data which need to be responded with a less turn-around-time. According to Barclays, an autonomous car could generate 100 gigabytes of data per second, and with a response time of less than a millisecond and output of 1Gigabit, 5G will be the new definition for speed and connectivity for autonomous vehicles.

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“In the context of the Digital economy, the high-speed and low latency service will help the Government’s Digital India and Digital Village initiatives, 5G has the potential to work as a catalyst in achieving GOI’s vision of $5-trillion economy by 2025.”

“India’s telecom infrastructure would need significant capital investment to herald in 5G adoption. Technological advancements in autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, and AI will continue to push the adoption of 5G in India,” opines Sunil Mittal, EVP, and CSMO, CSS Corp.

“Flagship government programs like Digital India and Smart Cities will also necessitate 5G connectivity for its more advanced programs. 5G connectivity requires 5G ready handsets which and it will be at least a couple of years by when the general population of India will start using them, as and when the demand for an immersive mobile experience rises.”

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CSS Corp named amongst ET NOW ‘Dream Companies to Work for’ in India

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has been recognized amongst the ‘Dream Companies to Work For’ by ET Now, India’s premier broadcast channel, and part of the Times Group. CSS Corp was recognized for its strong employee-centricity along with innovation and learning-oriented culture. The awards were presented at a gala ceremony on 16th February at Taj Lands End, Mumbai.

CSS Corp was featured in the list of top 51 companies in India across all industries. CSS Corp scored well in parameters such as company vision, alignment of learning to business goals, technology and innovation, career development, and employee engagement. The company’s learning and innovation environment, customer-centricity and outcome-orientation, along with its career progression framework- ‘Reimagine’, helped propel it through the rankings. The recognition reaffirms CSS Corp’s position as one of the premier employers to work for in the IT & Software industry.

 “We are delighted to be recognized by ET NOW. As an organization, we are deeply committed to building a culture that promotes learning newer technologies and encourages a problem-solving mindset. Our vision and commitment reflect through our investments in cutting-edge technologies and learning frameworks to create a vibrant workforce that passionately embraces customer-centricity and outcome-driven critical thinking”, said Manish Tandon, CEO at CSS Corp on the recognition.

“In our knowledge economy, it is imperative that we constantly learn, unlearn and relearn in order to stay relevant and edge ahead. In this context, our employees are our pillars of strength. Steps were taken towards training workforces in next-gen technologies, problem-solving, and communication skills can pay great dividends for employees and their organizations in the long run,” he added.

“It is an honour to be part of this elite list of dream companies to work for. As a new-age digital organization, CSS Corp encourages a digital culture that fosters learning and enables our employees to think, feel, and innovate from a customer’s perspective. Our culture and technology infrastructure not only helps to bring employees more in alignment with customers’ journeys but also enables them to make context-aware decisions, focus on continuous learning and take calculated risks”, said Nishikant Nigam, EVP and Chief Delivery Officer at CSS Corp on the occasion.

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CSS Corp Wins Golden Globe Tigers 2019 awards from CMO Asia Group

CSS Corp, a new age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won ‘The Golden Globe Tigers 2019 Awards’ in the business innovation category.

The results were declared by the CMO Asia group at the Le Meridien hotel in Malaysia. CSS Corp was acknowledged for its intelligent automation capabilities, built with innovative solutions that enable IT operations to become more agile and accessible for enterprises. CSS Corp’s intelligent automation for IT operations has been designed to leverage the transformative potential of cognitive technologies to drive customer centricity, simplify businesses, and ensure top-notch service delivery and management for enterprises. By infusing intelligence into IT operations, the platform promotes the highest level of predictability and service-level optimization, providing agility, speed, and flexibility.

“We are deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award for our innovative service model in IT operations. Our cognitive solutions have been a catalyst in transforming traditional IT ecosystems into smarter hybrid frameworks, adding more value to our customers. We continue to work on empowering our customers to drive greater business agility and efficiency through context-driven IT operations”, said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

CSS Corp wins Gold in IT services at the 11th Annual 2019 Golden Bridge Awards

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology company, has won Gold in the 11th Annual 2019 Golden Bridge Awards® for its innovative network solutions.

The company was bestowed with the ‘Best Solution of the Year’ title in the IT services category. The award was presented in San Francisco on October 28, 2019, during the red-carpet awards ceremony.

CSS Corp’s innovative network solutions are designed to enable telcos to address the challenges associated with 5G installations and accelerate their 5G rollouts.

Leveraging cognitive technologies such as AI/ML, advanced analytics and intelligent automation, the solutions drive network transformation reliably and cost-effectively.

Built on their multi-vendor and multi-technology network expertise, the end-to-end solutions cover advanced network planning, NFV automation, digital quality assurance, field operations optimization, and cognitive network operations.

Developed in CSS Corp’s state-of-the-art innovation labs, the solutions enable organizations to scale up their resilience, business agility, and operational excellence.

“Building a system that is agile and intuitive with a deep focus on business operations and customer experience is indispensable today. Our digital-focused strategy and innovative network solutions have helped us to offer flexible and value-based services to our clientele, and fast-track their network transformation journeys. This award is a testament to CSS Corp’s vision to offer best-in-class solutions that leverage cognitive technologies to solve a wide range of business problems. I’m proud that our solutions have been appreciated by more than 160 esteemed jury panelists from a broad spectrum of industries around the world”, said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

“We will continue to push boundaries and explore new frontiers in bringing more cutting-edge and cost-effective network solutions for our customers to enable them to succeed”, he added.

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Towards CX 2.0

Smooth connectivity and the easy availability of digital tools these days have changed our lives to a great extent-including the ways we connect and interact with brands. Instant gratification has become the new norm in today’s world, which means if you don’t have your finger on the customers’ pulse, then chances are that your consumer will not hesitate a bit in turning his/her back on you as well. Customer-centricity, on the other hand, can get you loyalty, repeat business, profits and most importantly help you get an edge over your competitors.

A McKinsey study concluded that companies that can consistently deliver a high-quality customer experience(CX) can improve their customer satisfaction level by 33 percent while creating cost savings of around 25-30 percent. On the other hand, disruption at any given point in a customer journey could impact the overall customer experience, and could further impact the revenue side of their business.

While, it’s not difficult to assume why CX has become a key focus of businesses today, but providing a seamless, consistent, and personalized experience can be challenging and CX solution providers are looking for new innovative ways to deal with it. There’s no doubt that the adoption of omni-channel services have been able to let customers connect seamlessly with the businesses. But the challenges are not limited to technology, disparate systems, and data only. We often miss the most critical element- the humans- who are entrusted with the task of interacting with the customers. Hence, when businesses look to embrace a customer-centric culture by putting customers front and centre of their business strategy, they need to strategize their CX-related investments carefully and understand how it affects the entire ecosystem.

The good news is that things are now changing faster with exciting new innovations and developments in this realm. Gartner predicts that more than 50pc of organizations will redirect their investments towards CX innovations by 2018, as they see value in using them to improve every customer interaction.


Superior customer experience is the holy grail for organizations focused on driving sustainable growth and competitive differentiation. But, it can get a bit tricky if they fail to contextualize and align their CX investments with customer pain points and with growth opportunities. Vivian Gomes, VP & Head of Marketing, CSS Corp said, “In my view, organizations should adopt an agile and an incremental approach towards digitalizing processes involved in customer lifecycle management. This is not a big bang theory. Making the transformation towards digital enabled CX has to start with driving a strong data-driven culture in the organization. One can start with low hanging fruit and ensure the data from customer touch points is efficiently captured and leveraged across the customer journey. Organizations should create a credible mechanism to streamline data and build customer intelligence models to improve customer experience. Appropriate investments towards tools, technology and strong analytics are must to ensure a sustained transition towards the end state. This can result in sustainable growth and enable organizations to confidently increase investments in innovation in CX projects.”

Raghu Polisetty, MD-Global Digital Delivery Lead, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers said, “Challenge in establishing a financial case for customer experience investment may, however, lie in a structured and disciplined approach to implement the overarching service/ customer experience design and selecting the right combination of customer journeys curated for targeted persons, data from real-life behaviour and new technologies to change the negative interaction experience to positive, and while doing all this, not losing the sight of the long-term goal of being a modular and agile firm which can shift constantly to new technology enablers. These choices are best determined by the business strategy driving the investments and in line with the outcomes expected.”

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ETCIO Wall – CIO of the week

1, I like being a CIO because….

In todays world where technology has become an essential part of how businesses function, the CIOs role has become more multidimensional in terms of business, technology and innovation. I like this role as it allows me to work with people from multiple business functions across the organisation to innovate on new technologies and identify newer ways to create impactful business outcomes. Simply put, I view a CIO as the transformation agent who walks a tight rope between business and technology and is constantly seeking winning strategies without any fears.

2) An ‘Aha ‘ leadership moment in your professional career.

Since the CISO function also reports to me, I proposed a plan to reduce the decision-making layers in our cyber response team where end users can escalate any potential attack directly to the IT/Infosec owners. For this, we equipped our staff with cyberattack (e.g. phishing) training where they could experience simulated cyber-attacks with real-life scenarios. We also educated them on response practices. This eventually came in handy when a real phishing attack was noticed by our end user and the training that was provided kicked in. The end user reached out to our Cyber Threat response team and we were able to kill the attack in its early stages.

The decision to invest in training and improving our teams response time had paid off when a real attack took place. This reinforced my belief that some complex issues can be handled with a solution as simple as reducing response time and training. The moment I made that decision was an Aha moment for me

3) As a CIO what was the toughest decision you made?

The cultural transformation within the organisation led to some tough decisions from my end. We were engaged in revamping the firms strategic agenda which required a complete digital transformation and new age technological adoption from employees, whom I had hoped to take along during the journey as active participants. Unfortunately, not everyone in the IT function could ride the transformation wave, leading to some churn.

4) What’s the ‘next big thing’ in your industry vertical?

With technology developing every day, the next big thing is constantly transforming. For now, from a modern economic infrastructure standpoint, 5G, Cloud and Edge seem to be in focus. These technologies have opened endless possibilities to help organisations realise ideas which were not possible earlier. Similarly, artificial intelligence and machine learning have fuelled new possibilities in ambient computing. It is also worth noting that stackable technologies have the potential to supercharge the entire digitization efforts. Apart from this, I also hope that Quantum computing, though in early stages, will take us beyond supercomputers in the future.

5) One thing that IT departments should do better.

While we have developed multiple technologies and solutions, IT service should be pragmatic in using them wisely basis clear understanding of problems that are being addressed. Adoption of too many platforms and tools that work in silos will eventually be counterproductive. Rather, IT departments must innovate and invest in developing platforms that are built with independent technologies but work as a single unit. It should be collaborative and serve with a common purpose to yield maximum benefits.

Three ways to gain a competitive edge in tech-talent acquisition and retention

The need for exceptional tech talent in today’s cut-throat IT market is a no-brainer. But does that mean every organisation has the dream team in place? Well, it’s easier said than done. But even if they do source the right talent, retaining that talent is an issue that trips up talent acquisition teams of top organisations.

The mounting pressure to hire and retain talent has forced companies to redraw their recruitment campaigns and rethink their employee engagement programs—by going digital. Here’s a quick look at how organisations are going about it.

Recruiters are using social media to source niche technical skills, industry experience, and domain expertise. From hire to retire, India Inc is tapping the power of new age learning platforms that aid in recruitment, learning & development, and reskilling initiatives.

Apart from using social media, companies are adopting various digital strategies to engage and retain their new hires. They’re harnessing AI, AR, IoT, ML, and Analytics to drive employee engagement through contextual intelligence that drives learning initiatives and advances careers. For example, cutting-edge platforms offer collaborative tools to engage employees. In addition to the usual hackathons and boot camps, the platform offers university-like programs, online forums, peer-to-peer learning groups, e-learning, learning communities, facilitator-led contact classes, and courses powered by top universities and MOOC providers to help employees become more agile. Alternatively, company-wide digital skilling initiatives are also executed to up-skill and cross-skill employees across new age technologies for existing employees.

These programs offer an environment that fosters a sense of engagement, innovation and creativity. Moreover, companies save a huge amount of time when it comes to bridging the gap in project requirements and skills. By offering targeted learning modules, employees are on the fast track to skilling up for their next assignment. These benefits ultimately translate to high retention numbers and satisfaction scores.

Today, companies are also investing heavily in setting up their innovation centers of excellence and leveraging cutting edge technologies to kindle a steady stream of creative ideas across teams. Teams are spurred to contribute novel ideas in solving today’s business challenges. An innovative culture that incites employees in doing things differently.

To gain a competitive edge in tech talent acquisition, companies should deeply adapt an ‘Employee-First’ approach with employee experience as the core goal. Through means of aligning people, process and technology, they can create a unique employee experience that ensures scaling and retaining high quality tech talent.

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Why a slump in US may not be bad news for Indian IT

A possible slowdown in the US economy is unlikely to hit the growth momentum for Indian IT services companies, say analysts, because their clients in the largest market would outsource more digital technology-led services that they have built over the past couple of years by also hiring local workforce in the US.

Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, InfosysNSE -0.31 %, HCL TechnologiesNSE 0.32 % and WiproNSE 0.08 %, besides midtier firms like L&T Infotech and CSS Corp are already disrupting their business models where they look at building value through productivity and IP, moving away from the traditional cost-arbitrage model. “If it is a moderate downturn, given the digital imperative, hopefully Indian IT can ride it,” Sangeeta Gupta, senior vice-president at Nasscom, told ET. “Digital technology spend is significantly low and I think the headroom for growth is much higher… Banks and financial services companies are already thinking about what can be done to invest in these technologies to deal with such change.”

Last week, Goldman Sachs cut the US economy growth forecast for the first half of 2019 to 2% from 2.4%, saying it was still “not worried about a recession”. While the bank was optimistic of a soft landing of the US economy, a Duke University survey in December of US CFOs claimed nearly half the chief financial officers expected the country to hit a recession by end-2019. The worst-case projections included a fall in capital spending with flat hiring.

“In the last economic crisis in 2008-2009, offshore outsourcers held on fairly well initially, and made adjustments to boost revenue and profitability. Hiring continued to happen although at a reduced pace. However, towards the fag end of the recession, it was clear that IT firms were witnessing pricing pressures and slowdown in business velocity,” said Manish Tandon, chief executive of CSS Corp. He added that the industry had shown tremendous resilience in the past and reinvented itself through flexible business models.

“Hence, it might emerge as a strong partner for global organisations to wade through their economic pressures.”

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Geospatial data has brought up importance of Location and Localization – Nishikant Nigam, CSS Corp

Digitization is changing business-customer interactions, companies are focused on how to deliver seamless, uniform experiences to their customers, when and where they demand. The digitally savvy customers are now getting what they want, almost instantly. They are app natives, always connected and highly aware on how technology can empower them to fulfill their needs. Digital technology is transforming customer habits and the opportunities to align the real and the digital world has emerged significantly. To continually evolve, companies should identify data patterns and relationships and underpin the actionable value of data for better comprehension.

The data also involves location information or geospatial data which is increasingly becoming a source of value creation. Geospatial is the intersection of real and digital world; hence the quality of data is more critical, since it has contextual information. Be it personalized ad recommendations, schedule reliability, managing wait and travel times, fleet optimization, delivery reliability, or an augmented reality experience, geospatial data has brought up the importance of location and localization. Geospatial technologies are facilitating high-end locational intelligence along with IoT, Big Data and AI to build smart, inclusive customer communities and transform the way we live and work.

Localization – the new technology trend

Location and localization (the process of making services suitable for an area, region, etc.) are the key trends that will transform human life and movement in the coming years. GPS, digital maps, and satellite imagery has completely changed the paradigm of how we locate ourselves in the real world. GPS has so far leveraged 2D space locations for mobiles, vehicles, etc. Now, localization has emerged as the new technology trend which can determine 3D spatial positioning to enable autonomous movement of objects like cars, drones, robots, farm equipment, etc.

Geospatial technologies are leveraging the power of IoT and analytics to provide real-time insights for managing basic amenities such as power and streamlining postal operations. Location data combined with market intelligence, demographics, and operational data can be used to build marketing networks, create telecom infrastructure, or schedule healthcare visits in smart cities. The big picture of Geospatial contains digital content, services and applications with location as the core, also including data and intelligence to provide insights. It also helps us understand real-world behaviors, exploring new frontiers – be it drone development or building smarter cities.

Integrating geospatial for competitive advantage

CSS CORP offers location and localization solutions ranging from data sourcing, processing, curation, validation and management to customized applications for analytics, integration, and visualization.

We realize that geospatial data and technology has enabled and exemplified a new wave of value creation and we are making the right moves by integrating geospatial with our award-winning machine learning capabilities to create a significant competitive advantage.

We have differentiated expertise and offer industry-specific geospatial solutions. These include telecom, utilities and navigation data enablement services. For telecom sector, we offer network design services leveraging 3D line of sight and penetration analysis for RF and wireless networks, complete fiber management systems with the right-of-way, assets, and geo-tagging of assets, analytical solutions that allow you to target your network investments toward the highest-growth areas.

In the utilities domain, we implement geospatial + IoT sensors to monitor the performance of infrastructure such as electric, water, sewer, or gas lines, prevention of excavation damage by enabling easy access to information about buried utilities, Infer high velocity data streams and perform real-time integration with geospatial information to generate insights, analyze, visualize, and monitor multi-dimensional, layered data sets comprising of land features, networks and assets and high velocity sensor data streams. Navigation data enablement include data acquisition from photography or LiDAR, 2d and 3d data processing and curation services, ML-based conflation and accuracy improvement & AI enabled automated verification.

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