Top tech trends that business can’t look away from in 2022

Welcome to 2022. No one knows what the future has in its store. But every new year brings new possibilities with it- a new ray of hope. In the December issue 2021, PCQuest put together a technology wishlist for 2022 encompassing the A to Z of future technology trends. This article talks about enterprise technology trends (Cloud, AI, Analytics, Blockchain, Automation, Web 3.0, Security) and some interesting and emerging industry-wise tech trends (RetailTech, ManufacturingTech, AutomotiveTech, AdTech, EdTech, HealthTech, FinTech, and more).

Rahul Joshi, CTO at CSS Corp, talks about the significant role AI plays in our daily lives and why it’s vital to follow ethical AI and eliminate biases. He also highlights how there is a huge demand for responsible AI solutions in the market.


Talent leaders must invest in future-proofing their workplaces: CSS Corp’s TA head

Technology companies must invest in having a rock-solid talent hiring, upskilling, and retaining strategy in place in the hybrid era of work, says Thendral Rajendran, vice president and regional head – TA, CSS Corp.

The competitive labour market, high rate of resignation, and the shortage of skilled talent are some of the challenges facing businesses globally. Companies are working hard to make the new remote and on-site mix function well in the post-pandemic environment. Thendral Rajendran, vice president and regional head – TA, CSS Corp., asserts that to succeed through times of transition and uncertainty, leaders must establish a solid culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion and is receptive to employee feedback. Programmes and initiatives that guarantee employee career advancement, as well as their physical and mental health, are essential. Thendral discusses the hybrid work paradigm, recruiting trends, and skills-based hiring in an interview with us.

Thendral Rajendran is vice president and regional head – TA, CSS Corp. Thendral has over 19 years of experience across talent acquisition, HR business partner, talent management, HR operations, engagement and retention. Her talent acquisition expertise extends over a decade with Accenture and Sutherland.


Tech trends that will hold the edge in 2023

There are multiple megatrends that futurists cite which will influence and impact businesses, processes, and workplaces across the board in 2023 and ahead. People Matters gathers some top tech trends across various sectors.

With technology continuing to advance amid – and to surmount the challenges of – the pandemic, there are multiple megatrends that futurists cite which will influence and impact businesses, processes, and workplaces across the board in 2023 and ahead. People Matters gathers some top tech trends across various sectors.

As we enter 2023 under the shadow of global economic uncertainty, the common theme across enterprises globally is the stress on cost reduction and increased productivity. Experts say this will come on the back of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud adoption.

Trends that will shape cloud computing in 2023

There’s no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionised the way businesses operate. From making it possible for employees to work remotely, allowing flexible hours, to making business communication and collaboration a lot easier, while also amplifying the company’s growth by modernising operations and expanding IT capabilities – cloud computing has given us all.

Faiz Shakir, Managing Director – Sales, Nutanix India & SAARC Nutanix says as the dynamic macroeconomic scenario continues to strongly influence cloud economics, the year 2023 is expected to be an eventful year for the technology sector – and primarily for the cloud business.

“New decision-making around applications and their infrastructure will take precedence as companies begin to reconsider their exposure to the cost economics of a single cloud provider or a public cloud only strategy owing to the limited ability to move applications and data between clouds or to on-prem locations. Thus, portability will emerge as an important multi-cloud value as enterprises look to characterise their apps and data for optimal location in terms of performance, sovereignty, and of course, cost,” he says.

Shakir adds that enterprises will also prioritise consolidation of developer environments due to their potential to run development environments where they make the most sense for the business while having the flexibility to pivot and move without fear of lock-in to a single infrastructure provider.

“In addition to this, untethered edge operating models will become more prevalent as applications will be expected to run all the time. Furthermore, sustainably will also emerge as a deciding factor in IT investments, globally, as companies start placing greater emphasis on how technology can lower energy costs and enable the achievement of sustainability mandates.”

Rahul Joshi, CTO at Movate (formerly CSS Corp) shares his list of trends for cloud computing in 2023 and ahead.

Investment in cloud security and resilience: The industry will keep spending on cyber security and building resilience against everything from data loss to the impact of a pandemic on global business in the coming years. At Movate, we have made investments in our Contelli platform which offers great cloud security and resilience.

Multi-cloud to become popular strategy: In 2023, most businesses will start leveraging the advantages of diversifying their services to different cloud providers taking a multi-cloud approach. This approach offers several benefits, including improved flexibility and security with no vendor lock-in.

Low-code and no-code cloud services: We can expect continued innovation in the field of hyper-scale cloud services. Low-code and no-code solutions are becoming available for building AI-powered applications for companies wanting to leverage AI/ML without getting into the complex coding job. Many of these services are provided via the cloud, i.e., people can access them “as-a-service”. This trend will pick up in the upcoming years.

Leveraging the efficiency of the cloud to meet sustainability goals: Today, sustainability is the most critical criterion in IT buying decisions. Organisations will continue to shift towards sustainable efficiencies by leveraging software and cloud-based infrastructures.

Innovation and consolidation in cloud gaming: We all enjoy binge-watching and listening to music. Thanks to the cloud that has brought us streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, etc., revolutionising the way we consume content today. Although, streaming video gaming is taking a little longer to gain a foothold as it requires higher bandwidth than music or videos. With the ongoing rollout of 5G and other ultra-fast networking technologies, 2023 could be the year cloud gaming will impact.

AI/ ML developments to follow in 2023

Out of all the technologies that have been introduced over the last few years, AI has proven to be one of the biggest buzzwords in the IT industry. Every year, new use cases are being discovered and are becoming feasible with advances in AI and efficient hardware.

Joshi shares a few examples that can help companies to be more efficient in leveraging AI.

Advanced cybersecurity: AI and ML can be used to enforce best cybersecurity practices, reduce attack surfaces, and track malicious activity proactively. More and more companies will start to invest in building AI systems that can analyse large volumes of data, including malicious code, malware, and code anomalies, to help cybersecurity teams identify potential threats.

Efficiency in IT operations: As machine data explodes, businesses are in a race to find value in their data and stay competitive. However, metadata initiatives are failing, and data discovery and retrieval are becoming challenging. This paves the way for the Growth of AI-as-a-Service. The emergence of the industrial internet and the integration of complex physical machines with networked sensors and software have forced these two areas to work together to improve resiliency, availability, and cybersecurity. Observability and controllability are areas of focus as organisations leverage AIOPs and data initiatives for enhanced correlation with increased adoption of SRE, DevOps, APM and other technologies.

Customer service excellence: Manikandan Thangarathnam, Senior Director – Platform Engineering, Uber feels 2023 will witness an increased reliance on machine learning and artificial intelligence in every aspect of providing a personalised customer experience and building intuitive systems designed to work in real-time. Applications of artificial intelligence will transcend the realm of core technology companies, and trickle into practically every business process across industries.

Hari Vasudev, SVP – Retail Tech Platforms and Country Head, Walmart Global Tech says it is an exciting time for the retail tech industry.

Recent years have blurred the lines between digital and physical, and technology will play a pivotal role in serving customers when, where, and how they want.

“Agility will be key. Adopting a ‘Four-in-a-box’ model that brings together technology, product, design, and operations will be crucial to innovate with speed and constantly evolve products and services to better serve customers. The coming times will also witness shopping experiences that are more personalised, inclusive, and accessible.

Predictive technology, leveraging AI and ML, will be vital to understand customer preferences more deeply and cater to their unique needs. AR/VR will be a game changer in bringing personalised experiences, such as virtual try-ons for apparel, eyewear, or even scanning shelves to find items that match one’s lifestyle and diet. Over a period of time, voice technology will emerge as a natural part of one’s shopping experience and an important tool for retailers to reduce customer friction,” Vasudev adds.

Saurabh Saxena, Intuit India Site Leader & VP, Product Development says although AI has been the driving force behind accelerated business transformation, it will continue to be foundational and indispensable in 2023.

“We’re already witnessing how AI and powerful data capabilities are redefining the security models and capabilities for companies,” he says.

This is borne out by a Forrester report which states that 46% of data and analytics business and technology decision-makers seek out partners to implement AI that is critical to the business.

Saxena says security practitioners and the industry as a whole will have much better tools and much faster information at their disposal, and they should be able to isolate security risks with much greater precision.

Meanwhile, the Fintech market will experience a massive and fundamental change due to various factors, including the advent of Web3 and huge technology acquisitions that most believe will open up the Internet.Web3 will provide more control for users – digital ownership and a distributed internet based on standards that will fundamentally affect Fintech by speeding decentralisation.

“In 2023, we can anticipate the pioneers to keep laying the foundation that might one day make decentralised virtual environments a reality. We’re going to experience fewer building blocks in Fintech, and these building blocks will be critical for companies and for those using embedded finance. We’ll see superhighways that become the consumer-trusted data and information connection between companies,” he adds.


Read More

7 Unmissable Trends Shaping CX In 2022

A tumultuous, calamitous, and unpredictable year. That was 2021. It was a year in which all of us became really familiar with a bit of Greek as names such as Delta and Omicron made their way into our lives. In 2020, shaken by the continued effects of the pandemic, businesses learned to do things differently. In 2021, businesses thought they had covered most of their bases when it comes to customer experiences, but there’s a lot to be done still. Any long-term CX strategy must have as its nucleus proactive support models, digital-first, instant customer gratification experiences, and complete attention to customer security and privacy.

Given what 2020 and 2021 gave us, how do we look forward to this year? Here are what I believe will be the major predictors for customer experience in 2022:

  • Over half of pandemic-era services will become the new normal

It may not look it right now, given the relentless surge of a mutated virus, but this pandemic will end at some point. Things will change. Its effect on our lives will reduce. But what I don’t expect to change will be the kind of disruption in technology this pandemic brought about. In CX, especially, post-pandemic consumers will demand the same digital and offline experiences offered to them right now. 

I would go a step further and say those expectations will only increase. Disruption will gain momentum. A Forrester report from August 2021 shows that 57% of consumers believed companies should have learned how to handle pandemic-related disruption. Two years into this pandemic, what have businesses really learned? From online grocery shopping to telehealth to ed-tech to augmented reality experiences, customer experiences will continue to evolve.

We are already seeing many new ‘normals.’

2022 will show us just how normal the new normal will be. 

  • EX practices could influence two-fifths of consumers’ purchase decisions

I expect 2022 to be the year of EX transformation. Employee well-being will become a business-critical imperative. This means that EX transformation would be driven by senior leadership and not just the HR teams. 

As businesses understand this, they will factor ethical responsibility and EX into their customer journeys. Forrester data expects 15% of enterprises to look closely at employee psychology and experience this year.

Human-centric tech transformation that merges CX and EX can result in a 3%-5% gain in productivity. We always knew that EX is key to delivering a great customer experience or CX. But this year will show just how important it is to amplify EX to realize transformative change for customers. Identity, data analytics, security, and collaborative tools that accelerate the ease of remote work will lay the groundwork for improving employee experience. Empathy will emerge as a key organizational capability this year. If you haven’t started building more empathy into your employee processes and interactions, now is the time to bridge that gap.

  • ‘Anywhere X’ leaders will enjoy a steep revenue advantage

It’s not just WFH, but WFA – work-from-anywhere. Leaders will deploy a virtual-first and remote-first architecture for the ‘anywhere work’ and ‘anywhere commerce’ world. 

I expect technology to revolve around offering mobility-first experiences – and customers will be willing to pay more for the kind of products or services that enable that experience. Businesses will have to focus on delivering high-quality customer experiences on the go rather than through physical touchpoints, and the degree to which they can pull this off will determine the revenue they derive. 

Gartner estimates that by 2023, 75% of organizations that exploit distributed enterprise benefits will realize revenue growth 25% faster than competitors.

  • Insights-led companies will increase their chances to beat the competition by three times

Brands collecting zero-party data will double – Forrester

There’s a wealth of data now available. So much so that companies that extract insights from this data should be looking to generate better customer experiences. Brands will close that experience gap with data-driven insights of the customer. 

Analytics was always descriptive, letting you know what has already happened. But when companies invest in data insights, they will start to realize that data can be predictive, telling you what will happen next. I see 2022 being the year when businesses will start using predictive data insights to connect at a deeper level with customers, anticipate their pain points and behaviors, and identify opportunities in real-time. Would the next stage be prescriptive analytics, where organizations get recommendations on what to do next? Yes. We are on that path, already.

But transitioning data into insight and action will not be an overnight process. It will require changing mindsets, especially from CX leaders who would need to recognize that data and technology are their biggest strengths. It will also require breaking silos and building cross-functional teams. When you consider this from an organizational perspective, you would require new roles such as Chief Data Officers who can share insights across different regions and departments for comprehensive action. 

  • Customer skepticism around data will threaten targeting and propel digital trust programs

One-quarter of US consumers use privacy and security tools to prevent firms from tracking their online activity – Forrester 

Digital experiences are becoming increasingly complex, with almost 62% of customers preferring personalized products and services. Data is the key to providing that personalization. Yet, companies also realize now that people want more privacy and control of their data. As our digital identity continues to grow, decentralized digital identity or DDID will reshape and reimagine the way brands interact with customers. Forrester expects 10% of US firms to turn their attention to privacy and consent journeys this year.

The expected deprecation of third-party cookies will bring challenges in providing the personalization customers seek. The focus, therefore, will be on businesses that can capture unique data at scale and ensure a seamless flow of customer insights at all levels of the organization. Companies will also need to build their own ecosystems to collect data directly from customers rather than third-party sources. Are we going to see a zero-party data world this year? Yes. Very much so. 

  • ESG values will dictate purchase behaviors in 2022, and brands will be forced to listen

Let’s remember that acronym. ESG or environmental, social, and governance issues are everywhere. You would have heard a lot about ESG in 2021. ESG will be even more at the forefront this year. 

Brands that have neglected their ESG values have learned it the hard way. Whether it’s diversity commitments or eco-packaging, customers want to see brands deliver on their promises. This means that expectations on brands will be higher: they should proactively create the best ESG practices rather than react and respond. 

Will customers pay more for healthier, more socially conscious, and sustainable products and services? Yes, I believe they will. 

“I will discontinue my relationship with companies that treat the environment, employees, or the community in which they operate poorly.”

76% Consumers. PwC Consumer Intelligence Series June 2, 2021

That’s a telling message if there ever was one. Meet the 2022 customer: The one who drives change through their purchase decisions. 

Brands must deliver on agility, sustainability, and commitment more than ever before. Or face the brunt. 

  • Multitrillion-dollar Metaverse market will beckon a new age of AI

20% of enterprises will use explainable AI to debias their models and get transformational insights – Forrester

The Metaverse exploded into popular consciousness after Facebook rebranded itself as Meta. Immersive AI experiences are the future. 

Why would Metaverse be so attractive for businesses? Because brands can use the Metaverse, especially given together with VR/AR to deliver new, enriching, and interesting customer experiences over virtual platforms.

Going by the massive upsurge in data-led insights, I expect generative or creative AI to be at the forefront of innovation, enabling businesses to provide personalized services without violating privacy norms. Gartner’s research points to an increased acceleration in the use of generative AI, stating that by 2025, this would account for 10% of all data produced, a dramatic surge from the less than 1% today. Large companies will introduce bias bounties to improve their AI models and identify biases in the algorithms. We already saw one example of that in 2021 when Twitter announced its first bias bounty challenge and said that “this is the first step of many that need to come.” 

As we wait to see what this year unfolds, delivering positive CX experiences will be the catalyst for continuing digital business transformation despite the continuing volatility. 2022 will be the year for businesses that recognize that they must meet their customers where they are. 

We are at a digital tipping point. The future of CX is now. And it’s brimming with promise. 


Dismissing the dismisser: A new trend might turn the tables in the world of work

How the companies that went about downsizing during the pandemic can impact their current attrition rates massively. There are several reports that show how employees are looking to quit their jobs and sail into other ships. Can we call it a revenge resignation then? Maybe!

Layoffs during the pandemic were a part of the big prime-time stories. It is still there! Startups and established Unicorns are sacking their employees like there’s no tomorrow. The whole of India Inc already was a part of a big layoff season during the pandemic. Even legacy firms were a part of it! However, soon the tables might turn.

There are several reports that show how employees are looking to quit their jobs and sail into other ships. Can we call it a revenge resignation then? Maybe! Take an example: Better.com fired more than 1,000 of its employees abruptly one day. Post this incident, the company’s CEO, Vishal Garg got trolled hugely by the netizens. Hence, Garg took a long leave from his company. It looked like he disappeared. But one fine day, he returned, and his return wasn’t accepted wholeheartedly by the employees. Result: There was a spiral effect in the company, causing plenty of resignations.

This can be termed Revenge Resignation! Prasanth Nair, Chief HR Advisor, TVS Capital Funds, tweeted, and we quote, “Came across a term today “Revenge resignation”. Got the mention from someone who said his resignation is his response to the way his organisation sacked his colleagues during the pandemic.”

However, Anish Philip, Chief People Officer, CSS Corp, believes that trends like this are short-lived, and an empathetic HR approach can help organizations thrive in circumstances such as these. He adds, “The business reasons and economic considerations backing up this trend are beyond HR leaders’ control. Revenge resignation seems to have emerged as a ripple effect of the mass layoffs that we witnessed in the last couple of years.”


Artificial intelligence: Axiomatic division of novel technologies

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have lately been radically improved and are now being employed in almost every application domain to develop automated or semi-automated systems. To ease greater human acceptability of these systems, explainable artificial intelligence has experienced significant growth over the last couple of years with the development of vastly accurate models.

Rahul Joshi, CTO, CSS Corp, stated, “AI is enhancing millions of lives and is changing how businesses work in myriad ways. According to Forrester, one in five organizations will double-down on “AI inside” to boost real-time readiness. AI inside will be embedded at the core of everything from architecture to operations — to bridge the business-to-customer divide. The intelligent process automation market is expected to grow to $21.7 billion at a CAGR of 12.4% from 2021 to 2028, increasing the proliferation of AI inside. Similarly, in 2022, we will witness a high demand for responsible AI solutions in the market. Responsible AI solutions offer a range of capabilities that help companies turn AI principles such as fairness and transparency into consistent practices.

If we look at the industry today, most tech or non-tech organizations generate consumer benefits and business value by leveraging 70 to 80% AI-led operations and creating AI-infused products and applications. While AI can be a helpful tool to increase productivity and reduce the need for people to perform repetitive tasks, it can also give rise to a host of significant unintended (or maliciously intended) consequences for individuals, organizations, and society. For instance, there are well-known examples where the algorithms cause problems by replicating the (often unconscious) biases of the developers/programmers who built them. So, it’s crucial to ensure that comprehensive datasets are used. Most organizations have bias bounties in place, and this trend will run rampant in the coming years.

To ensure that no company is marred with data or AI ethics enrage that can impact its reputation and revenue, it’s imperative to build an ethical & responsible AI. Some best practices to navigate dilemmas concerning AI are inculcating transparency, ethical data mining, inclusivity, accountability, and explainability.

Today, companies that look at AI as a strategic imperative will go a long way. At CSS Corp, we have started to emphasize the importance of data and AI ethics in the past few years, as we understand that AI is here to stay whether we’re ready or not.”


The areas where HR tech can’t be much helpful

HR tech is revolutionising the human resource management. But it’s not a panacea that will solve every problem. We ask HR professionals which functions have to remain human-centric.

HR tech has emerged as a category in itself in the technology sector. New HR technologies, especially automation, are revolutionising the HR sector. However, not every HR function can be automated for the same or better performance. There are several areas in HR where technology will not be much useful.

According to a KPMG report, five functions in the HR service value chain can’t be automated at all. These are: employee relations, change management, organisational effectiveness, people performance and whole system architecture. ETHRWorld interacted with HR leaders to understand the role of tech in HR.

There aren’t any second thoughts for Anish Philip, Chief People Officer, CSS Corp, on how technology is an enabler in providing HR leaders and professionals with a better, faster way to amplify HR functions.

But Philip says that it is important to understand that technology is just an enabler. What is needed for transformation is a mindset shift. Technology is incidental and will keep complementing human efforts. Ever since the pandemic forced many organisations to automate and digitise their processes, the ‘human’ element has been overshadowed by the increased adoption of new-age tools and accelerated digitization process, he says.

Philip points out that organisations must invest in employees’ holistic wellbeing to create a healthier workforce, a stronger culture, and better employee engagement. Employees are likely to stick around when they are provided with a safe and empathetic environment where they can voice their opinions freely.

CSS Corp follows the Hi-Tech and Hi-Touch approach to strike the balance between technology and people. The company organises frequent virtual leadership townhalls, assistance programmes, and counselling sessions to keep the employees engaged.

“Also, to ensure that all the employee voices are heard and acknowledged, we have regular face-to-face HR sessions and an option to write directly to the CPO. We also conduct frequent time-outs for different teams and business units to ensure that they are rejuvenated and don’t lose that human connection,” Philip adds.


How an HR Head approaches challenges with an engineering bent of mind

A lightning kid as a child, Viswanathan grew up into a problem-solving engineer who could smoothly transform into a management guru as well.

Being an Engineer for more than a couple of decades, Satyanarayanan Visvanathan has shifted into management profile for his passion for leading and doing bigger things. It’s the 33rd year of Visvanathan in the industry and at present he is Senior Vice President, Head of HR – Global and Head of Corporate Quality at CSS Corp. And, he prefers to be called as Satya!

Quoting a definition about an engineer from a recent book he read on Mark Zuckerberg , Visvanathan pointed out, an engineer is somebody who looks at everything as a problem to be solved. He symbolises both Engineering and Management as either side of a bank. And, equates the career shift to a swan that swims comfortably both ways.


Disrupting the CX contact center experience with AI-powered smart routing

How many times have you called customer support and received a satisfactory resolution in less than a minute? 

Calling customer support can be a frustrating experience for most of us. True, things have evolved from those days when you were put on hold for prolonged periods while listening to piped Mozart or Beethoven. And IVR menus are more intelligently driven these days. Yet, calling a contact center is just not something we look forward to. And that’s because you know you must spend a lot of time explaining your problem or struggle with finding the right agent. And this is after you have navigated past the chatbot loop and IVR menus in the first place!

In today’s digital era, the contact center remains the pillar of human connection between a customer and a brand. And these connections matter now more than ever. In an increasingly competitive landscape, loyalty to a brand is often driven by great CX. Yes, product matters. Price matters. But trust me, service is equally important. Experience is everything. As a user, we crave highly integrated contact center experiences.

Yet, brands find it challenging to deliver seamless, integrated CX experiences. 

And often, that’s because customers aren’t connected to the right agent. When every customer interaction is personalized and routed to the best agent, you create better experiences and optimize your contact center KPIs. Contact centers try hard, but they don’t always succeed in this. 

But we are closer now to realizing that because that sort of personalized experience is possible through predictive routing. Highly customer-obsessed companies are increasingly putting personalization at the center of their CX strategies—hyper-personalization matters. When you assess the personality type of a customer right at the beginning of a call, you are laying the foundation for a great CX journey. 

Think about it. A typical customer contact center has agents with different personalities. Customers come with their own unique traits and businesses. No two agents are the same. And no two customers are the same either. The question is: How can you capitalize on these different personalities to drive consistent, measurable improvements? – With AI-powered smart routing. 

Personalize customer experience with AI-powered smart routing

AI can be a valuable tool for customer service management and personalization challenges” – McKinsey, Driving Impact at Scale from Automation and AI, Feb 2019

These days, I see many companies investing in AI not for immediate return but for long-term digital transformation. 

These are companies that recognize AI’s ability to improve their contact center performance. We have already seen many applications of AI in the CX space, whether through AI-enabled conversational assistants or AI-powered human agents. But what I see as being of immense promise is AI-driven smart routing or predictive call routing. 

Predictive behavioral call routing isn’t new, of course. It has been around since 2014. And contact centers have, for decades, been using skills-based routing – pairing an agent with the right skills for the type of assistance the customer requires. But AI improves on this considerably, using behavioral algorithms gathered from thousands of data points to match callers with specific personality traits to those agents with those traits. Call it sophisticated customer-agent matchmaking in finding your contact center soulmate!

When contact centers use the data capabilities of AI to match customers with the agents that match their personalities, values, and behaviors, they are immediately creating deeper connections. Such intelligent pairing creates better relationships. 

And better relationships mean a happier customer. We know what a happy customer means to a business! AI-powered smart routing also does more – it provides agents with context. With this context, a customer does not have to re-explain their problem because historical data shows the customer’s previous interactions. Predictive analytics determines, based on patterns and usage, what the problem may be. With this context, you also understand customer intent and emotion. The result?

  • Improvements in sales rates
  • Reduced costs through time optimization
  • Improved operational efficiency 
  • Greater customer retention
  • More conversions
  • Reduced call times

AI-driven routing also ensures that the model learns from each interaction, improving and optimizing customer experience each time. This is something that we at CSS Corp have also been using through the AI-powered CSS EDISON® Routing Manager and we’ve found significant improvements in first contact resolution (FCR) rates and higher customer satisfaction scores. 

The CX space has been ripe for disruption for a while now. AI-driven predictive routing is that disruption. This decade is the decade of the customer. Seamless, hyper-personalized experiences across all channels will make all the difference to the customer’s experience in a post-pandemic landscape. We are only just getting started on this journey. 


Entering and staying resilient in an innovating industry: Women tech leaders on opportunities in AI, ML sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have seen immense growth in the last decade, and women tech leaders say the sector has a lot for women if they seize the opportunity.

It is critical that girls receive the education they deserve and are aware of the opportunities available in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

That is the goal of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, observed on February 11, which strives to highlight and educate people about the importance of women in science, not only as beneficiaries but also as change agents, especially in light of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals.

Previously, women were not sure about career growth in the STEM industries for myriad reasons – family support, work-life balance, and most importantly, the confidence to lead and achieve professional success. Now, this situation is changing, thanks to more and more companies evolving to provide flexible working conditions, introducing supportive and career-defining policies and initiatives, and building a cultural foundation where every employee can bring their whole self to work.

People Matters spoke to women tech leaders in the industry about the opportunities that exist for women in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) which has seen immense growth in the last decade.

Evolving AI & ML Space

Significant technological advances and innovation over the past decade have undoubtedly changed the way people live, work, and interact with each other. However, a lot more than just technology has evolved over the last two years due to the pandemic.

The pandemic era has forced organisations to move into an innovation mindset and have disrupted long-lasting, tested, and preferred business models for most organisations, while increasing the technology adoption rate by almost 5X.

One of the technologies that has gained popularity in recent years and seems to have profound future implications is AI.

“Today, most organisations generate consumer benefits and business value by leveraging 70 to 80% AI-led operations and creating AI-infused products and applications. Businesses are now reimagining their operations via a human-AI collaboration,” says Saraswati Kadel, Associate Director, CSS Corp Innovation Labs.

“The AI space has seen immense growth in the last decade – which is also the span of my career in the industry. When I first began, AI was just a research field surrounded by buzz from academia and select quarters of industry. I was always intrigued by AI and experiencing its growth and implementation across domains has been exhilarating,” adds Shraddha Surana, global data community lead, lead data scientist at Thoughtworks.

She says that today, AI concepts are extensively accessible via online courses that increase awareness and build the emerging tech’s global community.

“Take for instance, the boom in Artificial Neural Networks (or Deep Learning). Factors contributing to AI’s explosion include an increase in compute power, technological development, open-source contributions and an awareness of AI’s impact on social and economic life,” she adds.

What women in tech contribute to the sector?

Industry leaders say the tech industry is fast-paced and women have definitely brought empathy and diverse thought to the work culture, where there is a form of realism in how they view and work with other people.

“In my career, I have had the opportunity to witness women around me grow to be extraordinarily confident, improving their craft, and having a deep understanding of business. I’ve seen them take bold steps, and get out of their comfort zone, network with peers, and experiment to deliver awesome results for customers, without the fear of being wrong,” says Radhika Kannan, staff technical program manager, Intuit AI.

“Intuit is leading by example with internal communities (TechWomen@Intuit  and Intuit Women Network) and tech programmes focused on apprenticeship, mentorship and coaching, resources and tools for continuous learning, returnship, and through initiatives aimed at increasing the number of girls interested in technology at an early age, making sure female representation continues to grow within the industry,” she adds.

Opportunities in AI and ML in the next 5-10 years

In today’s world, AI and ML capabilities are in high demand across industries. From robots cleaning the house, serving at restaurants, chatbots, to self-driving cars, these applications of artificial intelligence can be seen in our day-to-day lives, and they are only set to increase.

These emerging technologies have also opened up doors to ample AI career opportunities.

“We are already witnessing an increased demand for data engineers, research scientists, AI engineers, AI data analysts, Business Intelligence developers and so on,” says Kadel of CSS Corp.

A major AI-area of interest has been Machine Learning (ML), thanks to its success in various fields.

Surana expects to see more focus and development in the areas of AI that help address the limitations of ML and Deep Learning – along the lines of explainability, robustness, and small data.

“We are seeing some traction with few-shot learning and meta learning. There is also a growing focus on data governance that emphasises on the identification of biases in models – especially those that will drastically impact people. This makes areas like reasoning and explainability that much more important in the near future,” she adds.

Kannan believes the next decade will see more opportunities for machine learning engineers, cloud architects, business intelligence developers, and data engineers.  “At Intuit, we are on the lookout for top talent, with capabilities in artificial intelligence/machine learning, data science, cloud, open source, and natural language understanding (NLU),” she adds.

However, with the adoption of new tech, issues related to privacy and data transparency continue to be a challenge.

Shephali Sharma, associate vice president – IT transformation services, and CRM, Birlasoft says to mitigate any ethical complications and risks related to this, the role of an ethics leader for new-age technologies will be in demand, with increased ethical business practices being sacrosanct.

How to stay resilient in a fast-paced tech industry?

In today’s digital world, new technologies and business use-cases are being developed all the time, and businesses are looking for ways to incorporate emerging technologies into their operations.

Kadel says to stay resilient, it is imperative to have an adaptive and flexible attitude, both at the personal level and at the professional level.

“Businesses were forced to move to a work from home model overnight. I am happy to share that CSS Corp was one of the first IT services companies to move to a 100% WFH model. While the organisation was supportive, I have also had to make adjustments to my day-to-day schedule. Over time, I have worked out the most appropriate work model that balances out my personal and professional commitments,” she says.

To keep pace with such fast-paced development, what has worked for Surana of Thoughtworks is nurturing strong core fundamentals and deep diving into the fundamentals of new algorithms. “Once the fundamentals are clear, I find any new algorithm much easier to grasp, understand and use,” she says.


CSS Corp is now Movate

Submit Enquiry
close slider