“Digital is the new normal,” says Nishikant Nigam, EVP & Chief Delivery Officer, CSS Corp. “Digital is prompting organizations across industries to reimagine their customer engagement strategies for better business success and outcomes. To survive in this digital age, companies must view digital as an opportunity, rather than as a threat Instead of fearing away from digital transformation, embracing it will help one evolve. Companies must invest in advanced data analytics solutions that aggregates customer interaction data from various touchpoints, converts that into recognizable patterns and recommends actionable insights resulting in faster issue resolution”.
For many workers, their homes have become their offices and all enterprise applications are now accessed remotely, driving IT companies across India to face up to an unprecedented level of cloud adoption.
Cloud adoption in enterprises has hit new heights during the pandemic as it has become the catalyst for digital transformation. Many organizations have moved towards remote working in response to COVID-19, making the cloud an immediate priority rather than a future project. That’s led to a need for internal reskilling and upskilling of teams. Cloud has enabled IT staff to be frontline supporters as it eliminates the complexities of a hardware-based IT infrastructure.
ComputerWorld takes a look at the cloud skills in demand across India, and how IT/ITes companies are going about reskilling and upskilling the workforce.
Cloud skills in demand
Some businesses are looking for cloud expertise in a narrow field; others want it across the board. We took a small but representative sample of what’s hot at tech companies operating in India.
India’s highest paying tech jobs and the skills that rake in the big bucks
For Sandeep Soni at data protection service provider Clumio, the needs are technical. Soni, the GM and VP of Engineering for the company’s Indian operations based in Bengaluru, says a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in cloud development and serverless applications is the most important skill for a developer these days.
There’s a big difference between database programming for the cloud and on-premises, he says: “Engineers need to have cloud automation skills to build, test, deploy, and manage especially when there are rapid releases. Devops is another important skill that is needed. A good cloud developer needs to enable a smooth running of a software (in the cloud) for operations.”
At business process management specialist Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS), CIO Natarajan Radhakrishnan is looking for cloud skills across the board. The company is in the business of helping its customers migrate to the cloud, provide managed services, and also develop cloud-native applications, he says: “For us, the most sought-after cloud skills are sales, migration, application development, and administrative skills.”
Meanwhile, at software consultancy ThoughtWorks, capability development lead Jaydeep Chakrabarty says the latest technology trend becomes the new skill shortage for any organization. Currently, he sees the most in-demand cloud skills as cloud security, serverless architecture such as Google Cloud Platform or AWS, and ML and AI in the cloud.
Automation skills are among those in demand at CSS Corp., according to Phanikishore Burre, SVP and delivery head for network, cloud, infrastructure and security services. He sees a need for cloud skills in a number of roles, including administrator, devops, and security. Hands-on experience on Linux and Windows is important, he says, as are coding chops in Python, knowledge of automation platforms such as Ansible or Jenkins, and familiarity with Kubernetes and other container technologies, databases, and serverless and multi-cloud computing.
With the skill shortage becoming a major concern, companies are taking necessary measures to address such situations and helping employees to reskill and upskill.
The market has evolved over the decade making companies embrace technological advancements. However, the pandemic caused companies to shift from office life to remote working overnight. This is not the only change that we witnessed amid the pandemic.
Companies switched to the cloud model, started to work with Artificial Intelligence technology, and developed solutions for their clientele to survive the times. This increased the demand for skilled professionals in the market that made companies face the biggest challenge – skills shortage or skill gap.
Commenting on such a situation, Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, Senior Vice President, Head of HR (Global) and Corporate Quality, CSS Corp said, “With almost 18 months into the pandemic, we are already witnessing a paradigm shift in the way businesses operate. The pandemic has resulted in a greater demand for specialized skill sets to help enterprises evolve along with today’s myriad technological advancements.”
The employees were so comfortable in their skins that they stuck to a single technology or skillset without considering to upskill or upgrade themselves. Pandemic made employees and companies address it and work towards it to ensure that it can change.
To stay relevant in the market, the companies started to offer skilling programmes and employees also started to get courses or certifications to increase their chance of employment.
“As enterprises are accelerating their digital transformation journey, leaders have realised that providing current employees with regular opportunities to improve their existing skills and learn new ones is critical to business resilience,” said Smitha Hemmigae, Head of Marketing, ANSR.
Hemmigae added, “As part of their upskilling and reskilling efforts, tech companies are training engineers to become full-stack developers and attain skills in modern development technologies such as AngularJS and Python. This will not only help employees develop a great career path thus reducing attrition, but also keep the business competitive and forward-thinking.”
The company has grown its workforce by 2.5 times in the last two-and-a-half years in Costa Rica. It plans to add an additional 500 employees in the next one year to cater to the rising demand from global clients for multilingual tech support capabilities, especially in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German.
CSS Corp remains committed to its global expansion strategy to address growing business needs while enhancing its nearshore capabilities. Costa Rica has been a strong growth engine for the company for delivering world-class services to global hi-tech clients. The services span across the sales and post-sales lifecycle for top enterprise and B2C brands. They include omnichannel sales and marketing support, product development and deployment, technical support, customer success, billing, renewals, and advanced infrastructure and application support.
Costa Rica’s rich and diverse talent pool, its robust infrastructure and favorable time zone make it an ideal nearshore outsourcing destination for CSS Corp’s North America and EU-based clients. With three established centers in the Greater Metropolitan Area, CSS Corp is now looking to open its fourth state-of-the-art facility to accommodate its growing headcount in the country.
The company’s delivery centers are located in hi-tech zones, with convenient access from the airport, and are surrounded by a serene environment, making them ideal locations to work and to co-innovate with customers effectively.
Sunil Mittal, CEO at CSS Corp, said, “This is an important milestone in our ongoing mission to leverage the best talent globally. Costa Rica is the third country where we have crossed a headcount of 1,000 after India and the Philippines. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved here in a short span of time, balancing seamless growth with customer delight. It is really encouraging to see how our employees have adapted to the challenging Covid-19 environment while maintaining the high levels of service that our clients deserve. I expect the rapid growth trajectory to continue in the coming years.”
Jayagopi Andhoor, LATAM Region Head, who has been recently promoted to Senior Vice President said, “We are delighted to have grown so fast to a family of over 1,000 CSS Corpians in Costa Rica. The teams have taken on challenging assignments and excelled at driving business outcomes for global clients through customer-centric solutions. We have comprehensive expansion plans laid out for this region as we expect this momentum to continue.”