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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 06, 2013, 13:09
  
There is a huge skill-gap in new technology arenas like Cloud and Big Data that promise to transform the country’s IT landscape radically, says Rajesh Janey, president, India and SAARC.

While parents, students, and even industry experts, continue to debate the popularity of the IT industry, they must keep in mind that it continues to be one of the top recruiters and key contributors to the Indian economy.

The use of information technology and IT systems has increased exponentially over the years. The rise of the internet, smart phones and the social network has spawned a digital generation of consumers. To cater to this ever rising number of users, enterprises have to be up to date with information. As the industry looks at hiring fresh graduates, the mid-level executives need to improvise and innovate, and the senior management should constantly upgrade to take up elevated positions.

The role of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) has evolved dramatically over the past decade. At the start of the decade, it was mostly focused on putting in place an IT strategy and infrastructure that was capable of enabling a business and largely automating it to bring greater efficiencies. However, today, it is far from that.

According to a recent survey conducted by Economist & EMC — three years ago, the CIO participated in virtually every business decision, run of the mill as well as bleeding edge. Today the CIO is well positioned to promote game changing innovations. Not only s/he needs to understand and stay abreast with IT, but also other factors that influence businesses including external customer and stakeholder behavior, government policy and other market environment dynamics.

An ideal candidate for the job would be someone who understands what customers want. Someone who understands how marketing and sales works, and how channel/ partners work. Not just that s/ he should also understand government regulation and its impact on the business. In short, a CIO should be an all-rounder and not a tech specialist alone.

So how does one reach the level of a CIO?

Don’t expect to walk out of an IT/ engineering class and sit in a glass cabin of a multinational company. This should be your aim and not immediate expectation of yourself. Hiring is slow, and companies scouting for fresh talent go for campus placement looking for specific attributes in prospective employees. They generally look at hiring someone who understands the changing landscape of business and interprets key triggers and challenges. Companies also stress on soft skills, for instance how can one deliver strategic advantage to business—right from quicker product/service development to delivery to managing customer experience post it. It is also important for the individual to be a team worker, quick learner, adaptable and having a positive attitude.

Yes, there is a big professional skill- gap when it comes to new technology shifts. Take for instance, Cloud and Big Data that are transforming role of IT in business. According to an EMC Zinnov study, private cloud in India alone is expected to create 100,000 jobs by 2015, a steep rise from 10,000 in 2011. According to NASSCOM, Big Data and related services will require an estimated 15,000-20,000 specialist in the next few years. Not enough professionals are being trained in these new technologies to address future industry demand.

- As told to Gauri Rane

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A fresher should be able to...

• Understand the changing landscape of business
• Understand the key triggers and challenges
• Articulate the business impact of technology to customer needs, and
• Focus on building skills in these new areas of technological shifts.

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“Private cloud in India alone is expected to create 100,000 jobs by 2015, a steep rise from 10,000 in 2011. And Big Data and related services will require an estimated 15,000-20,000 specialist in the next few years. Not enough professionals are being trained in these new technologies to address future industry demand.”


First Published: Wednesday, November 06, 2013, 13:09


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