Natural Language Generation and Natural Language Processing are going to be the third stage of Automation. Are you ready?
Recent data is for half a million employees being made redundant over the next 5 yrs. due to automation. Is it true? And what is that the industry, companies and employees can do about it.
The first half of the next decade will bring a lot of pain to the Indian IT business as automation sets in and we go through the transition from people to technology + people. But the real opportunity is still available to people, as the enterprise still craves more human-centric skills at scale that cannot be fed into an AI platforms. These are challenging times, but the change brings the opportunity.
Technology has and will continue to fundamentally reshape the world. But the largest move is not from more people creating more technology but of machines creating technology and delivering services. As that happens, the job market shrinks. World Bank President Jim Kim said in March 2017 that technology could fundamentally disrupt the pattern of traditional economic path in many societies and threatens 69 per cent of the jobs in India and 77 per cent in China. However it the relative wage that will determine the relative pace of automation and it is here that the Indian IT industry is most vulnerable since the cost structure is closely linked to the ability of the customer in developed economies to absorb this cost.
In the technology-led businesses AI and Automation are already present — whether as the evolution of autonomous cars or as software that writes itself. Consider this,
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. However, a large part of the Indian IT outsourcing industry is directly being impacted by different levels of automation creeping into its customers. To expand their operations a US-based customer today is not looking at additional headcount, but at automation. More insurance claims processing requires a platform to scale for the extra work. Greater IT infrastructure management requires more cloud-based orchestration tools then. Not more people. So the scale and/or productivity gain is coming from autonomics management, and not headcount.
Worldwide the total IT Service and BPO industry employed 15 million people in 2015, with ~3.5 million in India, ~1 million in Philippines, ~5 million in North America and ~4 million in Europe. The impact of automation on this global industry of 15 million IT services and BPO employees is expected to be a net decrease of 9% or ~1.4 million jobs. Of this, India’s services industry workforce is expected to shrink 500,000 by 2021 – a decline of 14-15% (explained below)
The workforce is in three categories: low-skilled, medium-skilled, and high- skilled. Low-skilled employees conduct simple entry-level, process-driven tasks that require little abstract thinking or autonomy. Medium and high-level employees undertake more complicated tasks that require experience, complex problem-solving, the ability to learn on-the-job, and to work autonomously. In terms of impact, it is the low-skilled Indian services workforces that will be most impacted.
Here’s an example. We’re talking of a fairly large IT services company (we’re talking of north of $100 million) and they have figured they need to move from a pure sales approach to include ‘marketing’. Marketing as in other than events! And now we’re in their board-room about what facets there are and what marketing can do for them. It’s not that it’s not understood — goes without saying they’re a successful company — but the first responses to the marketing plan invariably are:
‘Oh, but your customers are all the flagship technology ‘product’ companies. Do we need all that depth? We just need ‘better presence’ on online — digital media!’
Yes, you do! So of course we investigate more.
The husband-wife team of Rakesh and Helen Shukla started up TWB, a technical communication company offering outsourced solutions as well as training, in 2005. Having worked together closely for 5 years now, Rakesh Shukla, Founder & CEO, TWB, believes that not carrying work home was the single biggest challenge they faced. Over time, they have consciously tried to avoid it. Rakesh says, “It’s not that work never gets discussed, but we try to minimize it. You don’t want to spoil your marriage and your relationship at home.”
Read more on Women’s Web India
What Does Self Funding A Venture Really Entail? Entrepreneurs are known for their risk bearing ability; even then not many have the ability to put all their savings in their venture. Most of them turn to friends, family or investors to get started.
When Rakesh and his wife, Helen started TWB they decided to fund it all by themselves and not turn to any of their family or friends for help. Not just that, both of them also quit their jobs and so had no other source of income but TWB. How hard was it? Read on FranchiseIndia
During the time of large-scale job shrinkage, how does a company like TWB deliver increased job growth? This is how LiveMint sees it
“Everyday I get 5-10 mails which say you’re short-listed for an interview. I’m getting calls from consultants. A lot of my software engineering friends ask me about what I have done. They want to do this course and become a technical writer as it is a comfortable job, more imaginative more creative” says Nikita.
“There is a requirement of 200,000 to 250,000 people with such skill sets,” says Rakesh Shukla, founder of technical writing firm, TWB, which also delivers the TWB Certifications. Simply put technical writers are people who communicate technical information in a manner that even non-technical reader can understand. And Rakesh says that in the next 4 years technical writing will be roughly a $1.5 billion industry. And even in the current slowdown, his business has been growing.