Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 7: After growing at an unprecedented pace in the two years after the Covid-19 pandemic first erupted, the technology industry is in the news for the wrong reasons of late. The industry has been hit by a wave of mass layoffs, with even global tech giants, including the likes of Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Dell, Amazon, IBM, and many others announcing thousands of job cuts. According to some estimates, more than 3 lakh people in the industry have been laid off, and the number is widely expected to swell. Naturally, the number of people who have lost their jobs includes many Indians.
The Indian IT industry is facing several headwinds in the wake of a slowing global economy. The next few months and quarters are expected to be challenging for the industry, but there are also many things going well for the industry.
According to a report released by industry body NASSCOM and global consulting firm McKinsey, India’s technology services industry has the potential to generate $300-350 billion in annual revenue by 2025 if it can capitalise on rapidly emerging business opportunities in cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, etc.
The Indian IT industry is riding on the wave of Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution. Industries in India and globally are looking to kickstart or accelerate their digital journey by adopting the latest technological tools. Industries are also implementing new-age technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing and Analytics, and many others to improve efficiency and productivity and become competitive.
Industry 4.0 means a great transformation is underway in the Indian manufacturing sector. The upcoming digital businesses and their fundamental technology platforms will require support via a robust digital network, which will focus on the endpoints of the people involved. With its unparalleled experience and expertise developed over the past several decades, the Indian IT industry is uniquely positioned to make the most of this huge opportunity.
India’s economic performance – the country is expected to be among the fastest-growing major economies globally in 2022-23 – also augurs well for the IT industry.
With everything moving at breakneck speed, time is limited, and consumers don’t have the time to learn how to use a product. With new technologies evolving and businesses getting more digitised with every passing day, data and information are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Already, since the Covid-19 pandemic, cyberattacks have been on the rise. The pandemic ushered in work from home and remote working, but it also fuelled cybersecurity challenges, including cyberattacks, ransomware, phishing and many more. Managing remote workplace infrastructure is another new challenge for businesses, and according to some studies, data breaches and cyberattacks have gone up manifold in the last four years. The average loss suffered by businesses because of data breaches is reported to be $2,00,000 – approximately Rs. 1.60 crore. Cybersecurity solutions is another great opportunity for the IT industry as it can focus on developing new tools and systems for clients to help them safeguard their data and digital assets by staying one step ahead of cyber attackers.
Cloud Computing too is another huge opportunity for the IT industry of India. A growing number of businesses are using the cloud to perform a wide variety of tasks like data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing. Rather than investing in physical data centres and servers, businesses are choosing to access various services such as computing power, storage and databases from the cloud provider. By addressing issues and concerns associated with clouds such as cost, service provider reliability, downtime, data overload, password, security issues and data privacy, the industry can enhance its offerings.
One of the biggest strengths of India’s IT industry is its vast talent pool. Indian IT professionals have made a name for themselves not only in IT and technology hubs like Silicon Valley but across the globe. The knowledge, skills, experience, exposure, and delivery of Indian IT professionals are unlike any. A career in IT is considered a highly rewarding one, and not surprisingly, the field of IT is among the most preferred ones in India. Of course, there are some challenges right now when it comes to IT professionals. A recent news report showed how an Indian software giant has offered to hire professionals at half the package they were originally offered. That said, few Indian IT companies have resorted to job cuts or mass layoffs, which suggests that they are comfortable with the current and future business projections. As demand for automation goes up, so will the demand for IT professionals with specialised skills. Maybe this is what the Indian IT industry is also expecting.
I said in the beginning that technology is evolving rapidly. The demand for new technology systems, robust infrastructure networks, and evolving needs of businesses globally are among the factors that will continue to drive the growth of the Indian IT industry.
(The writer is the CFO of Danube Industries, a leading IT hardware engineering company that serves customers, system integrators, enterprises, and others)
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