Times of India | Vinayashree Jagadeesh | TNN | February 8, 2016 |
The game is afoot! Be it IBM’s Watson or Wipro’s Holmes, platforms based on artificial intelli gence are increasingly driving projects in the IT space. And industry experts predict that it will bring about a dynamic shift in the next five to seven years creating a higher demand for upskilled engineers in niche areas. This simultaneously foreshadows a gradual decrease in demand for engineers on lower levels such as coding, back office maintenance and applications testing. Industry insiders say that pressure will mount on firms to find engineers who can handle smart systems as opposed to a model that uses fresh recruits in large numbers to carry out low-wage and manually repetitive operations.
Cognizant’s ADPART automation platform has already helped reduce effort in `application quality assurance testing’ in excess of 30%. An associate vice-president in Cognizant’s Centre for the Future of Work, Robert Hoyle Brown, told TOI in an email interaction that the platform has extended the realm of workflow automation to include machine learning where “robots” mine patterns and intelligence from structured data. A global survey conducted by Cognizant had respondents stating that an average of 25-40% of the workflow is being automated today . Wipro, which has more than 1.58 lakh employees, reportedly plans to pitch its AI platform for outsourcing work to nearly one-third of its clients. Automation mainly occurs with work that involves rote procedures and manual inputs, paving the way for next generation Intelligent Process Automation technology to drive greater savings and efficiency . So, how fast is automation setting in in the software business and what does it signify for the thousands of graduates churned out by India’s engineering colleges annually? “With cloud computing and analytics taking over, the need for people is coming down. A basic BTech degree may no longer suffice to survive. Engineers will have to be upskilled and focus on niche areas or be equipped to handle smart systems,” said a TCS executive on condition of anonymity .