With digital transformation comes the daunting task of preparing a workforce for technologies like Big Data, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) that can address the massive demand coming from governments and businesses in India.
According to a top IBM executive, the time is ripe to start the journey right from schools and universities, leading to up-skilling and re-skilling the enterprise and startup developers' community in the country.
Between 2010 and 2030, India's working population is expected to expand from 750 million to almost one billion.
"Without adequate education and training, such population growth poses an increased risk of the emergence of a growing class of under or unemployed. Skill is emerging as the new currency across businesses globally and in India," Seema Kumar, Country Leader, Developer Ecosystem and Startups, IBM India/South Asia, told IANS.
"We believe the industry is no more bifurcated into blue-collar and white-collar jobs. The 'new collar' job community is embracing technology rapidly, forging deeper relationships with ecosystem partners and acquiring 'in-demand' skill-sets," Kumar emphasised.
Sensing the urgent need to build a talent pool for the future, IBM recently announced a collaboration with the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) to spur emerging technology skills in the domestic telecom industry.
The agreement outlines a roadmap to build capabilities in the areas of information and communication technology (ICT) to provide the required and relevant skills for the telecom Industry.
"This collaboration will provide an opportunity to students and young professionals to get skilled in emerging technologies including Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT and mobile applications that have a huge potential in the telecom sector," Kumar said.
IBM's student developers' programme (career education) that infuses software capabilities that are industry specific and market relevant has helped more than 24,000 students and faculty members develop industry-relevant software capabilities.
Developers are the new marketers and decision-makers across organisations and it has become imperative to make them the centre of the core strategy.
"We also have collaboration with US-based Galvanize and Coursera to offer cognitive and Cloud curriculum to developers to help them equip with new age requirements around data science and Machine Learning (ML), etc," the IBM executive said.
In 2017, IBM organised "IBM DeveloperConnect Roadshow" in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad where it offered day-long workshops that combined technical sessions and hands-on activities, led by technical experts from IBM around data science, ML and Cloud.
"We are going to organise the 'IBM Code' day for developers in Bengaluru on February 14 which is another step towards introducing the developer community to IBM technologies," Kumar told IANS.
IBM also has an online learning platform Cognitiveclass.ai that offers several online courses in the area of data science, AI, big data and Blockchain.
"We also work with external Edtech partners who offer structured courses and curriculum based on these technologies. For instance, Jigsaw Academy is leveraging the IBM Data Science experience platform and CognitiveClass.ai to offer advanced customised learning to students and professionals on data science," Kumar noted.
Similarly, GlobalKnowledge is a training partner offering detailed courses on Cloud and cognitive development, also enabling professional certifications in these domains.
"Today, we are witnessing start-ups adopting Cloud at a fast pace, looking at creating enterprise class solutions and use best practices at a competitive cost, more agile systems and greater efficiency," Kumar said.
IBM Cloud Private is an integrated Cloud platform built on a Kubernetes-based container architecture.
It is a pre-packaged offering with enterprise-grade content, bringing Cloud native environment to Private Clouds so that start-ups can maintain control over core data while giving developers the flexibility to easily update and launch new apps in a secure manner.
"We foresee start-ups in the FinTech, e-commerce and HealthTech space leveraging IBM Cloud Private for on-premises software portfolio or easily integrate next-generation data and software optimised for Cloud," Kumar added.