“The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.” This quote from Marketing Guru, Peter Drucker holds true for everyone, including the ones who work in the IT industry.
Hiring Versus Training
There was a time when people started learning technology as a level-1 administrator. They used to spend years managing multiple customer environments, use cases, and priority incidents before they could become a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in that technology after 10–15 years of experience and multiple certifications.
In the present scenario, young IT graduates who are ready to learn multiple technologies and have the right aptitude and intelligence to apply these in the appropriate situations become the new SMEs for new-age technology stacks. People working on the ground are aware that it is easier to hire and train a fresh engineer on new technologies such as container, automation, public cloud, scripting and such as compared to hiring an experienced person. What does this mean for experienced individuals who have been working on specific technologies for years now? The end of the road, the end of a career? Why are we not able to find experienced people with new-age skill sets? What happens to the latent knowledge of the customer environment? What happens to the knowledge gained through years of experience of troubleshooting? These are some of the questions most of us are looking for answers today.
Keeping Pace with Change
In the late 90s and early 2000s, we witnessed a big shift in technology adoption at that time with people moving away from Mainframes, iSeries, and Unix toward open systems and from Notes to Exchange. We saw a similar transition in technology adoption when experienced Mainframe/iSeries administrators with 25–30 years of experience were being replaced with fresh graduates with basic Windows/Linux management skills supported by strong Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), training programs, and certification drives.
Mitigating the Demand-Supply Gap
There is an immediate need to get qualified, trained and certified talent to work on these new-age technology solutions such as big data, analytics, cybersecurity, IoT, robotics, containers, platforms, hyperconverged and AI/ML solutions that help businesses achieve differentiation against the competition.
In the current scenario, it is very clear that the pace of change is faster than what we have ever seen and will be slower than what we will see from here on. Today, technology is a big business differentiator, and with digital transformation, many organizations are in the business of technology. Technology is also moving away from core datacenters to edge and mobile devices, from monolithic to leaner agile applications. Since the table stakes are so high, IT is expected to deliver cutting-edge solutions at a fast pace and at a low cost. There’s an excellent opportunity to re-skill ourselves, focus on competency development, and take advantage of the digital revolution. At HCL, multiple training and certification programs are being run by the T2ID team in collaboration with practice functions.