New skill sets to be in demand as WFH becomes a norm for IT companies

Organisations need to look for bespoke training programmes to build capabilities

Travel restrictions will impact the movement of IT professionals from India and can affect ongoing technology projects of Indian IT companies at offshore locations in the West. Given the large number of cyber security threats due to the WFH culture in IT companies, it is expected that a large number of firms will look for cyber security professionals

Ever since the lockdown began, IT companies have increasingly started working under a new normal and work from home (WFH) is just one of the most important aspects among them. IT companies will need to adapt to these changes and adopt measures to cope up and move forward. It is a fact that no one size fits all and each organisation needs to assess the skill gap and look for bespoke training programmes to build capabilities. As IT companies are mandated to operate with 30 per cent workforce, and in some cases 50 per cent, they can use this time to invest in building human capital in the form of talent engagement and give assurance to their workforce as they grapple with anxiety during this uncertain time. 

“Businesses are re-modelling with limited workforce, adoption of automation and digital solutions for delivery. Hence, emphasis will be on productivity, analytical solutions, digitisation and cyber security. At the same time, IT and telecom infrastructure will have to be revamped and upgraded to cater to digitisation and automation. The focus area for skilling will be around automation, digital solutions, web technologies, creative designers, data architecture and analysis, IT and telecom infrastructure and cyber security,” explained Sumit Kumar, Vice President- NETAP, TeamLease.

Kumar says that Covid-19 has made way for remote working and would change the way a few roles were being done. For instance, there will be telecallers operating from anywhere in the country as long as they have been equipped with effective infrastructure, and IT recruiters resorting to virtual interviews for hiring and shortlisting. 

Of late, given the large number of cyber security threats due to the WFH culture in IT companies, it is expected that a large number of firms will look for cyber security professionals. “There is a need for IT security professionals, network administrators and IT infrastructure management specialists due to growth in remote working. All companies may not be able to attract IT security skills; neither would they be able to hire these people on permanent payrolls of the company. Hence, there will be such specialists who will work on a contractual basis,” remarked Aditya Mishra, CEO of CIEL HR. 

As WFH continues, there is a need for new skill sets among IT company professionals in newer technologies, especially in the field of collaboration and communication. “Talent will need to become well versed in using tools like Slack for collaboration, project and time-tracking tools like Asana and communication tools like Zoom. One will be required to pick up certain other skill sets, as there will always be new products and apps that will become core to how you end up operating and communicating, beyond the other code management tools like GitHub and design management tools like InVision. 

Besides, there will be a real requirement to improve one's attitudinal framework where he/she will be needed to be much more self-driven, willing to take up initiatives, with a much more structured approach than the ad hoc process that many are comfortable with,” remarked Pankit Desai, co-founder and CEO, Sequretek, a Mumbai-based cyber security company.

Besides looking for skill sets, IT professionals will also be required to be more agile and productive and be ready to take on new initiatives. Branding expert Harish Bijoor feels that people skills become less important as people WFH. “What has become more important are core skills of work and domain specialty once again. The ability to listen and the ability to act as per deadlines is back in focus. Hours burnt is not as important as work delivered on time,” remarked Bijoor.