Mapping tech trends
The rapidly developing world of technology is creating a parallel demand for job specialisation
The transformation in the world of technology is occurring at a pace which we have not experienced in the past. The implementation of new cutting-edge technology is moving out from a drawing board stage to being practised by organisations across the world. As more and more organisations undertake the process of digital transformation to offer tech-enabled products or services, IT roles and skills are undergoing radical shifts, a modification we are already observing. This will increasingly affect the tech job scenario as we move into 2018 and beyond.
We are also experiencing these rapid changes of technology enablement spill over into our daily life. The digital divide between the tech-advanced versus tech-laggard economies is gradually blurring. What is happening is that the West in terms of its technology-empowered lifestyle improvement is taking much less time to reach our shores. This leads to the application of technology that is now becoming more and more visible and usable in India. The government's push towards digital services is adding to the tremendous opportunities for the new age IT workforce. Today, right from a marginally educated cab driver to small shop owners – everyone is using smartphones and applications to make their lives and businesses simpler. The other aspect that one needs to understand is the cybresecurity angle. With interconnected devices, applications, and services, imagine the vast amount of data that we generate. Where there is data, there is also the complementing fear of it being compromised – especially, when it comes to sensitive and personal information.
All this alludes to a transformed and disruptive IT landscape. Gone are the days when the technology pillars worked in silos. The requirement today is how seamlessly and securely applications, devices, and databases interact. The IT professional is expected to have more generalised skills, to begin with when they try for a foot in the door, and then follow that up with a strong domain expertise. The way we look at it is that, now, everything boils down to two crucial areas on which tech jobs will be trending henceforth – network technology and cybersecurity.
In response to the above, in-demand IT roles have started to shift towards including positions focused on advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and the Internet of Things (IoT) along with exciting positions within cybersecurity, cloud computing and network technology.
Through these observations we have identified the following as some of the key job roles that companies require as they transform their businesses and processes for the future:
4 Cybersecurity Analyst: This individual will manage the risk for organisations through the use of relevant tools and techniques to gather vital end-point and network host data with the goal of identifying vulnerabilities.
4 Network Engineer: This role will encompass coordinating between cloud and traditional networking resources to allow a business to communicate efficiently. They will need to know how to map technical network elements (e.g., a router, an edge device, a micro datacenter) to a company's business needs.
4 Vulnerability Assessment Manager: The role of a penetration tester has matured. Today's pen tester does more than simply hacking a server or using fancy security tools. Today's pen tester takes a responsible approach and conducts strong, comprehensive tests to identify – and correct – unacceptable risks.
4 Technical Support Specialist: Gone are the days when the help desk professional fixed PCs. The world needs more tech support specialists than ever before: today's tech support engineer helps manage increasingly complex issues involving data management, authentication, and network troubleshooting.
4 Machine learning engineer: Machine learning uses sophisticated programming such as R and Python to develop AI machines and systems that can learn and apply knowledge to perform tasks. These professionals will also work with complex datasets and algorithms to convert machines to intelligent machines.
4 Network Analysts: Businesses are investing more heavily in their networks as IoT is fast becoming critical to manufacturing tech-enabled products. A growing number of "things" need to be connected in an efficient way, and that's going to be a major driver of demand there. Network analysts in the coming years will combine their technical skill set with an understanding of how to apply it to provide real-time trending information on network traffic, and what those insights mean for the business.
4 Cloud engineer: Almost all businesses are mobbing their on-premise systems to cloud and are choosing a hybrid approach, with multiple vendors. In the coming years, cloud engineers will need to create solutions which are a mix of multiple technologies. Gone are the days when an Amazon engineer only worked on AWS or Microsoft engineers only knew Azure.
(The author is Regional Director, CompTIA India. Views expressed are strictly personal)