Analytics, AI among tech skills in demand, says Infosys

Infosys. (PTI Photo)

Technical skills that are in the greatest demand today are analytics, user experience, automation, IT architecture and artificial intelligence, according to IT services firm Infosys.

The company's research arm, Infosys Knowledge Institute (IKI), on Thursday released a report titled 'Infosys Talent Radar 2019'. The report revealed that digital projects are focused on creating superior customer and employee experiences, and soft skills have become just as important as technical ones. Those in greatest demand are teamwork, leadership, and communication. For both hard and soft skills, the capabilities hardest to find and in greatest demand are analytics, communication, and adaptability. However, the skills companies need most vary by industry and the types of digital initiatives they are pursuing, the research note said.

According to the research, although nearly all large enterprises are pursuing in improvement initiatives, digitising the business is less about disruption and more about meeting focused objectives which include a better understanding of customers and markets, customer experience, increasing productivity, and employee experience.

“There is not just a talent war – it’s a famine. To succeed, companies must hire, develop, and retain talent better than their competition. As enterprises progress in their digital journeys, the winners will be those who utilize multiple hiring sources and reskill workers in a culture of lifelong learning – invest in their people, who are the ultimate differentiator in a commoditised world," Pravin Rao, Chief Operating Officer, Infosys said.

Digital initiatives require skills that can and will evolve. Organizational processes and culture determine the readiness to meet any talent need. Infosys analyzed five key areas on how well respondent companies were positioned to meet their talent needs – Planning, Hiring, Training, Incentives, and Workplace.

From their responses to questions in each of these five areas, Infosys developed a Talent Readiness Index. The research team sorted companies by their index score, and three distinct clusters emerged — Followers, Challengers and Leaders.

• Followers have fewer approaches to develop talent and don’t measure their results or

effectiveness.

• Although challengers invest heavily in anywhere, anytime training, they still rely on

traditional sources for talent acquisition.

• Leaders build lifelong learning culture and use it to retain top talent.

Infosys looked at two perspectives on the barriers that prevent enough demand-supply match of talent — tangible and intangible barriers to talent transformation.

Among the tangible barriers, lack of budget is the biggest barrier to repurposing efforts, followed by organisational issues, lack of management awareness or support, and inadequate talent management plans. Among the intangible barriers, learnability received short shrift in the research, and it limits the tremendous potential of reskilling as a competitive advantage for companies that embrace learnability.

Undervaluing learnability limits potential of other talent initiatives. Infosys identified four approaches that can help companies prepare themselves to address the talent needs of today and prepare for those of the future. For each approach, leader and follower categories have been designated to describe good practices and actionable recommendations.

• Cast a wider net for new hires

• Reskill and redeploy in-house talent

• Engage temporary workers and gig economy strategically

• Align organisational structure to evolving business needs

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