The IT Services industry may be facing significant headwinds - an era of de-globalization, tech disruptions, investor activism. Nevertheless, Cognizant's CEO Francisco D'Souza remains optimist on the demand scenario as well as the future of employment in this sector. He spoke to Business Today on Thursday.
1. Demand: D'Souza insists the industry is not in the middle of a demand constrained environment. Close to $1 trillion is currently spent by global enterprises on IT services. Some companies, however, are struggling with technology disruptions of the current decade, everything from mobile and cloud computing to automation. Companies who have made investments in re-inventing themselves, don't see a contracting demand, he says. Cognizant, particularly, sees opportunities because of changes in the business model, the operating model and the underlying technology at enterprises, necessitated because of the migration to digital. While in 2016, enterprises executed smaller digital projects, 2017 is the year of "Digital at scale", D'Souza says. "We have end-to-end capability to do these three things for digital immigrants." The company tabulates 'digital' to be about 25 per cent of its business currently - it is also a higher margin service.
2. Future of jobs: The role of technology is becoming bigger and more important across every enterprise. If that is the case, the world would require more technologists. The CEO believes that this is the good news; he is optimistic that the demand for technologists will not be outpaced by automation. The IT industry's workforce will, however, need to upgrade themselves periodically to remain relevant. "Your skills will be obsolete in five years - doesn't matter which university you come from," D'Souza says. This is an era of continuous learning.