A focus on upskilling and reskilling a wide range of workers for new digital and tech roles will be crucial for companies in weathering growing economic uncertainty, Infosys global chief financial officer Nilanjan Roy says.
Rising geopolitical tensions and growing economic headwinds had made for increasingly uncertain future for companies, Mr Roy said.
Speaking at the Infosys APAC Confluence conference in Melbourne, Mr Roy and Infosys executive vice-president for Australia and New Zealand Andrew Groth discussed the economic challenges that the world is facing, and how innovation and digital upskilling will be key to weathering this.
“There is a tornado of forces around us. There are economic risks, consumer risks, inflation risks, geopolitical risks and corporate risks. The reality is we don’t know where this is going to end up,” Mr Roy said.
But one thing that is certain is that there will be an increasing demand for tech talent, and a focus on the supply side of this equation will help nations to get through the upcoming economic challenges, he said.
“The message is that whether there is war or peace, the fight for talent will remain,” he said.
“For all tech companies, the demand for tech talent remains unabated. Linked to that is the skilling of our own people in these new technologies – that’s making sure we’re ready for what’s next. That’s a big part of our strategy.”
According to the Tech Council of Australia, there will need to be 1 million people working in tech jobs by 2025, an increase of 260,000 people from the current figures.
One initiative to help address this need is the Victorian Government’s $64 million Digital Jobs Program which is providing training to 5000 mid-career professionals looking to switch to digital roles.
Infosys has partnered with the Victorian Government on the program and has taken on a number of paid interns after they completed the 12-week course.
“It really recognises that there are multiple levels of skills and attributes that employers are looking for,” Invest Victoria chief executive Danni Jarrett, who also appeared at the Infosys Confluence summit, said.
Another successful initiative in digital transformation and upskilling has been Infosys’ Living Labs in Melbourne and Sydney. The labs provide over 1000 sqm of physical space for digital innovation for the wider ecosystem.
Solution accelerators at these labs include cloud, internet of things, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and data analytics, and underpins sectors such as financial services, telecommunications, retail and education technology.
“These are places where innovation thrives,” Mr Roy said. “They’ve been a big success and we’re very happy with how they’re going.”
The effectiveness of the Living Labs come from a recognition that collaboration and innovation happens best when it’s done face-to-face, Ms Jarrett said.
“Workplaces like Living Labs are really critical to bring people together, to identify and develop ideas, to design solutions to problems and to not just have a vision for what we need to do, but to have a vision for how we do it,” she said.
“It’s the next generation of workplace – you come together as teams with multiple disciplines to think about how we develop new services and how technology enables that.”
“It’s basically a space we’ve created to unite the ecosystem partners, to come to ideate, to build solutions, to create use cases and to solve industry-based problems,” Infosys vice-president and regional head, delivery and operations Australia and New Zealand Ashok Mysore added.
Mr Roy also described the Infosys Springboard program, which aims to provide pathways for underrepresented communities across Australia and New Zealand access to digital learning and bridging programs.
“We’ve taken our internal skilling platform and opened it up to the world, free of charge. It’s available free of cost for kids, so people can get digitally upskilled in the skills required for the future,” he said.
This article was produced as part of a partnership between InnovationAus.com and Infosys. An InnovationAus.com representative attended the Confluence conference as a guest of Infosys.
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This isn’t “Australia’s Got Talent”. This isn’t a talent show. This is about education. This is about having real subject matter knowledge, not a Fake It Before You Make It ego. This isn’t pretending. You can’t “switch” if you don’t know the difference between a compiler and a cloud. If you don’t have the basics – hey, you don’t even have the basics. You didn’t complete school in 12 weeks. It took 12 years. There’s no such thing as a People Accelerator. You won’t learn Estonian in 12 weeks. You won’t learn tech in 12 weeks. It takes time. Why not take the time needed? It’s worth it. Get a real education, not a fake. Uneducated ideation costs 10 cents for 50. This is about education. If you don’t have a discipline you’ll never be “multi-disciplined”. What’s your discipline?