A Fireside Chat About the Changes in Technology Right Now

Kanchi Vasavada

By : Kanchi Vasavada

A Fireside Chat About the Changes in Technology Right Now1

Going on Twitter these days has been difficult, to say the least. So many people are talking about either negative things or bad politics, racial injustice, job loss, and more such very tough things. We can’t escape it. But we can bring you some light over here. The world, as messy as it is, is an incredible place that knows how to bounce back from adversity and keep moving forward.

Smack dab in the middle of major chaos, humans went to space, for the first time ever, in a commercial vehicle. SpaceX didn’t even exist when the astronauts it carried, entered the astronaut class in 2000. 

And our Indian space companies aren’t much far behind. Pixxel Space Technologies, a Bangalore based startup, is planning to send their first small satellite in space in a Russian launch vehicle by the end of 2020. They were supposed to send this satellite next month, but things got delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak. This satellite will be capturing high clarity satellite imagery to be used by government agencies and private organizations in sectors like agriculture, defence monitoring, mining, etc. Founded by 2 space-enthusiasts from BITS in 2018, Pixxel aims at sending a cluster of 24 satellites by July 2021 to collect AI-powered analytical data 24*7.

And not just this. Overall, things are looking good for Indian IT companies. They are finally getting a push towards technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, etc. Recently, Nasscom shared that the digital revenue in IT services crosses the $50 billion mark which is more than a quarter of the total revenue. In the midst of companies laying off employees and the employment rate taking the biggest hit, some IT companies like Capterra are still hiring.

Moreover, a lot of Indian IT companies are looking to expand their skill set to move forward in the artificial intelligence race. And we can’t help but notice a huge skill gap that needs to be fulfilled in order for the IT sector to actually cash in the opportunities in front of it. This needs to be somewhat a collaborative effort between IT companies, government, and academia. Not only do we need to fill the skill gap, but we also need to incorporate global practices and invest in cybersecurity and research and development. Only then will we be able to attract the right projects and stand hand in hand with the countries that are much ahead in leveraging technology.

Note: The writers of this article are both terrified and excited about Artificial Intelligence. They even want you to read this blog they wrote.

The current pandemic might not have affected the Indian IT industry but it sure did take us out from our offices and put us in our homes where the infrastructure and bandwidth required to perform our jobs properly is not up to the mark.

But apparently, we stood stern in the face of this pandemic, as reported by a Stanford professor there’s an overall increase of 13% in productivity and the attrition rate of companies has also gone down. At the same time, looking at the current situation, the pandemic is also standing strong and we might have to define new normal around work from home which would need companies like us to invest heavily in work from home applications, network security, collaboration tools, and the likes.

Indian IT industry is not alone to be expected to step up post COVID-19. The small traders and businesses around which the majority of Indian economy is built are also expected to grow and set foot into the online space. According to Amrish Rau from Pine Labs, a digital payments platform built exclusively for Indian merchants, reported a huge surge in digital payments in the last 2 weeks after the government lifted the lockdown. Just allowing digital transactions is not going to be enough. These small businesses need to go online to compete as well as to give customers the convenience to shop and place orders from the safe environment of their homes [which is the need of the hour].

The biggest, and at the same time, the most basic issue is internet connectivity. How do we have bad internet in 2020? We have self driving cars! But well, people said 5G gives cancer, so you can see why people working on providing the internet are otherwise occupied. Rest assured, 5G is not spreading cancer. When 5G truly arrives and it widespread, the promises are through the roof. I am looking forward to no buffering, sure, but I am mostly looking forward to self driving cars being the norm.

Here’s what we are going to leave you with…

The big questions surrounding the latest developments in the IT sector, new normal, and work from home are:

  • How to track, measure, and manage employee’s productivity?
  • How to upgrade the current workforce’s skill set, provide training, etc.?

Markets left unexplored:

  • Work from home applications
  • Cloud solutions
  • Innovations in e-commerce keeping in mind small businesses
  • Network security
  • AI Applications

Tell us your story of taking your business online, or shifting gears and exploring artificial intelligence. And if you want to be annoyed with the internet together. We hangout on our Twitter handle, and are always looking for interesting conversations.

Writer’s Note: This piece of writing is in collaboration with Roma Amarnani.

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