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  • The Evolving Role of the CTO in the Age of Rapid Transformation Oct 16, 2020

    If technology is adaptive and ever changing to new realities, then so are the roles that oversee its position within a business. CIOs, CTOs, and other IT Decision Makers — often coined as ITDMs — have faced a year of unprecedented disruption, both within their organisations but also in the definition of their roles and the boundaries in which they operate.

    Some of the aforementioned positions were somewhat fluid, dependent on the structure of their organisations in question, however with a new era of accelerated transformation upon us with the ‘post’ pandemic landscape ever present this fluidity is already increasing and doesn’t look set to solidify any time soon.

    The evolving role of the Chief Technology Officer: How Covid is driving change

    At this point, hundreds of thousands of words have been written about the pandemic’s effect on business, on transformation, on empowering new models and new entrants, and of course its effect on how we work. Only 67% of CTOs report directly to the CEO, according to research by Korn Ferry — though as the IT function increases in its perceived value in the drive for resilience and competitiveness, the CTOs perceived value to the organisation looks likely to increase also.

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    Many reports indicate that maintaining and operating legacy applications consumes anywhere between 60 and 80% of corporate IT budgets — so CTOs who facilitate a shift to best-in-class infrastructure can eradicate these maintenance costs, whilst delivering the level of robustness, resilience, performance, and scalability they need to be able to grow, innovate, and excel as we head into 2021 and beyond. Below we explore in more detail the evolving role of the CTO and the changing nature of CTO responsibilities.

    A safe pair of hands

    Since employees are now working from home, this raises questions about the resilience of the company’s cybersecurity — even for CTOs with CISOs present in the organisation. Many employees are using unsecured personal devices to access enterprise networks and this could potentially open organisations up to security gaps and losses in data visibility.

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    The onset and resultant effects of the virus pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitalisation and has further strengthened the need for the CTOs to not only manage their company’s technology capability and strength — but also to take a pragmatic approach to understand the nature and flow of data and implement innovative solutions to manage the integrity and security of data, without disrupting core business operations.

    The CTO as a driver of value

    The disruptions caused by the pandemic have highlighted the crucial role of technology, and by extension the importance of varied CTO responsibilities and the general evolving role of the CTO — from supporting home working to diversifying new offerings and then being able to handle an uptick in new customers. According to research by McKinsey, of the organisations that have pursued digitisation as a means to remain competitive, nearly three quarters were still in the early stages of their transformation in the summer of this year. They also highlight a point that’s been made before but can no longer be ignored: technology as a key driver of value, not simply support.

    And of the technology itself, all signs show that it’s moving away from physical assets and moving toward virtual assets using cloud computing, big data, and the Internet of Things. The focus is more on integrating applications, processes, and data and enterprises are more determined than ever to shift away from legacy infrastructure and applications. And technology companies are more determined than ever to embrace virtualisation and off-premises app development. Why? Value creation.

    The new nature of work also presents an immediate need to pivot elastically from traditional desktop-based solutions to cloud-based ‘desktop-as-a-service’ options that can be accessed from anywhere. According to Information Age, virtualisation tools and cloud services like AWS and Azure are at the forefront of CTO’s minds now in a way that perhaps they weren’t prior to Covid-19.

    The CTO and the ubiquity of new technologies

    Of course, in the very immediate term 5G is set to radically change how we live, work, and do business. And, always on the horizon are advancements in AI, RPA, and machine learning — which aren’t just here to stay but are only going to become more ubiquitous. More and more organisations will roll out these technologies to help optimise their business opportunities. But, for these to be successful, organisations need data. Data is the fuel for our theoretical AI rocket. So, If data is king then in the race for high velocity greatness, CTOs (and CIOs) need to ensure they protect their data, as we discussed earlier. Again, the fluidity of the role becomes apparent as they will have to share some level of responsibility with their organisations’ CISO.

    Learn more by clicking here to read about the evolving role of the CTO


  • 5 Ways to Drive Digital Acceleration in an Era of Increased Transformation Oct 6, 2020

    Is digital acceleration just another business buzzword, or is there substance behind it driven by customer appetites for a richer, more holistic online experience? With 45% of companies reporting a positive business impact of digital transformation also reporting higher net revenue growth according to research from Deloitte — the message is clear: drive acceleration or risk being left behind in the shift to digital business.

    However, after Covid-19 shook both the business and wider world at its foundations, and forced a multitude of new trends to emerge as a result, what’s changed considering transformation has been on the agenda for a while now? Pace. More specifically, the pace of adoption of certain technologies, processes, and attitudes. The recent Gartner Board of Directors survey highlighted that seven out of 10 boards have accelerated digital business initiatives in the wake of the worldwide pandemic and the resultant disruption.

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    Initial steps to drive digital acceleration

    To set your organisation on the right path to transformation, these are five initial steps to follow to get you off the starting block successfully.

    1. Strip out legacy tech for cutting-edge architecture

    To adopt a car analogy: to accelerate swiftly, you need to cut excess weight and slow-moving parts. Your organisation’s IT systems and processes are no different. However, business leaders are sometimes sceptical as to whether embracing wholesale digital business strategies can deliver much more than cost reduction. It isn’t only monolithic tech but sometimes monolithic-era attitudes that need to embrace transformation. It isn’t only monolithic tech but sometimes monolithic-era attitudes that need to embrace transformation. To change such attitudes, IT Decision Makers need to demonstrate a clear connection between digital acceleration and business velocity, flexibility, continuous innovation, and scalability

    2. Embrace cloud-native development

    Cloud-native apps are usually built using PaaS and are composed of independent microservices — increasing flexibility, lowering cost of change, decreasing time to market. These factors enable organisations to deliver and scale software continuously and bring products and services to their customers faster. And of course, they excel in the cloud — a requirement as computing shifts almost entirely off premise. Businesses who can’t develop a higher percentage of their applications using a cloud-native approach risk falling behind in the shift to digital business

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    3. Phase out traditional applications

    Unlike PaaS-built apps, legacy apps are end of life inventory: expensive, inflexible, and they don’t excel in the cloud. There does exist some difficulty in integrating legacy architecture with cloud-native applications, which is something that IT Decision Makers are seeking to address. And, as single, monolithic entities, traditional applications aren’t cost effective to update and maintain, and don’t offer the flexibility of cloud-native apps. Additionally, the shift to digital business requires a transformation in people and process as well as technology...

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    4. Building a digital-first culture is key
    This applies both to internal attitudes as well as in customer offerings. When asked to compare several types of challenges in the shift to a digital-first culture, employee skills emerged as the most significant, cited by 70% of executives when surveyed by global consultancy firm Capgemini. Additionally, ITDMs need to push digital to the forefront of strategic business priorities: the way businesses approach the entire customer journey and cycle need to be updated to mirror the digital age.


    For example, current payment security standards used in online shopping aren’t often sufficient for higher-value purchases therefore original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of cars, for example, need to research solutions to address the requirements as it may lead to roadblocks due to customer apprehension. Also, a consistent communications message across all touchpoints is expected by the digital-native consumer (those who came of age during the time of high-speed internet), and they want the ability to deal with paperwork, such as for opening bank accounts entirely virtually. Solutions need to be implemented that allow for a stress-free online process that both reduces the physical paperwork and allows the customer to sign documentation digitally while allowing for secure verification checks (facial recognition and live agent video screening, for example)

    To continue reading, click here to learn more about digital acceleration...
  • The Effects of Telecommuting on the Environment Sep 25, 2020

    The corona pandemic has prompted a sea change in the way businesses operate, the way people work — and how we live our lives. The commute, once a daily activity used to prepare yourself for the day ahead, has for many been relegated to what seems a bygone era, replaced en-masse by the telecommute. In actuality, once things do indeed get back to normal it’s almost certain we’ll see a return to commuting — perhaps it won’t be quite as frequent as before, with many organisations confirming plans to keep significant sections of their workforce on a permanent work-from-home basis. And, an even larger number of organisations stating that they intend to offer more flexibility to staff, now that it’s clear productivity isn’t hindered by lack of in-office hours.

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    More telecommuters, less polluters

    What are the effects of telecommuting on the environment? Research conducted by Global Workforce Analytics estimates that working from home half the week can reduce emissions by 54 million tons every year. Moreover, with people spending more time at home there’s a significant decrease in litter and excessive fast food consumption — although of course there are negative effects on the retail service sector job market.

    One of the reasons climate change experts have faced difficulties in getting people to change their habits is that the impact is hard to see. However, even in the early days of the response to Covid-19, we all saw a dramatic reduction in traffic and congestion — and therefore, pollution. As let’s face it, not everyone on the road drives a Tesla! While sustainability has not been the primary driver of the telecommute shift, being able to actually see the difference it can make may finally flip the switch for employers — particularly as their younger workforce is committed to an atmosphere of corporate responsibility.

    Additionally, with less time spent in the office there’s less waste in terms of paper and plastic as people use digital tools for messaging, taking notes, and sending files. And, having to bear the brunt, financially, of office supplies means employees working from home are more aware of waste.

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    Effects of telecommuting on the environment: pleasant surprises

    There are a few things that we’ve already known for a while now, such as working from home boosting productivity in 77% of people surveyed. The longer-term effects of permanently working from home are yet to be measured on a larger scale, although it’s reasonable to expect findings to reveal themselves in the next six to 12 months. What can we expect? It’s uncertain, although the rise in familiarity with digital communication tools as well as measures put into place to build team spirit in distributed teams may have somewhat lessened some of the negatives surrounding isolation — although it’s, of course, prudent not to jump to any conclusions until solid evidence becomes clear.

    On another note, FlexJobs reports that 58 percent of the US workforce will do freelance work by 2027 — dramatic changes both to how we work and also likely to have a large effect on office emissions, since a home setup consumes far less. Let’s dive deeper.

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    A new generation of telecommuters

    According to Ernst & Young, the millennial generation already make up 2/3rds of their employee base, with this set to grow across industries to 75% alongside the influx of Gen Z by 2030. Both generations are defined as having a preference for flexible hours and a keen interest in environmental sustainability — with McDonald’s’ removal of plastic straws one of the first major positive disruptions caused by younger Millennial and Generation Z buying power.

    The automation revolution and an urban exodus

    Digital transformation isn’t slowing down, and if anything we’re witnessing it accelerate as businesses seek to diversify their offerings to increase resilience and competitiveness. In the coming decade, we’re going to see an exponential growth in artificial intelligence and automation solutions in the workplace — otherwise known as The Fourth Industrial Revolution. With a significant section of the global labour force expected to be looking for new jobs by 2030, a proper, actionable response is required to manage the potentially disruptive social side effects, which will potentially counter the positive effects of telecommuting on the environment and the secondary positives on people’s wellbeing.

    Shifts in how we work will also lead to shifts in how we live. Traditionally, people move to cities because cities are job hubs. But cities have become expensive to live in comfortably and the changes we’re witnessing may lead to a move outwards leading to a decrease in pollution in major metropolitan zones. To facilitate this shift , digital infrastructure would need to be improved in rural areas.

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    Final thoughts

    The effects of telecommuting on the environment will become clearer over time, as the pandemic recedes and the world settles into new working modalities. With the younger generation conscious about saving the planet, employers who continue to offer flexible patterns as an option, and demonstrate their commitment to tackling environmental damage, will be able to attract top-tier talent from this new set of eco-friendly workers. And, more existential questions will come to the fore as automation and AI become more commonplace and the entire model of ‘cities as work hubs’ begins to undergo a fundamental shift.

    If you’re struggling to find the skills you need to scale your development team and deliver exciting new products to your customers — and don’t have the time to reskill existing employees, then you might benefit from an extended team in a talent-rich location.

    In July we released an in-depth report on how the Covid crisis has led to a shift in attitudes toward remote work and how tech companies will build their development teams in the years ahead — and if you’re looking to become a software-driven business, then an extended team of highly talented software developers may help you scale and innovate quicker than you can at home.

    Introducing Scaling Beyond Borders

    In July we released an in-depth report on how the Covid crisis has led to a shift in attitudes toward remote work and how tech companies will build their development teams in the years ahead — and if you’re looking to become a software-driven business, then an extended team of highly talented software developers may help you scale and innovate quicker than you can at home.

    What you’ll learn:
    • That new operating models are making businesses more resilient, and able to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
    • How to innovate without disrupting core processes — technology as a key driver of value, not merely a support.
    • Why establishing remote-ready technology infrastructure is key to becoming more ‘pandemic proof’.
    • How to harness talent in worldwide talent pools, to scale beyond borders in a ‘new normal’ of recruitment and delivery.
    To beat the European IT talent shortage, find out more about what we have coined ‘Offshore 2.0’, and to discover how CTOs, CIOs, and VPs of Engineering will be building their tech teams beyond 2020, download our latest report: Scaling Beyond Borders.

    If you want to leverage Bangalore’s IT ecosystem, and transform your business, feel free to reach out to us by filling out the contact form. As experts in building the best engineering teams in India, we can help you build your A-team.
  • The Impact of Workspace on Productivity and Company Culture Sep 17, 2020

    Where you work has a huge impact on how you work — after all, you spend over one third of your day at the office. Studies conducted by Gensler shows that a well-designed office space can foster a healthy company culture and increase the productivity of employees by over 20%.

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    However, despite the studies and statistics, a significant number of employers still tend to overlook the design of the office space. It isn’t just about Feng Shui or crystals and manifestation; it’s about creating a welcoming work environment and getting the job done. By designing the right workspace, you can bolster your team’s morale, increase employee retention, and positively impact your company culture.

    In this piece, we’ll walk you through three ways we enhance our company culture, by creating an office space that our employees love coming back to every single day. And maybe, you can implement them in your workspace too!

    1. ‘Open’ space and ‘collaborative’ space are not the same thing

    There’s no doubt that the office way of life is always evolving. Gone are the days when you’d walk into an office and see rows of isolated, yet identical cubicles.

    A few years ago, when the millennials took over, an open floor plan seemed like the perfect solution. However, studies have shown that open offices are often associated with less productivity, higher stress levels, and low employee satisfaction. And that’s why, to combat this problem, businesses are now shifting towards implementing a collaborative office space.

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    A collaborative workspace is one that is designed, keeping in mind the different types of work activities your employees perform on a daily basis.

    For instance, you can create personal spaces that employees can customise to fit their unique preferences, social areas for collaboration and bonding, meeting rooms for brainstorming sessions, and ‘thinking rooms’ for when they need some peace and quiet. You can also implement breakaway areas and fun features like pool and foosball tables to make the workspace more dynamic, in turn, encouraging employee interaction and promoting a healthy company culture.


    DID YOU KNOW?
    Employees who can move to different areas at work are 1.3 times more likely to be engaged than other employees.
    Source: Gallup survey

    At The Scalers, we’ve implemented a collaborative workspace where teams can enjoy their own personal space that they can set-up according to their preferences. They also have access to a common area that has a foosball table, a pantry stocked with snacks and tea, and comfortable couches to kick back and relax. Our teams also get unlimited access to the meeting rooms, phone booths, and activity rooms.

    2. An ergonomically designed workspace is key

    When you’re planning your office space, comfort is one of the most critical parameters to consider. With most people spending 40+ hours at work every week, ergonomic workstations are the need of the hour.

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    FACT
    Ergonomic workstations can lead to up to 25% increase in employee productivity.
    Source: ErgoPlus

    At The Scalers, we embrace this concept by providing our teams with ergonomic desks and chairs, well-lit rooms, a steady and reliable internet connection, and functional computer terminals.

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    3. A dull workspace can impact productivity

    Perception is reality — dull workplaces can be significantly uninspiring for employees. If your office space is haphazardly strung together, your employees are not going to look forward to coming to work. This, in turn, leads to lower morale and productivity.

    And that’s why, it’s essential to pay attention to detail and invest in creating a lively, energetic, and fun workspace. Add decor to your office space that not only gives it a unique character, but is also a reflection of your company culture and what your business stands for — whether that’s with art, furnishings, or even plants. Ensure that your office space is hygienic, clutter-free, and well lit. Avoid bright, fluorescent lighting as it can frequently cause headaches and increase anxiety and stress.

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    The biophilia hypothesis states that there is an instinctive bond between humans and other living systems. By installing large glass windows overlooking the city, or placing green plants in every room, you’re bringing a piece of nature into your workspace.

    A piece of research conducted by Washington State University showed that participants who were working in a room with live plants had a lower blood pressure than those that didn’t. The study also proved that 10% of the participants felt more attentive when there were among plants. In fact, at The Scalers, we encourage our employees to decorate their desks with a dash (or two) of greenery!

    If you want to build a software development team with us, or if you have any questions about our services, you can reach out to us by filling out the contact form. One of our senior executives will get in touch with you.
  • Software driven business: The key to customer centricity Sep 10, 2020

    Digital transformation continues at an accelerated pace — partly driven by a requirement for increased resilience, diversified revenue streams, and continued competitiveness in the age of the coronavirus. Whether it’s cake shops offering their recipes at a price online, or traditional family-run restaurants having to embrace the ‘Uberisation’ of food consumption.

    We’ve seen gyms and fitness instructors move their products online and new apps enter that marketplace and disrupt an industry where a lack of dedicated brick and mortar space was seen as a definite barrier of entry. What wasn’t foreseen was that the customer’s own home could indeed become that dedicated space.

    Adaptation as a response to crisis
    As a response, some gym chains have had to invest more time and money into their mobile applications. Total Fitness, a prestige fitness and health club brand operating in Northern England started running virtual aerobics classes, offering personalised downloadable plans, and delivering their own-brand smoothies, shakes, and protein-rich savoury meals door to door.

    A fitness club moving their offering(s) online certainly isn’t an isolated case. What makes it noteworthy is that this is a ‘high-end’ service, where the exclusivity of the clubs acts as a selling point, yet they had to adapt in order to remain competitive. The exclusive, ‘luxurious’ nature of their model meant they were less immune than other service providers in the same industry.

    They, like others had to move their model from an almost entirely-physical offering, to one — albeit perhaps temporarily — that operates almost entirely as application software with their working staff operating as distributed units, whether that’s the kitchen staff preparing the meals in the family kitchen or the instructors operating from their home studios.

    Of course, this is a very simplistic example of a more intriguing phenomenon — the rise of the software driven business.

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    A new model emerges: the software driven business
    Take Vodaphone, one of the longest-running giants of the British telecoms industry, and a key mover and shaker in the mobile phone revolution of the late 1990s. Just last week they declared that they now see themselves as “an IT company”.

    “We’re going to expand from being a network service provider to a company that is also a software and IT business … We’re going to need more software development and engineering skills, not just networking skills.” – Scott Petty, CTO, Vodaphone UK

    Perhaps in some ways they always were, I’m fairly certain there’s always been a large IT operation in order to maintain their service and it’s auxiliary features. However, this is a marked change in the way Vodaphone as a company sees itself — and describes itself to others.

    Leveraging software for customer centricity
    In the years ahead, many experts predict that software is going to become the primary engine of businesses. If we adopt for a second, as we always should, a customer-centric mindset then think of how they engage with brands they’re interested in. Whether it’s placing orders, requesting support for upcoming deliveries or existing purchases, viewing their account, or even applying for credit — on the backend it’s all software.

    Similarly, even prior to Covid, but more so during and ‘since’, mobile apps helped ease the strain on overwhelmed call centres particularly within financial institutes dealing with a deluge of payment-break requests.

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    Likewise, it is software that helps the employees in those organisations get speedy access to the data they need to deliver customer-centric services, particularly in fast-paced crisis periods when such service is critical. As such, it would appear that like diversification and transformation, the pandemic has quickened the need for an organisation to become a software driven business.

    “Becoming a software driven business doesn’t happen in one go — it’s a journey. Companies that adopt the technology, processes and culture to anticipate new customer needs and quickly adapt to unforeseen risks lead the way.” – Allen Shaheen, Senior VP, Cognizant

    How to: harnessing the cloud
    In order to accelerate the pace of change, organisations need to quicken the shift from legacy architecture to a cloud-native approach. This approach enables more agility, decreased time to market, and most importantly — the ability to deliver and scale continuously. Cloud-native apps also take far less time to update than their legacy counterparts — helping companies create a better user experience for their customers.

    To successfully deliver a Paas of Saas offering, organisations need to continually invest in the latest cloud architecture and foster a culture of cloud-native development.

    How to: cultivating a software-centric culture
    Getting the right culture in place is crucial when embarking on a quest to create a cloud-native, software-development-focused business. Interestingly, in a survey conducted by consulting firm Cognizant this year, 95% of respondents report that transitioning to modern software engineering is culturally challenging.

    Aligning software development with the organisation’s strategic priorities gives senior leaders a clearer picture of how important it is to the business. This is key, because in the same study cited above, 37% said there is a “poor perception of the business impact of software engineering” within their organisation.

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    The future awaits
    A new opportunity exists for technology companies to update their business model by leveraging software as a strategy. Enabled by cloud solutions, it will enable enterprises to remain competitive — crucial in times of unforeseen crises — lower costs, drive value, and deliver genuine customer centricity.

    Innovating in a post-Covid world poses new challenges — from unpredictable changes in customer behaviour, to software developers who work from home in far larger numbers than before. To adapt swiftly to new risks and jump quickly in order to seize new opportunities requires agile IT infrastructure, new ways of working, and a willingness to experiment.

    If you’re struggling to find the skills you need to scale your development team and deliver exciting new products to your customers — and don’t have the time to reskill existing employees, then you might benefit from an extended team in a talent-rich location.

    In July we released an in-depth report on how the Covid crisis has led to a shift in attitudes toward remote work and how tech companies will build their development teams in the years ahead — and if you’re looking to become a software driven business, then an extended team of highly talented software developers may help you scale and innovate quicker than you can at home.

    What you’ll learn:
    • That new operating models are making businesses more resilient, and able to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
    • How to innovate without disrupting core processes — technology as a key driver of value, not merely a support.
    • Why establishing remote-ready technology infrastructure is key to becoming more ‘pandemic proof’.
    • How to harness talent in worldwide talent pools, to scale beyond borders in a ‘new normal’ of recruitment and delivery.
    To beat the European IT talent shortage, find out more about what we have coined ‘Offshore 2.0’, and to discover how CTOs, CIOs, and VPs of Engineering will be building their tech teams beyond 2020, download our latest report: Scaling Beyond Borders.

    If you want to leverage Bangalore’s IT ecosystem, and transform your business, feel free to reach out to us by filling out the contact form. As experts in building the best engineering teams in India, we can help you build your A-team.
  • Reskilling in the Age of Digital Transformation Sep 4, 2020

    Digital transformation, and the results of it, are nothing new — yet with the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 it can feel like the latest business buzzword appearing in every corporate monthly magazine and hot on the lips of every senior executive. In fact, one could wager that Apple’s introduction of the iPod represents, among a certain age demographic, their first time witnessing digitalisation really disrupting an industry — it changed the way the ‘man on the street’ consumed entertainment.

    A total game changer, the transformation of the music industry was a precursor for a lot of what we witness on the high street and wider society today — for better and for worse, one could argue. Indeed, while many reap the benefits of industry digitalisation when it comes to easier banking processes, or ordering a taxi from their phones — many blue collar workers are facing uncertainty with the automation revolution closer than many people think.

    An era of unprecedented transformation

    Even before this year’s Covid crisis, new or changing technologies and ways of working were disrupting industries and jobs, plus the skills that employees need to possess in order to do them. As far back as 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that as many as 375 million workers — or 14% of the global workforce — would have to change occupations or acquire new skills by the end of the current decade because of automation and AI.

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    Covid-19 has accelerated what was already a fast-moving trend. In order to remain competitive, businesses across industries have been digitising their offerings, and digitalising their internal processes for staff and external buying options for customers. Whether that’s all-digital HR functions so employees can request leave, inform about sickness, and have an overview on team absence — or Original Equipment Manufacturers such as automakers allowing prospective buyers to choose, customise (and even virtually test drive), and purchase vehicles entirely online.

    Both of these examples are net wins for the both employee and the consumer, but things aren’t as rosy for workers in jobs that can be done either by machines directly, or automated processes — streamline operations so businesses can become more cost effective.

    Many US coastal journalists felt the ire of heartland America when they suggested coal miners should “learn to code” in the face of widespread job losses, perhaps pointing to a disconnect between those who live in larger metropolitan areas and those in rural communities with less digital industry. However, in reality it isn’t only blue collar workers who should be concerned with the rise of the robots. In industries such as logistics, artificial intelligence may feasibly replace many human positions in the not-too-distant future. Which begs the question… How important is reskilling for digital transformation as we head into this uncharted territory?

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    Reskilling for digital transformation: plugging the skills gap

    If we look back to McKinsey again, their February 2020 survey revealed that 87% of the executives and managers asked said their organisations either have skill gaps already — or expect them to develop between now and the middle of the decade.

    With an April Gartner study showing that 75% of CFOs intend to keep at least 5% of their workforce permanently remote, and companies such as facebook and Slack declaring their intention to allow permanent remote working for nearly all their staff — a seismic shift that was perhaps inevitable in time has been pushed to the forefront with immediacy and some may say necessity.

    Shifting gears

    One possible answer to the automation question is building educational solutions to reskill a workforce who don’t fit into common assumptions and requirements of the average tech worker, such as truck drivers. They make up 2% of the US workforce, and it’s the most common job in 29 of the 50 states. In Europe they’re predicted to be among the most impacted professions as we globally migrate to a more automated economy, according to research conducted by The Guardian.

    “Don’t wait until self-driving trucks are a common sight on the highways to start building skills for your next job. Start doing it this year, so you will be ready when the time comes.” – Stephane Kasriel, CEO, Upwork.

    While it might seem fanciful to expect middle-aged drivers to reskill to a totally different area, it’s certainly likely that autonomous trucks will require human assistance for the foreseeable future so there will definitely be transferable skills — though of course, large scale disruption is inevitable.

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    Covid as a driver of change

    The coronavirus pandemic has pushed this issue even further to the forefront. Workers across industries need to figure out how they can adapt to ever-changing conditions, and businesses need to learn how to match those staff members to new roles and activities. That said, reskilling for digital transformation (and upskilling) is not a new idea. Digital transformation and artificial intelligence have been a growing part of business for years — though it is without question that the pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of technology.

    As well as accelerating the transformation of industries and business, the pandemic has also pushed virtual hiring, onboarding, and learning to the forefront. These platforms enable organisations to broaden the abilities of their existing workforce and as such, reskill large numbers of employees relatively easily to plug gaps that currently exist or will do shortly. Attitudes and practices around remote working have also been transformed, with many large organisations proclaiming they’ll be shifting to an almost totally ‘work from home’ model for the foreseeable future.

    With the uptick in use of online collaboration platforms and so on, some passive digital reskilling is inevitable — with an increase in familiarity though use and a mainstreaming of an online-first workplace.

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    The road ahead

    Most organisations are taking action to address their requirement for talent, with 56% stating that the aforementioned reskilling programmes should take precedence over new hires and is indeed their preferred method to plug existing gaps and address ones they predict to occur in the future.

    “As the world faces the transformative economic, social, and environmental challenges of Globalisation 4.0, it has never been more important to invest in people.” – Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum.

    It’s vitally important that people in all industries at all levels look toward upskilling and reskilling for digital transformation — and that business leaders empower their teams by facilitating this. Investing in existing staff is preferable to an endless influx of new hires as the values and culture of the organisation are already instilled, and from a fiscal perspective it’s also a more cost-effective strategy.

    With the exponential nature of technology rendering predictive models less accurate than in other circumstances, it’s tricky to set a definitive timeline, however it’s certainly something for businesses to begin to prioritise as we head into an era of unprecedented transformation.

    If you’re struggling to find the skills you need to scale your development team and deliver exciting new products to your customers — and don’t have the time to reskill existing employees, then you might benefit from an extended team in a talent-rich location.

    In July we released an in-depth report on how the Covid crisis has led to a shift in attitudes toward remote work and how IT Decision Makers will build their development teams in the years ahead — and what we uncovered is applicable to a business looking to address talent and skills shortages right now, also.

    What will you learn?
    • How new operating models are making businesses more resilient, and able to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
    • How to innovate without disrupting core processes — technology as a key driver of value, not merely a support.
    • How establishing remote-ready technology infrastructure is key to becoming more ‘pandemic proof’.
    • How to harness talent in worldwide talent pools, scaling beyond borders in a ‘new normal’ of recruitment and delivery.
    To beat the European IT talent shortage, find out more about what we have coined ‘Offshore 2.0’, and to discover how CTOs, CIOs, and VPs of Engineering will be building their tech teams beyond 2020, download our latest report: Scaling Beyond Borders.

    If you want to leverage Bangalore’s IT ecosystem, and transform your business, feel free to reach out to us by filling out the contact form. As experts in building the best engineering teams in India, we can help you build your A-team.
  • Embracing the global talent pool — how shifting attitudes are reshaping development Jul 8, 2020

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    Recent events at home and abroad remind us of the power of shared experiences. For the first half of 2020 we’ve all, in one way or another, been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic — perhaps in some ways more trivially than others. And, even as restrictions, lockdowns, and quarantines begin to ease at their respective rate from country to country — it’s a global event with global consequences which will continue to be felt for quite some time.

    Businesses in the UK are beginning to open up, with staff now slowly but surely coming back to the office, albeit with new rules and regulations imposed. For many, the past few months have been their first time experiencing a ‘work-from-home’ environment. Likewise, for some (me included), working remotely has been the norm for quite some time — as it is for many operating in business development.

    What The Scalers learned

    During conversations with our partners, we understood that having their development teams based in Bangalore didn’t alter their operations in any way. In fact, we realised that them having a ‘crisis proof’ development team was key — their teams were equipped and set up in a way that meant they could work from home seamlessly.

    It planted a seed, an idea that was to become the thesis behind Scaling Beyond Borders.

    Introducing: Scaling Beyond Borders

    In our new report, ‘Scaling Beyond Borders: How IT decision makers will build their tech teams after 2020’, we explore “how an altered business landscape has emerged in the wake of the coronavirus — forcing adaptation, prompting diversification, posing new challenges, and revealing new opportunities.”

    We look at businesses embracing global talent pools, and where remote working is a new normal. In our opinion, for businesses to remain resilient and competitive, new practices and technologies will need to be adopted, and a new working culture embraced.

    Changing attitudes

    If working from home has become normalised in the minds of business leaders and the people whom they manage — then by extension the notion of remote teams being just as much a part of the business as ‘home’ teams has become normalised also. Whatever objections businesses may have had regarding such a development scenario, the pandemic has shown businesses that with the right technology and culture, it can work... sometimes even better than workers onshore.

    It is highly likely we’ll talk of a Before Covid and After Covid when we talk about the changing attitudes in regards to remote working, and by extension, remote teams.

    We also explore the view of technology as a key driver of value, not merely a support function, as well as the central role of CTOs, CIO, and other IT Decision Makers in helping to facilitate this.

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    From cost focus to talent focus

    For quite some time, when one spoke of building development teams abroad there was an immediate focus on labour cost, and not on the added value such a setup can bring to an organisation. It was seen as an ‘other’ team, somehow distinct and separate from the existing development structure. This labour-cost focus, among other things, is what we categorise under the heading ‘Offshore 1.0’— an outdated mindset that’s being moved aside by fresh ideas.

    Crisis proofing your operations

    Obviously one of the core issues that the pandemic has raised is vulnerability. Delivery can be interrupted, disrupted, or worse depending on the specific circumstances. The technological setup of offshore dedicated development means the team is always ready to work in a distributed fashion should standard operations be disrupted.

    They are used to working across continents and time zones, an office in Bangalore and HQ in Europe for example — switching to a distributed WFH setup is seamless and simple.

    We go into this in more detail in our report, and also explore how working in this capacity can actually improve productivity in some cases.

    Offshore 2.0: development redefined

    Businesses have realised that this way of building development teams gives them access to untapped pools of highly skilled engineers without the limiting premises prices facing firms in cities such as London or Paris. And, these dedicated developers are fully committed to the business as a whole, acting as an augmentation of the current ‘onshore’ team — and not as external engineers hired on a project-by-project basis.

    Your dedicated developers are completely embedded into the organisation, sharing the ethos and values — but sourcing these talented candidates can be tricky. Plus, it’s incredibly important to have an expert on the ground who understands the laws, regulations, and culture of the extended team’s location. That’s where a trusted partner comes into play!

    In Scaling Beyond Borders we dive deep into the differences between Offshore 1.0 and Offshore 2.0, showcasing how the latter is a winning ticket for a vast array of companies — and not only ones hiring development teams — in an age where digital transformation is no longer a buzzword but the norm across industries.

    A post-Covid business landscape

    Inspired by a drive to transform quickly and innovate with minimal disruption to core business, in 2020 and beyond we will see: the pursuit of expertise by sourcing talent and skills in global pools, remote-ready technology infrastructure, fluidity between ITDM roles, and a clear vision and understanding of how remote teams can enable organisations to scale swiftly.

    What will you learn?

    • How new operating models are making businesses more resilient, and able to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
    • How to innovate without disrupting core processes — technology as a key driver of value, not merely a support.
    • How establishing remote-ready technology infrastructure is key to becoming more 'pandemic proof'.
    • How to harness talent in worldwide talent pools, scaling beyond borders in a 'new normal' of recruitment and delivery.
    • To find out more about Offshore 2.0 and how CTOs, CIOs, and VPs of Engineering will be building their tech teams beyond 2020, download our latest report: Scaling Beyond Borders.
    This article was originally published on our blog as ‘Introducing: Scaling Beyond Borders — A Report on Building Tech Teams After 2020