Employees at a firm in Bangalore
Employees at a company in Bangalore [Representation Image]Reuters

As domestic IT companies aim to ride high on the opportunities presented by evolving digital technologies, there are growing worries among software professionals of being wiped out by the digital wave.

Currently, IT industry derives 80% of its revenue from older or legacy technologies but experts say that their contribution is to decline in the coming years and employees should upgrade their skills to face the change.

IT workers who can't adapt to the change will have to look for opportunities in companies where the usage of legacy skills is higher in proportion, said Prithvi Shergill, head of human resources at HCL Technologies.

In April, India's third largest IT firm Wipro had said the company's focus on automation would bring down its headcount by a third in the next three years. ."Wipro is moving its automation focus from service desk to application services, which would lead to a reduction of 30% of its headcount in the next three years," Wipro CEO TK Kurien had said on 27 April.

Wipro said that the fall in headcount could come from attrition and realigning employees to "higher value technologies."

However, as clients look to deploy newer technologies and reduce spending on the legacy systems, employees need to revise their skills to stay relevant in the changing IT sector landscape.

India's largest software firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) had said in July that it would impart training to more than 1 lakh employees this year in the fast growing digital technologies. It aims to increase its revenue from digital segment to $5 billion over the next five years.

While Java, Cobol, Mainframe, C and Fortran are still being used widely by the IT companies, nearly 30% of the employees working on other older technologies need to "upgrade or shift roles within the next three years to survive the change," said Alka Dhingra, assistant general manager at Teamlease.

"Many IT employees are acutely aware of this and are paying for their own training at third-party institutes," she said.

"Those who want to upgrade to newer technology are investing in it themselves, and moving on to better opportunities, within or outside their current workplace. However, growth in Indian IT companies is often not defined as coding proficiency in a given technology, but whether you are able to move on from coding to a more management or analysis-based role," an employee of Tech Mahindra told The Economic Times.

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