In the best-seller, “Crossing the Chasm”, Geoffrey Moore proposes an intriguing tenet: Companies established in an old industry are often unable to change with times when market shifts, and as a result are forced out of business.
Like Kodak Film which once ruled the roost in Rochester, or Remington typewriter, which became history.
Don’t be misled by the preamble on companies. This parable is really about people — a fraternity of professionals who are entering a similar zone. It is about the world of IT talent — one of the most intelligent and hardworking communities our world is fortunate to have.
If you are a techie, pick up that Java coffee cup, stretch your legs, and continue reading.
First, let’s get back to where it all started … legacy IT. I won’t hark back to mainframes — most of us were toddlers in that era. I am referring to early days when we moved from DOS to Windows, and from COBOL and FORTRAN to Java and SQL.
The years passed … IT scaled up to newer domains and platforms, and coded every corner of the world we live in.
Now comes the rub, rather the chasm that I spoke of earlier. The chasm is the large gap between those who have already jumped on the bandwagon, and those left behind on the wrong side of the precipice. How many of you, and I am referring to IT professionals reading this, have scaled up to emerging technologies?
Are you working in Cloud Computing, Fog Computing and Battery Technology? Quick, tell me what is Hadoop and Python? And don’t tell me MapReduce is a programme for faster navigation, Saas is the Hindi word for mother-in-law and Julia is the first name of Ms. Roberts!
Mega IT majors — earlier anointed as elephants who cannot dance — are today adopting new technologies faster than you can say Jack Robinson or Larry Ellison. There’s so much R&D happening in Silicon Valley that geeks may not have time to chill at The Creamery and Coupa Café, or take their family, like Steve Jobs did, to Saravana Bhavan in Sunnyvale (the waiter who served him dosa had no clue to his identity).
Forget tiffin. Let’s get back to the chasm: The gap between those who are ahead, and those who are left behind in IT.
Don’t be surprised at being turned away if your resume resembles a dot matrix printout.
Here are the emerging technologies in demand today. Will give you an idea of areas you need to excel in, unless you prefer transforming to a pumpkin or typewriter ribbon:
In demand are enterprise architects, cloud architects and other specialists. Organisations look for IT architects who have progressed from technical roles to managerial roles so that they can lead project teams.
Programmers are needed now in new areas. The list is vast, but for starters look at learning applications such as Julia, R. MapReduce Hadoop, Swift, Scrum Master and DevOps.
This is not a new skill, but the difference is project managers have to work with techies who have newer skill sets. Knowledge of Agile and other project related programming will be an asset.
It would have been fashionable to put this as first in the list, but as per Forecast 2016 Survey, Big Data was No. 10 last year and No. 4 this year. Companies want professionals who can manage, package and interpret, so that the C-suite clique can understand what data is saying.
BI has come of age in verticals such as health care, insurance, financial services and retail. Tableau comes to my mind, but you will also find other software to learn in this domain.
Strategically taken up last because there is so much to cover in this area. Cloud Computing has a rainbow of facets:
Migration: While cloud has become the buzzword, thousands of businesses are still contemplating migrating to cloud! Hence, we have demand for professionals with technical skills to facilitate migration.
Security: With so many high-profile breaches, data security continues to be top-of-mind for business leaders. IT professionals trained in Cloud Security are sure to get a red-carpet welcome.
Database: With databases heading toward cloud platforms, there is an understandable demand for techies trained in this segment. You will do well to learn a database querying language or an associated database platform: SQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database or platforms such as MySQL.
Programming language: Python, Perl and Ruby are in vogue. Developers who know these languages or even .Net and Java can now build, deploy and manage applications that can unlock the full capabilities of cloud.
Linux: It is my understanding that more than 25 per cent of servers powering Microsoft Azure are Linux-based. Linux professionals who can design, architect, build, administer and maintain servers in a cloud environment can look forward to a rewarding career.
By now you have understood the chasm theory and why techies worth their bitcoin have to cross it. If not adept in technologies IT is looking for, get back to the classroom, online or offline.
Get acquainted with languages and platforms that will work in the cloud, share your new found knowledge to help propel progress and prosperity of this planet.
The writer is Vice-President, Sales and Account Management at TASC Outsourcing.