Increasing digitisation to hit Indian jobs hardest: survey

19 January 2017

Increasing use of digitisation, automation and artificial intelligence in businesses and organisations will hit Indian employees the hardest in the world in the short term by cutting jobs, a survey by ManpowerGroup says.

The survey, titled The Skills Revolution, was released recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It asked 18,000 employers in 43 countries across six industry sectors how they expected technology to impact their business in the next two years.

For the question 'Where will digitization increase or decrease headcount?' India had the most employers saying digitization would decrease headcounts, with Bulgaria, Slovakia and Slovenia close behind. Over a quarter of employers in India expect to reduce headcount due to digitisation.

However, most employers across the world expect automation and the adjustment to digitization would bring a net gain for employment. Italy, Guatemala and Peru had the most employers saying digitisation would increase headcounts.

"People working in IT and customer-facing roles should feel optimistic: those those employers anticipate greatest increases in headcount," the survey says.

Predictably, data analysts will be the most in demand. "Rapid growth in demand is also expected across almost all industries and geographies for data analysts required to make sense of big data, and for specialized sales representatives to commercialize digitized offerings," the survey says.

The human resources sector follows IT to see employee gain from digitisation. Finance and accounting is likely to see least increase in headcount followed by the product and management sectors.

 Interestingly, the survey has found 65 per cent of the jobs GenZ would perform do not yet exist, indicating the rapid pace at which skills are evolving.

The survey finds that in the short term digitisation would require skill enhancement and adoption of new skills but it won't hit the jobs too much globally.

"In the short term, the future of work is bright. Most employers expect automation and the adjustment to digitization will bring a net gain for employment. Eighty-three per cent intend to maintain or increase their headcount and upskill their people in the next two years. Only 12 per cent of employers plan to decrease headcount as a result of automation,'' it said.

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