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‘Tech firms compelled to pay digital workers higher salaries’

‘Employee churn, through roles, is no option in digital’

June 22, 2021 11:54 pm | Updated 11:54 pm IST - Bengaluru

Tech workers retrained for digital skills expect to be compensated higher and tech firms that are slow in providing this compensation adjustment are likely to lose their employees and investments they made in retraining, cautioned industry experts.

There has been a huge shortage of digital talent after the pandemic started accelerating digital transformation in the global marketplace.

The new market demanded new skills which required the industry to invest in retraining, paying high to retain these reskilled workers and also hiring new and more expensive talent, said Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of Everest Group, a Dallas-based analyst and advisory firm.

“Most of the retrained employees for digital skills expect to be paid much higher. Tech firms that are slow in making this compensation adjustment are likely to lose their employees and investments they made in retraining,’’ he said.

Commenting on the attrition scenario in IT, Avinash Vashistha, Chairman, Tholons, a globalisation consulting and investment firm said, “We see over 30% of on-site job opportunities migrating to India and other technology hubs like Eastern Europe and Latin America. This has already resulted in higher attrition in IT firms (12 to 15%) and see a salary increase in digital platform skills go up by 20%.’’

Customers were asking for more breadth and depth of vertical specialisations as they looked for an end-to-end solution for a business problem – which was a deviation from the affinity for point-solutions that existed before the pandemic struck, observed Hansa Iyengar, Principal Analyst, Enterprise IT Strategy at Omdia, a London-based firm.

“Success will come to those system integrators willing to make the commitments and investments needed to build or acquire skills and presence across digital and emerging tech like AI/ML, IoT, AI, Cybersecurity and the digital workplace,’’ he opined.

According to Bendor-Samuel, new digital models require persistent teams, this poses a huge challenge to the established operating model of the industry with its talent pyramid structure which relies on churning employees through roles to keep the mix of employees cost-effective.

“The persistent team structure is more expensive to operate and requires a rethink of employee career planning and retention,’’ he added.

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