IBM will continue to focus on hiring for revenue-generating roles, which are client-facing and represent the needs of clients and business partners, said Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India and South Asia.

The company, on a global level, reportedly had said that it sees Artificial Intelligence replacing some roles. “There is no blanket hiring pause in place,” Patel told businessline. Adding, “IBM continues to be very deliberate and thoughtful in hiring, with a focus on mostly revenue-generating roles. We are being very selective and filling jobs that don’t directly touch our clients or technology. For roles that are client-facing and where we need to progress our technology work, we are actively hiring.” 

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Patel said that automation was fueled by Covid-19 when enterprises started focusing on automating roles that do not require human intervention and eliminated human error and issues. 

However, this opens up the possibility for roles that require human judgment and intelligence. “Automation is here to stay and in the future, employees who learn to use AI effectively in the conduct of day-to-day work, will be more successful,” he noted. 

In terms of the demand outlook for the technology sector, Patel said that the company sees significant growth prospects in India. The digital transformation happening across government and businesses, India’s demographic dividend, and the onset of 5G, promise a bright outlook for the country. 

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“IBM India sits at the core of IBM’s growth strategy. The focus on our strategy around hybrid cloud AI underpinned by a strong level of security, that we bring together, is actually resonating, and will help us continue to drive growth in the region,” he further said. 

Quantum technology 

IBM sees potential in quantum technology and is building an ecosystem for the same. Patel said that quantum technology, although will take time to become mainstream and immediate commercialisation, won’t be seen right away, the company will continue to invest in the technology as it sees it to be promising. 

Patel said that applications can be seen in next-generation battery design, automotive structural analysis, enzyme design for new materials design, fraud detection, and cyber forensics. 

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India has the potential to build capacity for quantum computing and become a talent and innovation hub for the technology, he added. In India, IBM is nurturing a community of students and developers to build skills and understanding of the technology by providing them with learning resources, tools, and access to quantum computers for hands-on experience. 

“We believe that this entire ecosystem will continue to access these advancements that we are making. Currently, it’s all about building this ecosystem around developers, students, academia, and businesses, that are trying to create use cases,” Patel said.