SL possesses ‘Advanced’ IT/BPM Pool

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This ‘two-part’ series is based on a recent Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) survey on the country’s IT/Business Process Management (BPM) sector.

While this being the second and the last part is mainly based on the present state of the industry, its first part,published last week, largely revolved around the potentiality of the industry.

A recent report released by SLASSCOM revealed that Investments per graduate to upskill ‘new hires’ to a satisfactory employable skill level among IT/business process management (BPM) companies, ranged from a minimum of Rs 10,000 to a maximum of Rs 50,000 or even more.

Investments

The report titled ‘IT / BPM Industry of Sri Lanka Employability Skills Survey’ released on its website on 5 June 2022 and under the subject, ‘Training tenure selected by respondents’ further highlighted the investment per graduate during the training period, as tabulated below:

Less than 3 weeks: -Rs 10,000-25,000 (1), Rs 25,000-50,000 (1) & Rs 50,000 or more (1).

3 weeks-3 months: -Rs 10,000-25,000 (4), Rs 25,000-50,000 (5) & Rs 50,000 or more (7).

3-6 months: -Rs 10,000-25,000 (6), Rs 25,000-50,000 (7) & Rs 50,000 or more (8).

More than 6 months: Rs 10,000-25,000 (2) and Rs 50,000 or more (7).

Note: Values such as (1), (2), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8) as shown above indicate the number of respondent companies, SLAASCOM said.

“The majority of companies spend Rs 50,000 or more per graduate typically over 3 weeks – 6 months to upskill and prepare the ‘new hires’ to meet business requirements”. Some of the survey-respondent companies considered only the external cost of certifications as the investment, said SLASSCOM, adding that a few respondents included salary costs as part of the investment, the survey report stated.

The need for professionals in currently high-demand areas will continue in both IT and BPM sectors; however, SASSCOM report also indicated that emerging technologies will drive demand for future skill needs within the next 18 months.

In related developments, its survey reports further showed, graduate hiring by IT and BPM companies: -IT Sector: New graduate hires made during the last 12 months: Less than 25 (73%), between 26-75 (11%), between 76-100 (2%), more than 100 (5%) and none (9%), the SLASSCOM report said. Number of new graduate hires planned over the next 12 months: -Less than 50 (89%), between 50 – 100 staff (7%), between 100 – 150 (2%) and 150 or more (2%), respectively.

Graduates

BPM Sector: -New graduate hires made during the last 12 months: Less than 25 (67%), Between 26-75 (17%) and more than 100 (17%). Number of new graduate hires planned over the next 12 months: -Less than 50 (83%) and between 50 – 100 staff (17%).

As per the responses, 78 per cent of the fresh graduate placement within companies occurs at the entry level whilst a smaller share comprises new graduates at higher levels to reflect high potential candidates sourced from ‘select-education’ institutions, the SLASSCOM report said.

IT/BPM industry employment and graduate hiring: -Influence of emerging technologies has increased the demand for IT/BPM professionals equipped with new skills required to meet the tech-enabled future workplace requirements, the report further said.

Technologies

In other findings on ‘Distribution of trending technologies used by survey respondents’ the report indicated as follows:-
Work Flow Management (BPM) Tools: 48 per cent currently in use and five per cent planned to use in the next 18 months (48%:5%); Process Mining (11%:16%); Robotic Process Automation (41%:18%); Mobility Platforms and Applications (73%:7%); Machine Learning / AI – Non Neural Nets Related (27%:20%), Machine Learning / AI – Neural Nets Related (32%:25%), Internet of Things (48%:16%), Immersive Technologies ((Augmented Reality) AR/(Virtual Reality) VR/Mixed Reality (MR)-23%:14%,Conversational Platforms / Virtual Assistants / Chatbots (41%:14%), Computer Vision (25%: 9%), Cloud Platforms and Technologies (91%:5%),Blockchain (14%: 23%), Big Data Platforms and Processing (43%:18%), Analytics Platforms and Applications (61%:7%) and 3D Printing (2% each, respectively).

BPM Sector: -Top 5 trending technologies currently in use:Robotic Process Automation (83%);Workflow Management (BPM) Tools, Big Data Platforms and Processing and Analytics Platforms and Applications (67% each) and Cloud Platforms and Technologies (50%), respectively. Top 5 trending technologies to be used within the next 18 months:Process Mining, Machine Learning / AI – Non-Neural Nets Related, Computer Vision, Cloud Platforms and Technologies and Blockchain (17% each), respectively.

IT Sector:– With technologies such as process automation, big data platforms and machine learning and AI seeing growing demand, frameworks, platformsand libraries supporting these such as Automation Anywhere, Hadoop, Spark show growing demand in the medium term, SLASSCOM said.

Frameworks

Top 5 Frameworks, Platforms and Libraries currently in use: Node.js and Angular (82% each), React (77%), .NETCore (68%) and Spring (50%). Top 5 Frameworks, Platforms and Libraries to be used within the next 18 months: -Automation Anywhere (14%), Spark (11%), Hadoop (11%), Torch / PyTorch (9%) and TensorFlow (7%).

Distribution of frameworks, platforms and libraries used by survey respondents (IT Sector):- Angular (82%),  Automation Anywhere (25% currently being used and 14% planned to newly use within next 18 months respectively), Blue Prism (5% (Planned to newly use within next 18-months)), Cordova (11%, 7%), Django (20%, 2%); Hadoop (18%, 11%), .NETCore (68%, 2%), Node.js {82% (Presently being used)}, React (77%, 2%), Spark (27%,11%); TensorFlow (20%, 7%), Torch/PyTorch (16%,9%); UiPath (27%, 2%), Xamarin (23%, 5%) andWorkFusion (2% each).

BPM Sector: -Amongst BPM companies, process automation related platforms appear to have widespread adoption.Top Frameworks, Platforms and Libraries currently in use:UiPath andBlue Prism (50% each) and Automation Anywhere (33%).

Top Frameworks, Platforms and Libraries to be used within next 18 months: -UiPath and Blue Prism (17% each). Programming languages in use and in future demand: -IT Sector:Commonly used programming languages will continue their overall popularity and application into the future with a significant incumbent user base; Go, Ruby, and R are amongst other programming languages expected to drive future demand, particularly amongst the new users, the SLASSCOM report said.

IT Sector: Top 5 Programme languages currently in use: JavaScript (91%), SQL (84%), Java (73%), C# (59%) and Python (57%). Top 5 Programme languages to be used within next 18 months: Go (11%), Ruby (9%), R (7%), Python (7%) and Perl (5%), respectively, it said.

Distribution of frameworks, platforms and libraries used by survey respondents:-Assembly language: 9% currently being used and 5% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; C:36% currently being used and 2% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; C++:43% currently being used and 2% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; C#:59% currently being used; Groovy:16% currently being used and 2% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; Go:18% currently being used and 11% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; Java:73% currently being used and 2% planned to newly use within the next 18 months;JavaScript:91% currently being used; Objective C: 23% currently being used; MATLAB: 9% currently being used and 2% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; Perl:9% currently being used and 5% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; PHP:57% currently being used and 2% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; Python:57% currently being used and 7% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; R:18% currently being used and 7% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; Ruby:20% currently being used and 9% planned to newly use within the next 18 months; SQL:84% currently being used;Swift:16% currently being used and2% planned to newly use within the next 18 months and Visual Basic.NET:41% currently being used and 2% planned to newly use within the next 18 months, respectively.

BPM Sector:With limited applications, BPM companies use SQL, JavaScript, Python, C++, C#; however, fewer responses have been recorded for future demand in programming languages, the report said.

IT Sector: Top 5 technology professionals currently in employment: Software Engineering 70%; System/Network Engineering 66%; Business Analysis 64% andClient Support & Software Quality Assurance 61% each, respectively.

Professionals

Top 5 technology professionals to be employed within the next 18 months: Cyber Security16%; UI Engineering, Scrum Master &Software Project Management (9% each) and Database Development & Administration 7%, respectively.

BPM Sector: –Top 5 professionals currently in employment: Finance Process Operations 100%; KPO Services, Customer Service Operations& BPO Services 83% each and Publishing Services 6%, respectively.

Demand for technology/BPM professionals currently in employment by primary nature of business: -Business Analysis:IT service company 14%, IT product and service company 24%, IT product company12% and BPM6%, respectively. Software Engineering: -IT service company 14%, IT product and service company 28%, IT product company14% and BPM 2%, respectively. Software Quality Assurance: IT service company 12%, IT product and service company 28% and IT product company 12% respectively.Software Project Management: IT service company 10%, IT product and service company 26%, IT product company10% and BPM2%;System/Network Engineering: IT service company 12%, IT product and service company 26%, IT product company 14%and BPM4%; UI Engineering: IT service company 10%, IT product and service company 26%, IT product company 10% and BPM2%;Client Support: IT service company 10%, IT product and service company 24%, IT product company 10% and BPM2%;Database Development & Administration: IT service company 10%, IT product and service company 26%, IT product company10% and BPM4%;Scrum Master: IT service company 10%, IT product and service company 20%, IT product company 8% and BPM 4%; Cyber Security: IT service company 8%, IT product and service company14%, IT product company 10% and BPM 4%; BPO Services: IT service company 4%, IT product and service company8%, IT product company 2% and BPM 10%;Finance Process Operations::IT service company6%, IT product and service company 12%, IT product company 2% and BPM 12%;Customer Service Operations: IT service company 6%, IT product and service company 16%, IT product company 6% and BPM 10%; KPO Services: IT product and service company4% andBPM10% and Publishing Services:IT service company6% and BMP2%, respectively.

By Paneetha Ameresekere