Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, on Feb 22 released new research “Asia Pacific Digital Skills Study: The Economic Benefits of a Tech-Savvy Workforce,” that shows workers in India who use advanced digital skills – including cloud architecture or software development – contribute an estimated US$507.9 billion (₹10.9 trillion) to India’s annual gross domestic product (GDP). This is attributed to the 92% higher salaries that these workers earn compared to those with a similar education who do not use digital skills at work.
The study was commissioned by AWS and conducted by Gallup, examined how building a technology-enabled workforce has significant benefits for workers, organizations, and the economy. More than 2,000 (2,005) working adults and 769 employers were surveyed in India across a variety of public and private sector organizations and industries. The study classifies basic digital skills as the ability to use email, word processors, other office productivity software, and social media. Intermediate digital skills include drag-and-drop website design, troubleshooting applications, and data analysis. Advanced digital skills include cloud architecture or maintenance, software or application development, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning.
The study found that advanced digital workers in India are benefitting from more than just a boost in their income. 91% of workers who use advanced digital skills express higher job satisfaction, compared to 74% of workers with intermediate skills and 70% of workers with basic digital skills.
Similarly, employers that rely heavily on advanced digitally-skilled workers, digital technology, and cloud technology reap higher business growth and innovation. The study found that 21% of Indian organizations that run most of their business on the cloud report a doubling of annual revenue or more, compared to 9% of those that use the cloud for some or none of their business. Cloud-based organizations are also 15 percentage points more likely to have introduced a new or improved product within the last two years (95% vs 80%).
With many organizations now preparing for the challenges of a digital future, the Gallup study looked at 10 emerging technologies including AI, edge and quantum computing, blockchain, and cryptocurrency. 92% of employers in India say at least one of these technologies is likely to become a standard part of their future business operations, with 5G ranking the highest at 78%.
“People in India are increasingly going digital, from the way they work to the way they live. This research shows that digital skills provide immense economic value to India at the individual, organizational, and macroeconomic level,” said Gallup Principal Economist, Dr. Jonathan Rothwell. “As more organizations move their IT to the cloud over the next decade and new technologies emerge, digitization is going to fuel a vast number of new jobs. The opportunity for India to be competitive in the digital economy depends on having a robust and highly skilled workforce to support current and future innovations.”
With the digital transformation of businesses and government agencies accelerating around the world, demand for advanced digital workers will remain strong in the coming years. 93% of Indian employers surveyed reported they were seeking to fill openings that require digital skills, but 88% said it is challenging to find the talent they need. A possible barrier is that 60% of Indian organizations prefer a bachelor’s degree, even for entry-level IT staff. However, many are starting to recognize that accepting industry certifications can ease their hiring challenges. 91% of employers say that digital certifications or training courses are acceptable substitutes for a bachelor’s degree.
“As the Gallup research shows, India has the opportunity to seize immense economic benefits from building a strong pipeline of cloud talent to support the country’s ongoing digital transformation. AWS is working with organizations such as Tech Mahindra Foundation, Perfios, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to help bridge the digital skills gap. AWS has trained more than four million people with basic, intermediate, and advanced cloud skills in India since 2017, and our work doesn’t stop here,” said Amit Mehta, Head of Training and Certification, AWS India Private Limited.
To help workers in India acquire advanced skills to further their careers, AWS has announced AWS re/Start Associate, a new track under the AWS re/Start program to help unemployed and underemployed IT professionals modernize their skills and pivot to mid-level cloud careers.