Commentary by: Arun Balasubramanian, MD- India & SAARC, ServiceNow
Digital technology and connectivity continue to be the foundations of India’s growth and rise to global prominence. We must maintain the additional momentum driving digital adoption created by the pandemic because of the clear benefits derived; the creation of efficient businesses, new jobs, and the overall development of society.
To keep up with the rapid adoption of digital technologies, organizations must make significant investments in skilling, reskilling, and upskilling programs to bridge workforce and industry gaps. While India is renowned for its pool of talent, employers lament the fact that many graduates lack necessary skills of the changing workplace. The Ministries of Education, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship should collaborate on the 2022 budget to advance the Skill India initiative by modernizing skill development programs to meet industry demand.
The pandemic exposed the gaps in the country’s existing IT infrastructure, and we anticipate targeted initiatives to address them, not only technologically, but also legally, in terms of data, data privacy, and artificial intelligence. The data protection bill in India could be introduced during the parliament’s budget session. The bill aims to address a wide range of issues so that citizens, businesses, and the government can reap the full benefits of a safe, secure, trustworthy, and resilient cyberspace and its passage is critical.
The vast potential of data is highlighted by the government’s plan to allow the private sector to build data center parks throughout the country. We are hopeful that the data centre policy announced last year will be approved by the cabinet as it will play a significant role in establishing a national framework aimed at attracting additional investment through rule simplification and general ease of doing business in segments such as the public sector, banking, insurance, etc. With 5G on the horizon for India, these policies will be critical.
It is imperative that India support commercial deployment of 5G networks through a combination of budgetary, policy, and regulatory support, assisting start-ups and enterprises in generating new revenue opportunities through enhanced communication and connectivity mechanisms. 5G technology is disrupting and reshaping the communications value chain, and as more countries adopt 5G technologies, India must do more to support commercial deployment of 5G networks.
These efforts from the government will result in positive change and will further enhance India’s position as a global technology leader.