THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Anthony Thomas(Tony) is learning Japanese with the help of a mobile application at ‘Parinthirickal’, his home in Mannanthala, since he will be moving to Japan this Saturday to take charge as the Group Chief Information Officer of Nissan, one of the largest automobile companies in the world. In a fast-changing world, Anthony has been adapting fast in his journey from being a mainframe programmer to a technology leader of Fortune 500 companies. As the group CIO, he will be predicting the future of technology for the Japanese company. He will be a leading voice in the technology that makes electric and driverless cars a reality in many parts of the world.
Future of IT Jobs
These days people are worried about the future of IT jobs. Parents are even advising students to opt for other streams. Is IT a worrying factor for the country which made a name for itself in the sector?
According to Anthony adaptation to newer technologies is the key to future. “Most IT job will not be based on the outsourcing model followed by many companies. New areas of jobs will be created. Those who adapt to the change will benefit,” says Anthony as a word of advise to IT professionals and engineering graduates. The companies will not be scaling down the employees who are ready to change themselves. He predicts that the in future every job requires some level of software knowledge.
“Most if not all jobs in the future are going to be IT related jobs. Information Technology is only going to be more relevant. People who treat IT as a clerical job are worried about issues like visa problem in USA,” says Tony. The worrying factor, he says, is that many companies are still focusing on outsource model of traditional Enterprise IT, which probably will reducing in revenue share, but new opportunities in Internet of Things, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Automation etc., have huge potential.
Tony likes disruptive ideas because he thinks they have the growth potential that surpasses the valuation of big companies. “Those solving genuine problems will succeed and will get quality money. I do believe that Kerala will have a few good stories,” says Anthony. Despite good talent, environment and air connectivity, the state does not have many success stories in startups. Creating an investor-friendly climate, providing an ecosystem for startups are key to their success, he says. Anthony is a founding member of CIO Angel Network (CAN), part of Indian Angel Network (IAN) and is mentoring a few startups in the state. He is a member of the high power committee on Information Technology that advises Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “The Chief Minister is serious about making curriculum changes from school level to the meet the demands of future. The vision of the state in this regard is much better than others,” he says.
Home is City
When GE Global appointed Anthony as the Group CIO looking after 180 countries outside the US, he preferred that he would be based in Bengaluru. This was to facilitate his connect with the state. A frequent traveller to global locations, Anthony was available on the weekends at Parinthirickal.
“I used to fly down on weekends to be with my family. But I think the visit will not be that frequent once we move to Japan,” says Anthony. His wife Neetu has left her job at has left her job at Bristol Myers Squibb, a leading US pharma company in the US to settle in Thiruvananthapuram. Their children Michael and Maria are studying in 10th and 5th standards at St Thomas Residential School at Mukkola. He is an alumnus of the College of Engineering Trivandrum.