HCLTech and IBM Join to Train 10k Staff in Gen AI

The move by HCLTech reflects a broader trend in the tech industry: the urgent need to upskill the workforce for the AI era
HCLTech is joining with IBM in the belief that its Gen AI Centre of Excellence will help 10,000 of its engineers and architects in their work

In a move that underscores the integral importance the tech industry is placing on AI, IT giant HCLTech has announced plans to train 10,000 of its employees on IBM's watsonx AI and data platform. 

This initiative, part of a new collaboration between the two tech giants, will establish a Generative AI Center of Excellence (GenAI CoE) aimed at modernising legacy applications, developing IT service management use cases, and driving continuous innovation.

“Driving adoption of responsible generative AI solutions is an important component of our collaboration with service partners like HCLTech,” Stephen Smith, General Manager, Service Partners, IBM Ecosystem said of the announcement. 

“Through this Center of Excellence, we plan to empower our joint clients to rapidly explore, experiment and engineer generative AI solutions with watsonx that are designed to meet their current business challenges.” 

Delivered through their AI and Cloud Native Labs, and available to staff in Noida, London, New Jersey and Santa Clara, Alan Flower, EVP, Global Head, AI & Cloud Native Labs, HCLTech see this partnership as a way to expand their offerings:“This  expansion of our work with IBM will facilitate rapid exploration of AI’s potential as we create highly differentiated HCLTech offerings using the latest IBM technology. We plan to embed watsonx in HCLTech AI Force with GenAI-powered solutions to support code modernisation."

The move by HCLTech reflects a broader trend in the tech industry: the urgent need to upskill the workforce for the AI era. 

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AI centres becoming the norm

As AI technologies rapidly evolve and become more integrated into various business processes, companies are recognising the critical importance of equipping their employees with the necessary skills to leverage these powerful tools effectively.

This upskilling imperative is not limited to tech firms. Across industries, organisations are scrambling to ensure their workforce is prepared for an AI-driven future. 

The rise of the Chief AI Officer (CAIO) role exemplifies this shift. NASA recently appointed its first-ever CAIO, David Salvagnini, to lead the agency's AI initiatives. While traditionally, AI fell under the purview of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), the emergence of CAIO roles underscores the recognition of AI as a distinct entity.

This trend is mirrored in the private sector, with companies like Dell and Levi's also creating CAIO positions to provide dedicated oversight and guidance in leveraging AI capabilities.

Salesforce, another tech giant, is also making significant strides in this direction. The company recently announced the establishment of its first-ever 'AI Center' in London. 

This center will not only foster collaboration among industry experts, partners, and customers but also provide critical upskilling opportunities to ensure the UK workforce is equipped with the skills needed to embrace AI-related roles.

AI augmenting roles

The impact of AI on the workforce extends beyond the creation of new roles. It's also fundamentally changing existing jobs across various sectors. 

Recognising this, a consortium of leading tech companies, including IBM, Google, Microsoft, and others, has formed to address the impact of AI on the technology workforce. Their goal is to provide actionable insights and identify new opportunities for reskilling and upskilling.

This consortium's efforts align closely with HCLTech's initiative. By training 10,000 employees on IBM's watsonx platform, HCLTech is not only enhancing its own capabilities but also contributing to the broader industry effort to create an AI-ready workforce. 

The company's GenAI CoE will offer clients access to education and training resources covering diverse AI technologies, mirroring the consortium's aim to recommend training programs that can benefit multiple stakeholders.

As AI continues to reshape the tech landscape, initiatives like HCLTech's collaboration with IBM are becoming more common. These efforts highlight the dual challenge facing the tech industry: developing cutting-edge AI technologies while simultaneously ensuring that the workforce has the skills to leverage these tools effectively.

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