Will Automation Kill IT?


Tech Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for IT pros

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Automation is putting more pressure on IT professionals to stay relevant and have the skills needed to compete.

Article 2 Minutes
Will Automation Kill IT?

Automation is growing in most areas of business, with technology quickly replacing certain aspects of work that were traditionally carried out by people. This is a good move for businesses, as it often means reduced costs and not having to worry about sick days or breaks that put humans out of action.

Automation in the tech industry

Nowhere has this been more relevant than in the tech industry. With so many developments and innovations happening in such a short space of time, many IT professionals are seeing computers take over more and more of their sector.

Research conducted by Harvey Nash found that nearly half (45 per cent) of global technology professionals expect their job to be automated in the next ten years, while the majority (94 per cent) think their career options will be restricted if they don't learn new tech skills.

Their concerns may be well-founded, with Deloitte figures predicting that around 16 per cent of total public sector jobs in the UK could be automated by 2030. Both the evolution and development of tech and limited budgets are going to be key factors in this trend, according to the analysts.

How to combat this

Off the back of the report's findings, Robert Grimsey, director at Harvey Nash, advised tech professionals to focus on the areas of their roles that could not be automated and further develop them.

Developing skills is important for professionals in all sectors, but for those who are worried that the future may see tech replacing them, it's a crucial part of their long-term career plan.

There are many parts of a job that can't be performed by a machine or software. Whether it's communication or project management, people are an invaluable resource for business. Tech professionals need to identify the areas where they are uniquely superior and nurture these with continued professional development (CPD).

The growing threat of automation

However, Mr Grimsey said there were certain difficulties with trying to achieve this in the IT sector.

“The topic of tech skills is a challenge for the sector. Many employers would be happy to hire someone who had the right personal attributes, but not the specific technical skills, and then train them,” said Mr Grimsey.

It seems as though a number of people in tech are already seeing the growing threat of automation and are being proactive about it. Some 12 per cent of tech professionals want more training and 27 per cent said getting a new qualification was a priority for their careers.

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