It would be certainly excessive to state that IT specialists are superfluous in the future enterprise. However, it is indisputable that with the progressive industrialization efforts the future internal IT departments will look fundamentally different.
Considerations to the future of corporate IT organization, requires us to look back first and learn from history. In the past the energy sector went through a very similar transformation. Bigger companies had their own power plant (water wheel) covering their own needs (1:1 relationship) at the beginning. With the rising demand the sector started to industrialize and created central services based on steam power stations (1:many relationship). The services developed further and became more efficient. Based on the dependencies the regulators kicked in and created rules & standards. Nowadays the sector is heavily distributed and privatized and electricity is commodity. The same will happen with IT.
Today’s internal IT organization will go through drastic changes and experience a radical transformation as well. External IT service partner will provide in future the majority of all commodity IT services. This will include also such awkward topics like IT Security. The future internal IT shop will form itself around service managers and the CIO will have no more technology responsibility. Only business areas with special demands will have local IT technology specialists, which design the necessary solutions together with the service provider.
Hence, internal IT teams will be in future considerably smaller and the job profiles for the concerning employees will differ strongly from the ones in place today. On the way there, many open questions with regard to responsibility, security and compliance need to be answered. However, these will be soon addressed by applying harmonized rules & standards. The standards will describe the “What needs to be done” and it is up to the companies to define exactly “How” they want to do it.
Through bundling of the different services at the external suppliers the number of internal IT jobs will decrease strongly. The majority of IT commodity services will be delivered from developing countries with a low budget workforce. IT employees within the developed countries must have a very good professional qualification and experience in future to make good money in IT. The ongoing cost pressure and focus on efficiency gain in high cost locations will increase the pressure even more and accelerate the described industrialization process.
The global IT workforce and their distribution will definitively look very much different in 2023 compared to the one we have today. It will take some more time to figure out how fast all that will take place but it will happen. Hopefully then enterprise companies, service providers, IT employees, universities and the culture is ready to handle it.