This will be my last post for 2016, and I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season and my hope for a better 2017 for the technology industry. I realize that this year has been very disruptive for many in the tech industry and many are viewing the start of 2017 with uncertainty.
Digital transformation is disrupting all companies including Technology companies. Technology companies are being impacted by the shift to cloud and mobile technologies. Analysts estimate that for every dollar that goes to public cloud displaces $3 to $4 of infrastructure spend. Micro services such as cloud computing means that software can run on only a fraction of the hardware that was previously required. Converged solutions means that less services are required to configure infrastructure, middleware and data bases. While storage demand continues to increase more of it is stored on ODM products. So technology companies are transforming, reducing costs, and looking for new skill sets. Technology companies, like their customers must transform in order to survive. Transformation is also a requirement for technology workers if we want to survive in the new technology market.
While the technology vendor companies are retrenching, The IT employment market seems to be very hot, according to Computerworld. The unemployment rate for (IT) tech workers is about 2%, according to reports on recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Computerworld's Forecast 2017 survey of 196 IT professionals found that both project management and technical support were among the top 10 most sought-after skills among survey respondents who said they plan on adding head count in the new year. "The IT labor market is still very hot. The candidate is very much in the driver's seat," says Jason Hayman, market research manager for IT staffing firm TEKsystems. Hayman cites a government report that estimates that 500,000 to 1 million IT jobs go unfilled every year, but notes that some analysts say the figure is closer to 2 million. He says there's a classic supply-and-demand scenario working here, with demand for talent far exceeding supply. "The takeaway is there aren't enough of these workers," he says.
A common approach to Digital Transformation for IT is to take a bi-modal approach where they modernize their core mode one systems, while they shift to mode two systems of innovation. This increases the demand for IT labor during the transition. However, the skills required are not the traditional infrastructure skills. In their survey report Computerworld identifies the hot skills in the IT market for 2017. Although Infrastructure skills may still be required for mode one, many IT shops are hiring contractors, while they retrain their permanent staff on mode 2 skills.
As you can see, the hot skills are more about application enablement. So there are jobs for those who may have been displaced in the technology industry. It will require some new skills, but technology workers are used to learning new skills or they wouldn’t have chosen technology. One word of caution, despite all the hype about data scientists, some analysts believe that more companies will opt for packaged analytics in the hands of business analysts.
No matter your circumstances, I hope that you can find time to enjoy your family and friends during this holiday season. Take time to focus on what is important to you and what should be priorities for the coming year. I take this time to clean out my inbox and throw out the excess baggage I have accumulated and try to see the coming year with fresh eyes. I hope you can do the same.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.