CIO alert: By 2024, number of IT staff will shrink dramatically

DevOps teams combined with Agile methods will become the accepted means of building capabilitiesMarc Cecere, Forrester

In five to seven years, technology organisations will become faster, more services-focused, and smaller over the long-term, reports Forrester.

Automation, cloud, external services, and empowered business users will reduce the number of people needed in IT, says Forrester analyst Marc Cecere.

The combined forces of the age of the customer (AoC) and business technology (BT) are changing some roles, creating new ones, and removing others, says Cecere in a report on new tech management structures.

These changes mean the roles and skills of the IT team must also evolve and expand, he states.

In this environment, CIOs’ teams need to have a strong customer mindset.

The report notes IT roles will increase their knowledge of and involvement with business processes, internal and external customers, the ecosystem of partners, and other traditional business areas.

This involvement requires higher-level communication and political skills and a consulting role to assist business leaders in technology decisions.

Specialised skills will be needed in “hot new technologies”, such as voice recognition, IoT, machine learning and blockchain, and methods such as Agile and DevOps.

At the same time people with generalised skills are required to provide direction and oversight across traditional silos such as servers, networks, devices, and development.

The Forrester report likewise predicts the IT silos of applications, infrastructure, operations, architecture, and the PMO will be replaced by cross-functional business and technology teams.

“DevOps teams combined with Agile methods will become the accepted means of building capabilities,” notes Cecere.

The following graph summarises the predicted changes ahead:

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The report concludes with the importance of the organisation’s capacity to change, and to involve internal people in the transformation.

“Consultants can help with some of this, but transformations will not be successful if the people with the local knowledge of the culture and business of the firm don’t have the time to dedicate to the change.”

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