A report by Gartner suggests that demand for IT specialists could shrink by as much as 40% in the next five years.
The report, highlighted on ZDNet, suggests companies will looking to employ "IT Generalists" rather than specialists who will show business acumen and able to handle multidisciplinary assignments.
Also highlighted is the trend of transferring laptop ownership from the company, to the employee. This is something that has been seen increasingly recently with companies shifting the responsibility of maintaining the laptop to the employee and thereby eliminating abuse and damage.
The report appears to contradict itself by suggesting that in order to keep up with regulatory compliance, companies will be less able to manage initiatives to grow their business; funding for new technology will be lacking. Surely IT specialists will be needed to maintain the company during the transisition in to the new regulatory world rather than the IT generalists who would be able to drive forward and grow the business?
What's clear through all of this is that the sector is in a period of change. Low level IT functions are going to be offshored where possible but the one advantage City workers have is that they operate closer to the business than those in Bangalore and so integrating better in to the business operations is no bad thing. You should also remember that offshoring is really an intermediate level before automation, specifically companies such as HP, Oracle etc. are working towards a completely automated datacentre with remote monitoring and control by the few rather than the many - get out of the datacentre and start enabling other people or the industry to use technology better.
On the plus side, if there is one, demand for IT professionals generally is on the rise. Universities are reporting low admission levels for IT subjects, in the U.S. especially the IT workforce is an aging one nearing retirement. Also, although not quite a boom there is a dot-com burp developing with an increasing number of start-ups and web-based companies popping up with new investment flowing, all of whom require experienced, well rounded, IT professionals.