CIO magazine's blog post by Michael Hugos recommends 3 ways for IT professionals to secure their career going forward. He postulates that the trend towards outsourcing to countries with lower labor costs is irreversible. He goes on to say that cloud computing and SaaS mean a further reduction in IT in-house staffs.
Logically, I think what he says about the future of IT in US and Europe makes sense. I have, however, seen a flow of jobs back to the US in some cases. Customer frustration with help desk services provided by non-native English speakers and occasional dropped calls have prompted some companies to bring the function back to the US. One of the companies I am aware of has taken their systems administration away from a low-cost Indian provider and given it to a high-cost European one that is providing vastly improved service.
Still, IT professionals in India and China will only get increasingly skilled technically and better at communicating in English as time goes on. So what does the author suggest IT folks in US and Europe do to ensure they will have jobs in the future?
1. They need to focus on more than just cutting costs.
2. They need to develop expertise in another functional area on the business side of the house - marketing, finance, sales - in order to have an inside track on how they can leverage IT to MAKE MONEY.
3. They need to continually work to leverage technologies that provide greater agility to transform business to be more agile and hence more able to respond to market opportunities and challenges.
In addition to these, I think that, even though China is particular is coming on strong in tech innovation, the US and Europe must continue to lead in innovation. The individual technology professional who either pioneers or is an early adopter of an innovation that improves how business gets done will have a job that can't be outsourced.
The same is true, in my opinion, of the IT professional who adds value to the standard job description. An example of this would be my client who is such an expert on iOS and other mobile operating systems that he is an invaluable support to other Team Leads and a highly effective trainer and manager of outsourced teams.
Any other thoughts on how to ensure tech careers going forward?