My Expert Predictions and Expectations for the Next 5 Years in IT Field
Hey! I have long wanted to discuss this topic and tell you my opinion about how I see the future of the IT sector. I will say right away that in the next 5 years, namely from 2023-2028, I expect huge changes, which, in particular, will change the labor market and the attitude of large investors to the IT sector. I wrote this article in order to record my thoughts somewhere and share with them. Furthermore, I am always happy to discuss and criticize.
In my opinion, it is very likely that the changes will affect the client support staff. Let's reason together so that you understand my logical chain. More recently, OpenAI's ChatGPT has made a splash. Google hastened to announce its AI, which could become an analogue, and Microsoft is adding AI to its Bing search engine. In short, there will only be more artificial intelligence.
Similar to ChatGPT, these will be neural networks that can replace monotonous work. They are not able to create something new, but they have a good command of the material already available on the network. So, I see how soon ChatGPT will replace employees with customer support and helpdesk employees, whose work essentially boils down to executing a certain algorithm, very often even according to a scenario when it comes to working with clients.
Unfortunately, the activities I have listed above can be performed by AI, if not now, then in a year for sure. I myself worked in support for a long time and I was always surprised why you can’t automate your work process. Now you can. Work in support very often relies on a schedule - employees work in night, day, morning shifts, but there will be no such problems with AI. AI will provide business with uninterrupted support 24/7 and eliminate whining about salary increases or inconvenient schedules.
As I said, I myself worked in support and for me, it was an important stage in my development as a specialist, but, unfortunately, I don’t see how support specialists can be better than AI. Of course, the need for Team leads will not disappear anywhere, because someone has to administer support chats, but ordinary specialists who communicate with customers 24/7 via chat, email or phone will soon become less in demand.
Storm in the Labor Market
For those who have been in IT for a long time, there is no need to explain how this direction is in demand. At my last job in an IT company in the field of tourism, 95% of the employees held a position in the IT department. This is quite logical, and I understand why - the rapid development of business with the advent of new technologies, the desire to keep up and overtake competitors, the desire to make money on something new. From a business standpoint, I understand.
However, in the long term, I believe that the labor market in IT will stabilize. There will be as many vacancies for the position of developers as there are vacancies for a corporate lawyer. The peak of growth in this sector has already passed and now, for many large investors, the IT sector, although it brings enough profit, is still not as much as before, as it was 5–7 years ago.
I expect that there will be much fewer vacancies in the labor market, and those that remain will have high competition, since there are a huge number of self-taught specialists now, and demand will fall over time. I'm not saying that there will be a crisis in the industry or something like that. No. And development will continue at the same pace, however, due to the crisis, numerous cuts (which are already taking place), the struggle for vacancies will be very active, where it will be necessary to somehow stand out from competitors.
Development of Startups and Small Businesses
I have already talked about numerous layoffs in large and well-known IT companies. Where do you think these specialists will go to find work? Right. Nowhere. Instead of taking jobs, they will start creating them by founding their own start-ups, the success of which will depend solely on the experience of the fired employee. Believe me, a Google developer has enough experience to write an application for training dogs or finding the cheapest coffee in town. But it's not just experienced professionals.
How I Started My Startup
You will see high competition for vacancies, which I spoke about a little higher, and it is logical to assume that not everyone will have enough jobs with a fixed salary, an eight-hour working day, vacation, and so on. There will also be those who are no less experienced and smart, who will either go to another area or simply start their own startup, their own business. In the context of a slowdown in the growth rate of the IT sector, it will be easier for young start-ups to keep up and catch up with competitors, they will create jobs, thereby very slightly reducing competition in the labor market.
Starting your own startup or freelancing is a great alternative to the classic workplace, which will be torn and thrown for the next five years. Most likely, these will be start-ups with up to 10 employees, however, this is a pivotal change in the direction of the industry development towards small businesses.
Another point that I would like to speak about is the monetization of IT projects, namely the total transition to a subscription business model. Yes, I know that most large projects live off monthly user subscriptions. This is a great business model and, most importantly, easy to predict. With this model, you have a clear idea of how much you will earn in the next month and why this number is less or more. But here, I'm talking more about small business, again.
One of the most popular monetization models is advertising and affiliate marketing. For a small business that does not yet have enough audience, affiliate marketing is not as profitable as we would like, and advertising is too unstable income - today you have an advertiser, and tomorrow he may refuse you.
When a small business switches to a subscription business model, it does not guarantee itself mountains of gold, but guarantees a more stable income and, most importantly, a predictable and controllable income. Suppose you have a web utility that analyzes a user site for SEO optimization. Agree that in this scenario, it would be more convenient for you to predict spending on development and salaries than to rely on AdSense and get $1k this week and $10 the next. Now many businesses adhere to this business model, so in the future, I believe, everyone will totally switch to this monetization model.
I have already mentioned that I believe that very tough competition is expected in the labor market in the next five years. In general, many HR professionals with whom I spoke on LinkedIn before writing this article agree with me on this. There are many reasons for competition. One of those that I mentioned earlier is the growth in the number of specialists and the reduction of jobs. But this is not the main reason.
The main reason, I think, is the huge variety of online courses, educational platforms and, in general, the rapid development of online education. The field of online education has become a very profitable business in recent years, therefore, the number is growing at an insane rate, as well as the number of students, and, accordingly, graduates who receive not only certificates, but, most importantly, new knowledge and skills. This makes them more competitive.
A candidate for a vacancy without education and work experience may well compete for at least the second stage of the interview. Yes, the candidate may not have the necessary experience for the vacancy and not enough knowledge, nevertheless, he will be in the competition among experienced specialists and is quite capable of depriving you, a person with rich work experience, education, profile certificates, of even a chance for the second stage of the interview and throwing you out for stage of selection of candidates based on resumes.
These were my predictions for the next 5 years about how the IT industry will develop. Please note that a lot has been said about small business and startup development. I really believe that now, the growth rate of corporations is slowing down as much as the potential of young startups is growing, as in the golden days of IT. I would not say that I have a positive or positive attitude towards the future. Furthermore, I tried to be realistic and tell about what I see now, based on my experience.