Outsource Everyone But the Pointy-Haired Bosses
It cites a Computer World article, according to which "The nuts-and-bolts programming and easy-to-document support jobs will have all gone to third-party providers in the U.S. or abroad. Instead, IT departments will be populated with 'versatilists'..." It sounds a lot like that entire planet of middlemen I recall from one of the Hitchiker's Guide books.
The next round of tools aren't expected to be created by programmers at all, but rather by financial engineers, technology consultants and mathematics specialists. It gives a lot of details about what sorts of skills are expected to be in demand, and most of them don't sound too technical.
He goes on to criticize:
I'm pretty sceptical about this whole "people who understand the nuts-and-bolts of technology won't be important in the IT field in the future" argument, simply because I've been hearing the same thing for years.
The dot-com boom was largely about "genius" MBAs coming up with brilliant ideas for online companies, for example. They spent ages in meetings blowing hot air, drawing up financial charts, and coming up with marketing plans. The actual technical implementation was considered so unimportant that they took it for granted they'd just pay some "geek" to put the finishing techie touches on their fabulous creation. The reality was that the techie-implementation was where they usually failed. Meanwhile, techies built websites like Google, EBay and Yahoo simply because they knew how all the nuts-and-bolts worked.
In almost every successful IT project I've ever been involved with it's been a nuts-and-bolts techie that's had the most important impact. More often than not, the "business skills" types were more hindrance than help. Many times their superiority and arrogance led to project failure.
For as long as I've been following IT, it's been the dream of business people and others to banish hard-core techies from such an important industry. There's always some prediction about how some new tool or methodology will finally make us irrelevant. Five years down the line, we'll have built thousands of new successful products, while those new tools and methodologies will be long forgotten.
And by the time their outsourced techies have designed the new technologies to committee-created specs and negotiated them through the Gospan--er, corporate--bureaucracies, they'll be blown out of the water by some competing open-source product developed in a peer network. Outsourcing tech people is an incredibly stupid thing to do--just read all of Tom Peters' great material on how tiny skunk works outperform giant corporate R&D operations.
All too often, the skills of the "MBA brainiacs" are limited to assessing the balance sheet of a particular division, and deciding on that basis where to channel financial resources, while treating the production process within that division as a black box. The structural changes they make probably make the actual process of production within that black box even less efficient.