Wired Workplace

Sushma U N | Quartz | May 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Your IT Job Is at Risk if You Currently Do These Things for a Living


The specter of layoffs looms large over the Indian IT sector. Human resource firms estimate up to two lakh industry jobs will be lost annually over the next three years. Talk of Indian techies abroad being laid off, increasing local hiring, and re-skilling is rife, too.

But precisely which jobs face redundancy—and why? Quartz spoke to HR firms and here are the jobs with the most risk:

Technical Help, Customer Support

First off, the mark will be customer care and support staff. Those online trouble-shooting or inquiry chats you had earlier were mostly handled by real people. Now, however, chat bots are taking over.

Ditto with products that require demonstrations.


IT companies typically have one team writing the code and designing a product to tackle a certain business problem and another to review and test these. Earlier, firms needed engineers to manually test every program at every stage of execution. Now, there are automated testing tools for this.

Basic Coding and Programming

Product designing has evolved and engineers don’t have to write the basic codes anymore. Many of these basic codes are available in public domain and programmers can always build on them. Work that often took up to 8 hours to finish can now be finished in 2 hours, thanks to the availability of standard programs.

“It's like furniture that we make, you can build the furniture, a wardrobe, you can build from scratch. Earlier programmers did that. But now, there are prefabricated components available; people just come and assemble it,” says Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO of Bangalore-based CIEL HR Services. “They bring those components from the public domain or the company’s own library and assemble it.”

Further, tasks are increasingly being streamlined so one person can handle a wider range of them. For instance, earlier, programmers had to use different platforms to write in different languages such as Java or C++. Now, there is full-stack development, which means various platforms have been integrated. So someone who is a full-stack developer will be able to do all kinds of programming with his skills, according to Mishra.


Most IT firms have maintenance teams taking care of projects following delivery. These 24x7 teams usually don’t have much to do unless debugging is required or other such issues need to be sorted. They are the ones who take care of the software clients use, unlike others who take care of the overall IT infrastructure, system administration or network support.

These employees also come with programming background. However, unlike the ones who build the application, those who help with sorting out issues aren’t in much demand, Alka Dhingra, assistant general manager of HR firm TeamLease Services, said.

Project Managers

High-paying jobs with no clear interface with technology are at risk, says K Lakshmikanth, the managing director of Head Hunters India. IT firms often hire experts to take care of middle-level management and administrative functions. Often, most such experts aren’t hands-on with technology. As firms focus on streamlining operations, such employees are being let go of.

Senior level staff aren’t safe, either.

“Strategic senior-level jobs such as CIO or CTO roles won’t vanish, but with the organization pyramid getting leaner, companies would require fewer managers to manage different teams,” Mishra said.

Then, there are the employees on temporary visas and currently based abroad and those “on the bench”; they are all at risk.

Ultimately, companies today only consider employee value.


Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.