India is in fact one of the strongest IT hubs of the world with annual revenues improving. The day when Indian IT industry slows down, the global technology sector will be hit hard.
Having said that, it should not be assumed that the same set of profiles which we see in Indian IT sector would remain forever. The industry is evolving and that is the only way ahead. While Indian IT sector may not witness another boom in creation of jobs similar to that in the last decade, we shall expect a modest growth with new roles being created.
IT companies that rely on testing services, routine support and maintenance projects and infrastructure support are likely to see a decline in demand due to automation.
The emergence of artificial intelligence, machine learning and advancements in natural language processing will also take a toll on some companies in the digital technology space.
However, it is early to speculate whether the IT companies will adapt and survive or lag behind and become irrelevant. For example, let us look at IT services companies that make up for the major chunk of IT jobs, rather than product companies and in house IT jobs.
Most work done by services companies does not require application design or architecture skills. A lot of it can be done by people with a good understanding of the domain and a decent understanding of technology. This is generally found in the three to five years experience level. There might be a need for someone with five to ten years experience to lead the team and have a holistic picture of the project. But such roles are limited. This makes it difficult for a lot of people to continue in the technology steam after about eight years of experience. They then have to move to the management stream.
IT companies have realized that the middle management is becoming overstaffed and have gone for a lean model by eliminating the excess flab either by way of layoffs or through restructuring.
The increasing wages are also causing the cost of outsourcing to India to go up and making outsourcing less profitable compared to a decade ago. In order to keep wages low, companies have started recruiting science graduates instead of engineering graduates at entry level. Such methods will only increase going forward as the objective of any business is to maximize profit.
One thing does seem to be certain. Large scale job creation and hiring is going to be a thing of the past and revenue is no longer going to be a function of headcount, rather a function of value creation.
Companies that focus on the right areas still have an option to thrive.
As an end note, I have been hearing that legacy technologies are nearing their end for the last 15 years, but they have not yet gone away.
So, anyone who attempts to speculate the future of technology must also be prepared to eat humble pie.