Ironically, one of the major factors weighing down demand for information technology professionals (in finance as in other industries) is the march of technology itself.
Jon points to a study of 4,000 global companies in North America and Europe by the Hackett Group, which concludes the recovery won’t halt a 10-year slide in the number of back office jobs. The report cites improvements in productivity and automation, and the expanding use of offshore labor, as factors. (The Hackett Group has an ax to grind in all this – the company’s business is built around outsourcing.)
As early adopters of new technologies and offshoring, banks and investment firms will continue going all-out to squeeze costs out of their operations. To be sure, if transaction volumes and front-office headcounts really soar, headquarters might need a few more administrative and client support people, notwithstanding productivity gains. Even in that instance, however, back-office job growth looks to lag well behind growth in revenue-producing jobs.
Those who’ve spent their careers helping financial companies build their businesses may now have to look in other sectors if they want to continue in IT.
– Mark Feffer