£350 - £450 per day
City of London, London
£350 - £450
Contract Tech Recruiter
An overwhelming 76% of people believe robots or AI devices could replace them at work, or at least do 50% of their job. While this is not entirely unreasonable to think, it suggests that our workforce may be experiencing tunnel vision - focusing on the negative impacts that AI and robotics will have rather than seeing the potential it will unlock for them. In truth, technology will claim a lot of tasks and this will affect employees in all sectors, some more than others. Thankfully, within the technology sector, AI will allow professionals to become more creative, upskill and reduce the monotony of their job. To do so, technology professionals must exhibit adaptability and consider how they can collaborate with robotics and AI.Robotics and AI are a threat to some, but not allMcKinsey predicts that 49% of tasks completed by the global workforce have the potential to be automated. One of the reports key takeaways is that robotics and AI are expected to automate 49% of activities, but not the entire job - currently very few jobs could be entirely transferred to robots. The first technology jobs we’d expect to become automated are ticket routing and data entry, but that still leaves data protection, IT analysis, cloud services and many more roles safe from being automated any time soon. The report lists ‘accommodation and food services’ tasks as most likely to become automated with a likelihood of 73%, ‘finance and insurance’ tasks gain a score of 43% while ‘information’ ranks far lower at a likelihood of just 36%. Assuming this assessment to be correct, only a third of information-based activities will fall into the hands of robots. The tasks less likely to be reassigned to robots are those requiring interaction with stakeholders, the use of judgment to make decisions, delegation and creativity. The broad spectrum of these activities reassures us that most jobs will remain in human hands, but the question remains - how will robotics and AI impact the workload of technology jobs? Time will tellThe pace of technological development is exponential: in just five years the cost of a lab-grown meat-free burger dropped from £215,000 to £8. However, when it comes to AI and automation it will be decades before we begin to see the full potential. PwC quantifies this view, reporting that only 3% of jobs risk becoming automated in the early years of this decade, but that jumps to 30% by the mid-2030s. Currently, technology can outperform humans regarding information retrieval, large-scale motor skills and optimisation but we’re only just understanding the emerging applications of AI as it becomes more sophisticated. According to McKinsey, one factor that will delay the adoption of AI in the workplace is the “cost of developing and deploying”. While there is a relatively high possibility of restaurant jobs becoming automated, the decision will depend on the costs associated, considering cooks in the UK earn an hourly wage of £7.83 on average. Therefore, it may not be cost-effective for some time to replace kitchen staff with robotics or AI, at least until the price of this technology drops below the cost of labour. Now consider the technology sector where general IT staff earn £21.81 hourly and this rate rises significantly for managerial roles and architects. It becomes more appealing to replace employees in roles where there is a higher labour cost associated, but don’t forget that information tasks are less likely to become automated. So, though the threat of robotics and AI to technology jobs may appear real, there is still ample time for professionals to adjust to the changes. How robotics and AI will reshape jobs within technologyA recent Deloitte report found that 82% of large UK companies are adopting AI yet just 15% are ‘seasoned’ implementors. The rapid pace at which technology is developing is creating an AI skills gap. Evidently, this is not a threat but an opportunity for IT professionals. Though, as AI becomes more sophisticated, its role will transition from simple automation to software development. Companies such as Data Robot and H2O.ai have matured their AI tools so they can write code - a task that just years ago we thought was far too complex for a machine to perform, but the introduction of bottom-up AI helped it become a reality. While top-down AI aims to pre-programme a machine with every layer of human cognition, bottom-up trains technology to build complex understanding from a foundation of simple methods. The good news is that using this approach, AI software - such as TabNine - can now suggest possible endings for code and thereby boost a developer’s productivity. This just one example of how AI can be used to reduce monotony and free up time for technology professionals. What can a robot do that you can do better?Robotics and machine have their limits, though they are closing the gap when it comes to particular skills, and in some instances, they are outperforming us on tasks where we naively thought we’d always have the upper hand. Technology professionals must demonstrate to stakeholders and upper management their ability to navigate and direct within the dynamic technology landscape. To do so they must identify which aspects of their role are easily automatable, then innovate the process. In the face of automation, technology professionals have the chance to take actions that will influence the future of their company and become more valuable employees than ever. Working with robots and not againstCollaboration is key here. Those who learn how AI can transform their work and use it to their advantage will earn the most valuable technology jobs. It is an opportunity for programmers, software developers and project managers to upskill and reduce the monotony of their work. In light of the changes that are taking place, technology professionals must become technology advisors, learn to speak the language of robots and, most importantly, nurture workplace relationships. Discover where you can take your career with Marks SattinAt Marks Sattin, we have been working with specialist IT talent for over 30 years. Our established team of IT recruiters have a well-earned reputation of being proactive and meticulous in their approach to sourcing top talent. For more information on how we match candidates with the right client, contact us. 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There has been significant change in the IT market over the past 12 months and it is continually evolving. The rise of GDPR, data protection, information security and data analytics demonstrate that companies, both large and small, are taking IT compliance seriously and are using IT as a measurable business enabler and not just a support function. The visible impact that cloud services software has had on headcount growth reflects how companies are taking full advantage of the myriad of choices they have to structure their IT functions. IT infrastructure & Cloud Services The last 12 months has seen significant growth in demand for cloud services skill sets. The IT infrastructure space continues to rapidly change as organisations are ever reliant on strong networks, systems and infrastructure to underpin their operations and are looking to off-premises cloud services that afford them the flexibility and agility a modern business needs. Subsequently we saw an increase of over 40% in the number of roles that required specific cloud based expertise. Business Intelligence & Analytics The business intelligence and data analytics market has seen widespread growth throughout last year and remained stable so far this year with only a slight decline in activity at senior level. The uncertainty of Brexit played a part in the decline, as did the outsourcing of company teams and locations. Project & Programme Management Project and programme management requirements within the technology space have proven strong over the past 12 months. It is apparent that there has been an increasing need for professionals to drive and support data, applications and software transformations within businesses. Analysis With Brexit posing a threat to job security, one thing is for sure: business analysts will be more important than ever. We are seeing companies merge and even divest in order to solidify their financial position for the uncertainty ahead. These processes will require business analysts in order to carry out large data migrations or system changes. Significant tax and regulatory changes this year have also heightened demand for business analysts to help organisations bring their processes in line with new regulations. Data Protection General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) were the words on everyone’s lips approaching the May 25th deadline last year. In fact a survey released by the European Union stated the phrase ‘GDPR’ was searched on Google more times in May 2018 than ‘Beyoncé Knowles’! Due to this flurry of activity the market remained buoyant throughout last year, especially in the initial half, as SME businesses and large organisations were required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) in order to oversee all data protection queries, get processes aligned to the act, and report any incidents or breaches to the Information Commissioners office (ICO). Architecture The last 12 months saw consistency in terms of employment rates and sentiment in the market. Given the project based nature of architecture, the market continued to be led by contractors looking to gain further exposure in new environments with new challenges, and with relocation being an ever-present conversation. There has been a lack of movement of permanent senior level professionals, with only 20% of our head of architecture contacts saying they would feel confident to move roles within the six months. This trend is expected to continue due to the uncertainty of the current political climate. Information Security & Cyber Security Over the past year the information security and cyber security market has been developing and is now considered one of the most prominent areas within technology. There have been three key indicators that the market is developing. Download the full Technology 2019 Market Insight Report » View salaries and commentaries in other UK regions and Ireland »
The role of the CDO is being discussed more than ever before. Although the role has existed for the past 20+ years, job boards and LinkedIn were not as prevalent, and therefore the role did not have much exposure outside organisations. When you think of the CDO job title, I think the word ‘data’ would spring to mind for most people, because shouldn’t data be the main driver of most decisions made by the c-suite? However, it appears to be that the modern CDO is becoming less about pure data, in contrast to other analytics and business intelligence roles who are predominantly technical (refer to my previous blog on the ambiguity of analytics and business intelligence), and more of a holistic role encompassing areas like risk, compliance and even marketing. Of course, as a senior executive, strategy and operations will play a huge part of the role, as they do in all board level roles however, it may be worth noting the possibility of the role of a CDO being diluted. If I put myself in a candidate’s shoes, someone who has always had a data driven role and then opts to take on a new challenge of CDO, would they miss the lack of focus in their previous position, or would they welcome the change? I think the answer is in why the person might take a CDO opportunity. For example, if you have reached a plateau in your role as ‘Business Intelligence/Analytics Director’, and your only means of career progression is to take a CDO role, then you possibly would not enjoy the variety of the role. For others, a route that has direct progression into a more strategic role, that delves away from the pure technical work that was once pivotal to their career may be deemed as a step in the right direction. So, a question to my network… is the role of the CDO a clear career step for a data professional, and should it stay as an all-encompassing position, or be more data driven?