Is Automation Poised to Devastate Lucrative IT Consulting? An Analysis

If you listen closely, you can hear the death knell of IT consulting — or can you? According to a well-known pundit who likes to predict the demise of Big Blue, high-dollar IT contractors and professionals are ready to go the way of the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service), becoming quickly extinct with the introduction of automated solutions that may offer additional endpoint protection.

While it may be fun to banter about the possibilities for the future, nothing is ever guaranteed in the world of technology. The only constant changes and the experts that are willing and able to be agile are the ones that will win clients and thrive in the future.

Some of the IT experts have sounded off about whether the introduction of enterprise-scale automation will truly impact the IT consulting industry in the near future.

Creating Value Through Business Understanding

Most technology professionals not only appreciate the added value of automation for the business, they are actively embracing it. Automation provides options far beyond the basics that companies can afford, allowing IT pros to focus on solving the most difficult business challenges instead of the day-to-day administration of networks and security.

According to Cameron Call of Network Security Associates: “Automation is HERE. It’s been here. However, the only IT consultants it will hurt are the ones who refuse to adapt and learn. Those who learn new and relevant skills will thrive in the future.”

Automation has been transforming the way people work for generations, offering greater productivity for workers and more diversified and challenging tasks.

Even though spreadsheets were replaced by sophisticated accounting software — the world still has a significant need for individuals to interpret the various standards and accounting principles.

Customizing or Building?

Companies are unlikely to maintain internal IT staff to perform specialized tasks, such as the upgrade from one system to a newer platform or a shift from on-premise to cloud computing (or whatever comes next!).

Instead, these companies will turn to IT consultants to fulfil their short-term needs by highly-trained and qualified professionals. The same is true of companies that are changing between SD-WAN vendors or adding complexity to their business in various ways.

IT consultants are able to add significant value through their knowledge of systems as well as business processes and how to bring the two together in a way that provides a pleasing user experience.

“Perhaps tech experts are currently more focused around creating detailed processes that require many hours to code, and perhaps these processes can be simplified in the future to a mere configuration.

You will still need individuals who are thought-leaders in the space to actively manage these processes and provide exceptional security”, notes Tom Martinez or TCA Synertech.

Pivoting to Handle Client Demands

“Managed IT service providers have already pivoted their business to better support clients with remote staff during the shutdown”, shared Anthony Buonaspina of LI Tech Advisors.

“While some services may no longer be needed or become replaced by automation or third-party services, there will always be a need for qualified subject matter experts to guarantee business continuity, compliance, forward-planning, and security.”

With CFOs indicating a greater interest in allowing long-term remote work scenarios, IT advisors will have plenty of work on their hands in the near term reacting to these changing conditions.

Tom Martinez of TCA Synertech sums it up: “We may have ballooned with all the additional processes in today’s environment, but simplifying these processes once again is certainly not a death knell to IT”.

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