Some CIOs fear they will lose their jobs to AIs

Nearly a third of CIOs expect a significant part of their role to be automated in the next decade, new research suggests.

Another 45% of all technology professionals believe a significant part of their job will be automated within a decade, according to executive search and technology recruitment firm Harvey Nash's Technology Survey 2017.

Harvey Nash surveyed more than 3,200 technology professionals from 84 countries, from CIOs to developers and testers.

When it asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed that within 10 years, a significant part of their job that they currently perform would be automated, a staggering 67% of those in testing, and 63% of those in IT operations said they agreed.

About half of IT professionals working as developers (47%), in infrastructure management and team leadership (51%), or BI and analytics (53%) agreed that a large proportion of their existing jobs will be automated by 2026.

Meanwhile, less than a third of CIOs, CTOs or vice presidents of IT, programme management professionals, and software engineering experts agreed with that sentiment.

Other professionals who were asked the same question included those in development management (34% agreed), project management (37%), architecture (39%) and business analysis (44%).

"Through automation, it is possible that 10 years from now the technology team will be unrecognisable in today's terms," said David Savage, associate director, Harvey Nash UK.

"Even for those roles relatively unaffected directly by automation, there is a major indirect effect - anything up to four in 10 of their work colleagues may be machines by 2027," he added.

Perhaps in response to an increase in automation, Harvey Nash found that technology professionals are prioritising learning over any other career development tactics. Self-learning is significantly more important to them than formal training or qualifications; only 12% indicate 'more training' as a key thing they want in their job and only 27% said gaining qualifications was a top priority for their career.

The survey also found that the change in technology is so rapid that 94% believe their careers would be severely limited if they didn't teach themselves new technical skills.