Does technology kill jobs?

The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.

84% Yes

16% No

The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.

Most of the IT managers polled for this week's Big Question agree that IT projects threaten jobs, as the efficiencies they enable reduce firms' staffing needs.

"Technology increases efficiency and so fewer people are needed to accomplish the same amount of work," said Ian Gregory of CJP Consulting.

"This should not be confused with the job cuts made in the name of outsourcing or offshoring. Companies have an obligation to their shareholders to source materials and skills from the best sources, often on the basis of cost."

Bruce Spark, a senior analyst at Basement Solutions, said job losses were an inevitable part of the IT equation.

"Technology is primarily used to be more accurate, quicker and adaptable than any human, which in turn frees up individuals to perform tasks that require the human touch. With technology advancements and the automation of many roles, job losses are an unfortunate but expected result. Workers need to keep pace with the times or get left behind."

But IT developer Shaun Greenback raised a different point. He said the most important impact of technological change was its effect on the relationships between workers and managers in the workplace.

"Many of the traditional sources of worker power are undermined as new technologies are implemented," he said.

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Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk


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