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In its inaugural “Worldwide xOps Census and Forecast,” IDC paints a picture of a future where IT professionals will witness a remarkable transformation in their responsibilities over the next five years.

Gone are the days of purely operational roles, according to IDC. It foresees a transition towards more technical and focused positions often involving software development.

This fundamental shift will lead to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of minus 8.2 percent for IT operations roles from 2022 to 2027, while sysadmin gigs will experience a CAGR of minus 7.8 percent during the same period.

It’s not all bad

DataOps jobs are projected to thrive with a remarkable growth rate of 17.9 percent. Meanwhile, MLOps gigs are set to accelerate by an impressive 20.1 percent.

In the world of DataOps, professionals harness a blend of technologies and methodologies to ensure the consistent and continuous delivery of data value. This involves integrating data-oriented perspectives with automation and agile software engineering principles to guarantee quality outcomes.

On the other hand, practitioners of MLOps are responsible for streamlining and automating the entire life cycle of machine learning (ML), from data ingestion to model deployment, monitoring, and beyond. Applying the principles of DevOps to ML processes, these individuals navigate the intricate landscape of managing and automating ML data, pipelines, code, and models.

Blended roles

Al Gillen, IDC’s Group Vice President for Software Development and Open Source, attributes these transformative shifts to the rise of the cloud. Gillen underscores that the current census data reveals a once-in-a-generation transformation underway within the IT workforce.

He likens the changing dynamics to the period between 1997 and 2002, when the emergence of the commercial internet and the dot-com era revolutionized corporate IT. This ensured a surge in web developers and networking experts.

Gillen emphasizes that the increased adoption of cloud computing drives similar transitions in modern IT teams. As a result, many tech workers find themselves in hybrid roles that require them to evolve alongside an evolving landscape.

Also read: Survey: IT workers fear AI will cause jobs to disappear