Demand for executives in the information technology sector has fallen to its lowest point since 1992, according to a recruitment consultant.
The drop runs contrary to other sectors where demand for most executives continued to increase across Australia this month. The EL Executive Demand Index – published by executive search firm EL Consult - found that the IT sector fell another 6 per cent in August compared with the previous month, taking it close to its lowest level in 10 years.
EL Consult's managing director Grant Montgomery said, "The demand for IT executives is now only marginally above the levels seen in 1992 and that was a recessionary period.
"It appears that some of the rapid advances in systems engineered by IT executives over the past decade have eliminated many of their own corporate IT jobs," he said.
"Whereas 10 years ago computer systems required constant nursing - from bug fixing to reprogramming - they now require much less human involvement. "Computers systems have finally become robust enough to eliminate many of their 'minders' and this is despite a mammoth growth in the number of corporate functions computers have taken over."
Montgomery said that, as Australia does not have a large software or hardware development industry, the roles for IT executives are increasingly those involving strategy, evaluation and implementation.
"Although over the last year we have seen some false starts showing recovery in IT employment there is no denying that the large corporate IT department has become a thing of the past. The Internet opened up many new paths for IT executives, but those roles disappeared with the tech wreck," he said said.
IT executives need to develop "another quantum leap in technology before the heady days of the late 90s will be seen again".