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The end of the age of the techie?

IT know-how won't be enough for future workers, according to Gartner Group analysts.

Good technical skills won't be enough for workers who want to hold onto their jobs in information technology, as potential employees will need to demonstrate new business skills to attract employers.

Skepticism about the effectiveness of IT, increasing automation and offshoring will lead to the emergence of a new breed of IT professionals who combine technical aptitude, local knowledge, knowledge of industry processes and leadership ability, according to analysts at Gartner Group.

Workers will have to prove they understand the realities of the business, such as industry and customer issues and regulation.

By 2010, Gartner predicts that IT departments in midsize and large companies will be 30 percent smaller than they are in 2005.

Diane Morello, vice president of research at Gartner, said in a statement: "Some will be bolstered, some will be carved up, some will be redistributed and some will be displaced."

Gartner said that IT jobs will be influenced by four major trends:

• Jobs in technology infrastructure and services will decline in end-user organizations and grow in service, hardware and software companies, but many of those jobs will be in developing economies.

• Business intelligence, online consumer services and collaboration will grow in user companies, systems integrators and consulting companies.

•  There will be opportunities in process design and management in terms of competitive business processes, design of process automation and operational processes.

• Relationship and sourcing management will gain ground, demanding strengths in managing "intangibles" and managing geographically distributed parties with different work outcomes and cultures.

The analyst group said IT workers must focus their skills and expertise to send out a clear value message to potential employers. And employers should develop growth paths and career opportunities for these four domains of expertise.

"IT professionals need to act now by assessing and building their business-specific, core process and industry knowledge," Morello said.

Steve Ranger reported for Silicon.com.