Launch of the Technology Survey 2017 – Birmingham Event

February 13, 2017

“Almost half of technology professionals expect their jobs to be automated within ten years”

Last Thursday (March 9th) 150 technologists met at the Thinktank in central Birmingham to discuss emerging trends in the market, hear from three Keynote Speakers and of course see the results of this years’ Harvey Nash Technology Survey – a survey representing the views of more than 3,200 technology professionals from over 84 countries, and across 17 different Technology roles.

View photos of the event here

The results opened seeing AI as the #1 growth area in technology; currently 24% of respondents see their companies interested in AI, but jump forward five years and this number increases to 89%!

2nd on the list, Automation….. Almost half of technology professionals expect their jobs to be automated within the next ten years. Through AI and the tools of Automation, it’s highly likely that Tech teams ten years from now will be unrecognisable…. It makes you wonder, by 2027 could half your colleagues have been replaced by machines?

It was seen as no surprise that 67% of Testers think a large part of their role could be automated within the next ten years… with tools like Selenium, Appium and Cucumber already on the market; the days of rooms filled with rows of testers are a thing of the past.

Fortunately, for those of you in Management roles, only 30% feel a part of their role might be fulfilled by robots. So, whilst the shape of the 2027 Tech team might be hard to predict, one thing is a given- technologists will increasingly be expected to show the advantage of their ‘human side’.

But it wasn’t all Robot and Testers, we also saw a rise in innovation as an area companies are focused on, with over 70% of respondents believing they work for an innovative organisation.

As you might expect, the B-word on everyone’s mind was present in this year’s results; 33% of the survey respondents were born Outside the UK; 4/10 tech immigrants in the UK are from Europe; and UK workers make up at least a 1/5 of the technology immigrant workforce of places like Ireland and Germany… So what does Brexit potentially means for Technology Teams and their businesses?

We were shown that every day can be a school day with 94% saying their careers would be severely limited if they didn’t continually learn new skills, and with I-robot looking for your job there are two places where humans beat computers every time; dealing with other humans and of course in creativity.
The Survey revealed that jobs that combine both these elements like Programme Managers, People Managers and Software Engineers are most likely to remain unaffected.

Now let’s not forget, this is thought leadership from a global Recruitment Agency; so who’s in demand? Top of the table sits Software Engineers and Developers and, with the increasing use of cloud based solutions and businesses wanting the have more creativity and control, this isn’t much of surprise.

But are you all fishing in the same pond? 7/10 technologists seem to think so, feeling the sector is too focused on box ticking technology skills – possibly because of a perceived need for someone to hit the ground running or possibly a lack of resources to train them… sound familiar?

If you wanted a Technology Recruiter’s opinion: I’m starting to see customers look towards junior talent programs (like Digital Native UK) to support and drive the training process, and develop a pool of technology talent tailored to their needs… so maybe the future of technology is in the hands of the youth…

After the results summary wrapped up, we got to hear from the three keynote speakers, starting with Dr. Jayshree Kottapalli – Head of Analytics, Centre of Excellence at Vodafone UK.

Jayshree took us through the journey that Vodafone have been on, moving from being Customer Experience to Customer Engagement focused. As customers we need continuous service & innovation to keep us loyal to brands, and with many temptations and teasers from competition today, how can they use technology to enable this?

With the modern customer and millennials of the world having so many channels to voice their opinion of say, a service like network connection or signal through platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter…. Brands have to be aware of effects to their businesses in ways other than direct purchase.

For Vodafone, technology such as Machine Learning algorithms, are being used to understand customer behaviors, and allow Vodafone to drive decisions and actions; targeting customers at individual levels. So next time you see that email, with a ‘gift for just for you’ included… it really is!

Then from, Machine Learning to Crpto Currency, Hadyn Jones – Founder of BlockChain Hub – gave us an insight to the Myths and Reality behind Blockchain and Bitcoin Technologies.

“Putting bling on the Blockchain” – Did you know Blockchain Technology is being used to fight against Diamond Thief and corruption? Me neither…but it is! With companies like Everledger using the technology behind Bitcoin to tackle the industry’s expensive fraud and theft problem; it isn’t all about ransom ware and the deep dark web.

And in a recent report by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser – Sir Mark Walport – setting out the future of distributed ledger technology; Blockchain now has the potential to redefine the relationship between government and the public, in areas like data sharing, transparency and trust, making a leading contribution to the government’s digital transformation plan.

Lastly from Start-up to the Public sector, the final speaker was Deputy Director of Digital, for Public Health England – Diarmaid Crean; the man trying to make sure you live a healthy life for as long as possible, then die really quickly!

But what does that mean digital mean to PHE?…Well, it means 208 Websites, 110+ “online” tools, 15+ Mobile apps and 40+ Million emails per month!

With their number one Sugar Smart App, PHE helps show you how much total sugar is in your everyday food and drink. They get to use this data to then tracks which foods are being scanned in households and how many times – no surprise, Coca-Cola is seen three times in the top ten records! (different size products). Data from apps like this then help them to see which foods and brands to work with when trying to lower sugar content in foods….And with brands like Nestle recently stating they’ll cut sugar in KitKat’s by 40% from 2018, we might be able to fit in those favorite old jeans again after all!

But they aren’t just focused on what we eat and drink, PHE are working with people like TFL to discuss ways in which they can incentive us to walk more everyday and take in the Nation’s Capital, rather than always take the tube… and who doesn’t like to win prizes on their phone apps right?

After a chance for Q&A, with Haydn Jones mainly sat in the hot seat, attendees got the chance to network with each other and the speakers over drinks and canapés, whilst enjoying the quirky, technology innovation space that the Thinktank boasts.

But all this was just the tip of the iceberg, you can find the full results of the survey and play in our data sand pit at

Jessica Rose Quinney
Harvey Nash Plc