- The tech industry’s growth in recent decades looks increasingly unsustainable as troubling times are here — and ahead — for the sector as it responds to an economic downturn with layoffs and other changes.
- Radical alterations are expected in tech company infrastructure, such as the near-wholesale shift to hybrid work modalities, embracing cloud IT for innovation, and changing ESG reporting rules for more transparency.
- The regulatory landscape for the tech industry is uncertain and multi-leveled, making creating a future that is increasingly precarious concerning regulations.
Researchers expect the looming economic recession to have the worst effect on the tech industry, relative to all others, especially regarding layoffs. We can only describe the current state of layoffs in the tech industry as “accelerating.”
The increasing numbers of layoffs in the tech industry in recent months vary according to different reports. Still, the consensus is that tens of thousands of tech workers have recently lost their jobs, and more will continue to as the expected economic recession deepens.
One report estimates that as many as 35,000 tech industry workers have been laid off this year, with other reports noting 17,000 layoffs in May alone. Few, if any other industries to date can compare.
But how far into the future will the tech industry layoffs last? So far, that is unclear in a broad sense. It’s more straightforward on a case-by-case basis, though, as many tech companies have a clear expectation of their future based on startlingly transparent reports.
In some cases, layoffs and hiring freezes could last for an indefinite length of time, which will likely occur in the case of the social app IRL, which laid off 25% of its team to have money to survive until 2024.
Unfortunately, the examples in the tech industry that resemble IRL outweigh those that resemble companies like Microsoft, which exemplifies survival in the industry.
The future of the tech industry will include radical infrastructure changes
According to Deloitte’s 2022 technology industry outlook report, the tech industry will not only experience significant infrastructural changes and developments, but it will also become a source of them in larger domains. For example, Deloitte slates the tech industry as being responsible for the future supply chain.
However, this is essentially a retroactive measure, as the pandemic and its unpredictability required tech industries to recover from their own severely disrupted supply chains.
Hence, the tech industry — in the hopes of preventing further supply chain issues in the face of future uncertainties — needs more tools. According to Deloitte’s report,“advanced technologies such as 5G, robotic automation, blockchain, and AI can provide sales, distribution, and channel executives with near-real-time insight, and better visibility into diverse areas across their supply chain, logistics, and channel operations.”
According to the same report, the widespread embrace of cloud IT and new ESG provisions will also play a crucial role in the future of work in the tech industry.
These changes will enable the advancement of hybrid workspaces in the tech industry, along with greater company transparency with the public and its workers.
This is because hybrid workspaces depend on cloud services for sharing and communicating information. ESG provisions demand company transparency on matters related to its contribution to ending climate change and promoting diversity in the workplace.
The tech industry will face a future of regulatory volatility.
Regulation is inevitable, especially in an industry responsible for social media and other radically new inventions.
But regulating the tech industry has been notoriously difficult in recent years, often leading to widely publicized events that expose government officials’ utter ignorance on matters related to the tech industry, its practices, and its products.
Thus, according to a recent PWC report, business leaders in the tech industry ought to brace for volatile regulation practices on the part of legislators, which makes regulatory compliance complex for companies.
ESG regulations are the most likely to come first, and mandatory disclosures of adherence to ESG provisions are increasingly being advocated by some companies and governing bodies as becoming one such regulation.