Are technical architects (Cloud Domain) safe given the current IT layoffs?

You are probably referring to “layoff of IT professionals in India” that is generating a lot of news.

Let us start by looking at the basics. Indian software service companies generally do NOT resort to “layoffs” or shutdown entire business units and retrench people enmasse. By doing so, they will become subject to labor laws and other government regulations. What they do instead is the following:
  • Wait for natural attrition and slow-down hiring - The attrition in Indian IT has been in the 10–15 percent range
  • Instruct individual managers to seek the help of HR to initiate “Performance Improvement plan” for the bottom percentile of people.
  • For a large company like Cognizant, TCS or Wipro, the ‘bottom 5–10 percent” of people will account for 10–20,000 people. Such a large number of people being “nudged out” becomes news; which the Indian media calls it ‘layoff’
A while ago, I blogged about Cloud Computing Architects (link). Architects working for consulting firms have to stay on top of the technologies including AWS, Azure and tools from vendors. If you are a ‘cloud domain’ architect, you should
  • Continue to learn about the latest tools and techniques
  • Specialize in one or more platforms (and possibly get certified)
  • Continue to seek billable engagements and pre-sales opportunities
If you follow these basic tips, you are not likely to be at the “bottom 5–10 percent” among your peers. And you are not likely to get on a “Performance Improvement plan”

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