Just in from the rumor mill, the plan is to automate infrastructure and operations to the point where they can let all current FTEs go and replace them with contractors that will "keep the lights on." Not sure the time frame, but the way things are moving (pressuring to build self-service bots, etc.,) it's obvious they're looking to make it happen in the next couple of years.
4 replies (most recent on top)
The mainframe operations area was hit particularity hard after the last layoff announcement in June. Many of the more talented employees left rather than wait to see when the other shoe would drop. Most workers targeted were the “G-band“ senior technicians, many who have been with the company 20+ years. No early retirement was offered.
Can confirm much of the above; I worked in NFIT for a similar amount of time and remain in touch with those still there. In an IT support area of NF, managers were claiming that "eighth-graders could do the jobs" they were targeting (and I hold little doubt they would hire/contract children if they thought they could get away with it /snark). I was told, matter-of-fact and unflinchingly, that the department would not be around in 5-7 years.
The challenge, of course, is the documentation... which could be described as "lacking in specificity" at best. This was in addition to a penchant for cramming square peg solutions into round hole categories. In the long-run, the joke will be on them – as my current organization is ditching Watson and other IBM contracted services due to high levels of inaccuracy and inefficiency.
I’m not the original poster, but as someone who worked in IT at NW for 5-6 years and still knows people who work there... all areas of IT/information technology and any type of operations department (or any other department, for that matter) that can be automated is most likely on their list.
About 4 years ago, I was in a call where they talked about a new program they were testing within the NW service centers (call centers) where IBM Watson was taking the phone calls and working with customers. I got to see a live request... it was flawless.
IBM Watson, they said, could replace each worker in the service center for $0.50 per person... vs the yearly salaries, benefits, etc. Watson is a computer machine that has a series of chipsets like a human brain, it can “think” and it’s trainable...
In order to train it, you need a good databank of knowledge and documentation for it to reference. So, if your area is focusing heavily on documenting or already has documentation that seems to be getting dumbed down a lot so “anyone” can do it... I’m going to say that you will be looking at some form of automation coming soon.
It generally comes in the form or processes, workflows, LEAN reduction, etc first, then documenting all of these new things and testing them, then automating them, and automation may be in the form of scripts or applications... or it might come in the form of training IBM Watson to do your job under the disguise of innovation and customer service.
I called MANY things at NW throughout my years including mass layoffs, direction changes, etc... things that a lot of people thought I might be right in with and others thought I was crazy, turns out I wasn’t crazy lol.
I just know too much and have been party to these transitions and being in IT for nearly 20 years... I knew what I was seeing.
What departments would be involved ? Would loss control use contractors like other companies.