I read with interest IT Workers Confront 'Job Shock' by Thorton A. May in the latest Computerworld. Mr. May brings up a very valid point that users have extraordinary tools in their hands to do the work that IT Professionals used to do. It brought to mind one of my first programming projects way back in 1989. I was to write a program that pulled data out of an Ingres database, sort and group it in illogical ways, and spit it out on a landscape page. The tool of choice was C and it took me six weeks to write. Today, I'd dump some summarized data in a CSV file and let the user mess with it.
Mr. May goes on to wonder "What if paid IT employment was to steadily disappear?". Good question. I can tell you the people at my first job are still employed. No, they're not writing too many C programs anymore, but web interfaces. They give their users the tools to get their own data. Last I knew, there were just as many people as when I left.
Mr. May goes on to point out how to "save" your fat IT career. All his points are well taken, but the bottom line is your career is your business. If you let you business stagnate, it will die. (If this sounds familiar, thanks for reading).