Is 2017 Going to Bring More Decline to the Tech Boom? [op-ed]

Last year was not really kind to many working in the tech industry. Behind the launches of new products and services, many tech companies were busy with layoffs, downsizing and restructuring exercises, indicating that the tech scene’s boom period may have finally come to an end.

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Small startups are not the only ones affected by layoffs, some of the companies that were forced to downsize include titans in the tech industry.

Intel

One of the biggest layoffs that happened during the year comes from Intel. During April 2016, Intel announced its intentions to layoff up to 12,000 employees, by the second quarter of 2017, which is roughly 11% of the company’s total workforce.

This huge layoff is attributed mainly to the continued decline in PC sales for the second year in a row. On top of that, there are rumors that Intel will also be cutting out its wearables division as said division did not do to well on its launch.

intel
Alphabet

Just in case you think that Intel is a unique case, Google’s parent company Alphabet has also been busy conducting layoffs, particularly with the Google Fiber division. According to reports, Alphabet is looking to layoff 9% of Google Fibre’s staff, which translates to roughly 100 employees from the division.

Besides Google Fibre, Alphabet has also decided to sell off its robotics division Boston Dynamics as the company pulls out of the robotics industry.

google
Microsoft

Microsoft isn’t immune to the layoff bug either, as the company’s failure in the smartphone market has led to the company laying off around 4,700 of its employees from its Microsoft Mobile division.

microsoft
Cisco

Things aren’t any better on the enterprise side either as Cisco can attest to it. In an attempt to transition from its networking hardware roots to a software-driven business, the company announced in August 2016 that it will be laying off around 5,500 employees, which is 7% of its workforce.

cisco
IBM

IBM isn’t doing any better either as the company could potentially layoff up to 14,000 people thanks to falling profits as the company continues to struggle with the rise of cloud computing.

These are just some of the bigger companies that conducted layoffs throughout 2016. Suffice to say that smaller companies were hit with their own layoffs as well. In some cases, some companies were bought by others as their financials weren’t exactly positive (eg: Pebble).

ibm
Is the layoff trend expected to continue into 2017?

Analysts like Trip Chowdhry from Global Equities Research seems to believe so. According to Chowdhry, 2017 is expected to get worse as he predicts that the tech bubble will burst this year, and it may happen as early as March. Should that tech bubble bursts, the impact will affect everyone working in the industry, ranging from established multinational corporations to plucky startups.

Tech bubbles aren’t the only thing that may affect the industry as a whole as 2017 will also see Donald Trump become the President of the United States of America. On top of that, the United Kingdom may also decide to invoke Article 50 to begin its exit from the European Union. In short, 2017 is going to be a really bumpy year for the tech industry as a whole.

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