The economic downturn will see an increase in demand for tech professionals specializing in IT architecture as businesses consolidate their operations.
According to analyst house Forrester, as organizations look at reducing costs through mergers and acquisitions, skills around data, applications and process integration will be increasingly in demand.
Forrester analyst and author of a report looking at IT's hottest roles, Marc Cecere, told silicon.com: "For the economic problems that we're going through right now, there are probably some roles that tend to be helped by this - and those are going to be those around architecture because there's going to be a lot of data integration, application integration, especially process integrations."
He added: "I think you're going to get a lot greater interest in the enterprise version of these architects."
Cecere explained that companies may look at becoming more global to combat the economic downturn, leading to increased demand for enterprise project managers, IT transformation specialists and process experts.
In addition, the Forrester VP said enterprise vendor managers could be in more demand as companies look to cut costs through better value tech deals and outsourcing.
But Cecere said this consolidation activity will put operational and infrastructure roles at risk as they can easily be duplicated within organizations. "Within those groups there'll be highly specialized areas which will still be in demand for a long time," he added.
These could include specialist skills in storage, software reuse (as part of SOA) and mobile and wireless devices.
Other effects of the credit crunch on the IT industry are expected to include longer hardware refresh cycles, increased use of software as a service and a reduction in available contracting roles.