The part that I'm wondering about is with these new, ultra efficient companies that merge up like crazy how much work is there going to be for the rest of us to do? Between that an automation it just looks like we're running out of work to do..
I think that's a bit of overestimation of these 'new, ultra efficient' companies. The volume of IT work has increased a lot over the past couple of decades, despite a seemingly more homogenous IT world with fewer 'newer, ultra efficient' companies (compared to the state of things in the early 90s).
In practice, the industry has just been shuffling I think. Some key specific cases see some gains or else loudly think they got gains, but there are losers too.
Some areas that were more automation friendly actually get less automated (some expensive automation features are falling out of favor in some datacenters in favor of low lost local labor). Many of these have sensibilities of 'buy a whole new server' rather than trying to fix something, meaning more volumes for their server vendors.
In the rise of 'cloud' we see a phenomenon where a lot of companies end up paying twice. They outsource their needs, but find out their IT staff actually is still needed (since the cloud providers actually don't help on as much as the stack as would be needed, and even when they do, they don't find a lot of takers). So they end up funding more headcount for their provider without getting to significantly reduce their own (which frequently means increased actual IT cost).
This is a bit on the pessimistic side of things, but these phenomenon add up to the chase for the 'magic bullet' continually driving change but not necessarily workforce reduction.