Weekly Word on the Street: IT Labor Market Still Riding High

by Jim Staats | Sep 30, 2011

For every phrase which begins with the words “the economy may have stalled, but...” seems to end with positive news for the IT industry. It’s a new take on an old adage: “If you don’t have anything nice to say about the economy, at least say something nice about the IT labor market.”

Demand for Managed Security Services Remains High

A frenzied shift to use more mobile devices and cloud computing together with an increased number of security threats worldwide means more work in the coming years for professionals in security services, according to the latest research.

Despite the stalled economy, the managed security market is predicted to reach 13 percent growth this year, market analysis firm Infonetics Research states. The firm forecasts this market could top $16.8 billion by 2015.

Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research, said strongest growth in the market will come from the SaaS market segment, which could double in the next four years as more firms put the more flexible delivery model to work for them -- along with equally flexible threat possibilities. Small and medium-sized businesses -- the folks hit hardest by automated attacks on the Web recently -- will drive market growth in the coming years, Wilson said.

“It’s often cheaper for companies to hire a service provider to manage their security than to do it themselves, and with the growing complexity of security solutions, this outsourcing trend will continue,” he said.

Forrester: IT Spending in 2011? Great. In 2012? Good.

Limping economies be damned, IT spending continues a remarkable growth spurt through 2011, but will ease up a bit next year as the dust settles on several touchy global issues, according to analysts at Forrester Research.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm released its second-half IT projections for the year with a forecast for 11.5 percent growth in the tech market, followed by growth of 5.5 percent in 2012. Messy handling of the debt ceiling crisis in the U.S. and murky economic futures for several European countries hasn’t weakened industry growth yet, researchers say. Hence, the reduced projections in the coming year.

“The first two quarters (of 2011) saw strong tech market growth, and the economic weakness that surfaced in July and August won’t be enough to cause any slowing in tech growth until Q4 2011,” wrote Forrester analyst Andrew Bartels in a blog post. “While the risk of renewed recession has certainly increased, we think that the most likely scenario is very low, but still positive, economic growth.”

Red-Hot Market Niche: Mobile App Development

Companies big and small remain on the prowl for apps -- and the folks who develop them -- that allow the firms to connect with their customer base and/or their in-house systems. Continued success of smartphones and the resulting proliferation of business on-the-go is expected to push mobile applications to become a $15 billion market in 2011, according to Dice.com, the technology career site.

Businesses want to tap into these applications as communication tools both externally and internally, but they also expect the same reliability they’ve had with networked applications. This means building a workforce of skilled app developers can be both challenging and expensive. But with consumer demand unlikely to ebb in the near future, it also remains a necessity.

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