Weekly Word on the Street: IT Job Stats in Flux

by Jim Staats | Oct 09, 2011

This week’s take-away would seem to be when one gathers facts pointing to a positive trend in the IT labor market in the coming year, plan to face the flip side for the future the following week. Hence. . .

The Cloud Could Rain on Tomorrow’s IT Staffing Trends

An oversized, centralized IT department is a relic in this day and age of cloud computing and mobile technology, according to reports out of a recent technical conference.

The IT department of 2015 will have fewer full-time staffers, more consultants and a deeper concentration of resources in software and cloud computing, said Jason Hiner, editor-in-chief at TechRepublic, last week at his firm’s third annual conference held in Louisville, Ky.

Hiner stated in his kickoff speech that the days are gone in which ethernet networks, directory servers and company laptops required manned help to be set up. He believes most of technologies today have the capability to run themselves and don’t require a lot of time from IT pros to boot up and stay running. The future of IT boils down to three types of jobs, according to Hiner: consultants, project managers and developers. Read the complete article here.

IT Employment Drop Due to Services Shift

The U.S. technical industry may have regained jobs during the recent recession, but recent employment news reports shrinkage by about 600,000 industry pros over the past 10 years.

An IT industry that employed 6.5 million people in the U.S. in 2001 has been cut to 5.9 million by the middle of this year, according to the annual Cyberstates report by TechAmerica Foundation. There are bright spots amid the report’s overall doom and gloom. Tech firms - a bright spot among so many dark ones in the challenging economy - added 115,000 jobs so far in 2011 to make up the exact same amount lost the previous year. Software services employment rose from 1.6 million jobs in 2000 to 1.77 by mid-2011.

Industry sectors with the biggest declines seem to be technical manufacturing and communication services.

Matthew Kazmierczak, senior vice president at TechAmerica, said the tech industry in the U.S. is becoming more specialized, with services such as manufacturing and production shipped overseas. One positive repercussion, Kazmierczak noted, was with the shift to higher value work segments, industry wage rates have generally gone up. Read the complete article here.

Gartner: Look to Low-cost Services for IT Success

Manageable, ready-to-use IT services for infrastructure, business processes and applications are going to be the best way CIOs can increase the business value of IT, so says the analyst firm, Gartner.

“While there are multiple ways to reduce the cost of IT delivery, as well as to increase the value of IT, the trend toward ILCS (industrialized, low-cost IT services) will become paramount for end users to trade nonessential customization for better and less expensive services, said Claudio Da Rold, a Gartner vice president.

According to a report in eChannelLine USA, the firm predicts such no-frill services implemented as scalable and configurable will represent more than 30 percent of the IT services market by 2015. Cloud computing services will become a $177 billion market by that year, of which $77 billion is based on advertising business models.

“Not all corporate IT will be delivered through ILCS and many ‘good-enough’ services will remain in-house,” said Frank Ridder, research VP at Gartner. “However, industrialized services represent the destiny of the IT services industry. They are, in face, the next step in outsourcing and managed-service provision, and they span all layers of the IT services value chain.” Read the complete article here.

Budget-strapped States Eye IT Consolidation, Survey Says

Consolidating resources, mobility and cloud computing are among the chief IT issues grabbing the attention of state CIOs, facing continued financial struggles, according to a national survey released this week.

State officials in charge of balancing gargantuan, governmental IT infrastructures with ever-shrinking budgets are looking more toward mobile devices and cloud computing options, based on findings of the 2011 State CIO Survey sponsored by National Association of State Chief Information Officers, TechAmerica and Grant Thornton.

The bulk of respondents identified seven IT services considered for consolidation: telecom, email, data centers, security, backup and disaster recovery, servers and storage. With state budgets expected to shrink through 2013, state executives are being forced to consider centralized data centers and mobile applications, per a report in InformationWeek based on survey findings.

Of course, with new deployments come new costs that not all state CIOs are keen on. Only 16 percent of those surveyed viewed new technology as a priority, compared with the 67 percent who viewed centralized state IT services favorably, according to the survey.

Three-quarters of respondents categorized cloud computing changes in a positive way, giving them a higher profile to create opportunities for change. The survey was compiled online this summer based on responses from CIOs, deputy CIOs or equivalent from nearly all 50 states. Read the complete article here.

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