Weekly Word on the Street: Big IT Skill is Big Data Wrangler

by Jim Staats | Oct 21, 2011

This week’s takeaway is the more flexible you are in your IT abilities "toolbox," the more attractive you’ll be in an ever-changing IT landscape. More data to manage, more companies going the automated route, more quote-unquote old-school firms relying on technology than ever before. Or you could just pay a visit to North Carolina.

Gartner: Big IT Skill is Big Data Wrangler

Hot commodities in the IT job market could be the folks with the know-how to handle the massive influx of corporate data these days, according to a key analyst with Gartner. Enterprise CIOs must consider revising their IT staffing needs to better harness increasing mounds of customer data at their disposal, Debra Logan, Gartner VP, said in a recent interview with Computer Weekly.

“You need to have people who can think about information needs, and that is a different skillset to IT,” she said. “It’s a profound change that everybody needs to get to grips with.” Logan suggested CIOs may have to consider going beyond traditional IT departments to find data scientists and information management specialists who can help make sense of the explosion of “big data” these days.

“I know we say all the time that IT is changing beyond recognition, but it is,” she said. “Internet IT is becoming irrelevant. In five to 10 years you will be able to get all your services outside your company.” Logan did say that the world of data analytics is still a developing one. While IT departments are still a long way from having the right skills to handle increasing volumes of data, there is still time to adapt and conquer.

Click here for the complete story.

N.C. Spike: IT Jobs Looking Up in Tar Heel State

Job openings in the IT sector may finally be on the rise in North Carolina, recent reports indicate. IT job opportunities in the state spiked 11.9 percent in September to reverse a five-month string of declining numbers, according to the latest report released by the N.C. Technology Association. Though the 3,860 job openings in September were an increase from the 3,450 in August, that number did drop 9 percent from one year ago, The News & Observer reported this week.

Click here to read the NCTA’s monthly report, compiled by SkillPROOF, focuses on job research. 

Rise of the Machines: Bad for Overall Job Market, but Good for IT?

A recent Reuters report indicated that increasing investments in technology by American businesses has played a big role in sustaining a stagnant overall job market. With little sign of this trend being discontinued, does this suggest a silver lining for the IT labor market?

According to the report, business investment in equipment and software meant to streamline their operations has surged 33 percent over the past decade with little to no change in the number of workers employed - a drastic change from a decades-long symbiotic relationship between the two.

The spread of IT from the factory floors on up in the nation’s workplaces has created a bit of a shock to the system for typical workers, analysts have noted.

“Labor and capital are out of sync,” said Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. “It seems to be a growing and strengthening trend...(and) suggests there is a longer-term structural change.”

More self-checkout kiosks at retailers, call center outsourcing, online travel booking and the like means companies are finding a way to do more with less-people.

This reshaping of commerce, which shows no signs of slowing down as technological advances increase, may be music to the ears of IT professionals with the skills needed to help companies take advantage of this revolution. 

Click here to read the complete article. 

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