Corporate IT departments are increasing their spending on hardware and cloud services, but not on new hiring in this weak economy.
These trends are all revealed in government data, surveys and in earnings reports. Cloud-based services, in particular, are expected to see a spectacular market growth this year.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Cloud computing: IT as commodity. | Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]
IDC is forecasting that public cloud services revenue in the U.S. will grow nearly 24 percent, from $14.2 billion in 2010 to $17.6 billion in 2011.
IDC's prediction is backed up by surveys of corporate IT organizations that are seeing accelerating interest in cloud services -- so much so that one research firm compared it with the late 1990s' e-commerce fever.
Unemployment for computer programmers, for instance, finished at 5.7 percent last year, compared with 2.2 percent in 2007, according to government data.
"The nature of the way in which the economy is picking up is very different than it's been in the past," said Richard Pople, global IT practice leader at the research and consulting firm Hackett Group.
Hackett is expecting IT employment in corporate IT departments to decline slightly this year, by 0.4 percent, after declining 1.1 percent in 2010 and 7.3 percent in 2009. Its projection is based on its annual survey of U.S. and European companies with revenues of $1 billion or more. For this survey, 185 companies responded.
Companies have been consolidating their IT resources, which is also spurring hardware buying. A goal is to make their IT organizations more flexible, and by doing so gain capability to use resources globally, whether it is in the cloud or offshore, Pople said.