IT continues to show signs of recovery, even as the rest of the economy remains in the doldrums. Will the good news continue? And if so, what does that mean for IT jobs?
Let's get real: Probably only a handful of European bankers know for sure. Barring a global financial collapse, however, the outlook for IT jobs looks pretty darn good based on the results of recent surveys. No doubt you have questions. We've done our best to produce answers to the five most obvious ones.
Question: Will IT budgets increase this year?
Answer: It sure looks that way.
According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending will increase 7.1 percent this year to $3.7 trillion -- up from its earlier estimates of 5.6 percent. Why? Because enterprises will be spending even more on cloud migration, IT services, and telecom. Boosting productivity and cutting costs -- the No. 1 agenda item for CIOs in 2010 -- is now No. 4 on the list, according to a recent survey conducted by the Society for Information Management (SIM).
That good news should continue, at least over the short term. Half of the 220 firms surveyed by Nucleus Research say they plan to increase their IT spend for 2012, while only 10 percent plan to trim their budgets.
Question: Does that mean my job is safe?
Answer: More so than usual!
A SIM survey of 275 organizations shows staff turnover averaging just a hair over 7 percent for 2011. That's one of the lowest numbers over the last decade, says Jerry Luftman, lead researcher for the SIM survey and a professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology.
The biggest reason: Boomers are putting off retirement due to economic woes, while restless IT nomads are choosing to stay put for the time being. Also, says Luftman, the prospects for new hires are excellent.
Question: Will my IT job be shipped offshore?
Answer: Probably not.
Two-thirds of the firms surveyed by SIM already offshore at least some part of their IT infrastructure. That number is expected to increase only slightly in 2012.