Recession-fueled stagnation is slowly drawing to an end as U.S. companies are signaling they're ready to sink some cash into growth and emerging markets. That spells opportunity for certain IT professionals. Companies are looking to hire and retain those who are skilled in areas such as mobility, cloud computing, software development, and big data.
Such is the big picture painted by two separate reports released this week. One comes from research company Hackett Group, titled "2012 IT Key Issues: Coming to Terms with the 'New Normal'." It identifies Global 1000 companies' key priorities for the year. The other is IT staffing company Bluewolf's "2012 IT Salary Guide," which provides an in-depth look at IT salaries and hiring trends.
According to Hackett Group's survey, company leaders have identified the need to grow their emerging market presence as one of the most important priorities for 2012, compared to 2011. They now want their current level of globalization to triple within two to three years, and among their top goals is expanding the reach of their IT service delivery models.
But simply growing and tapping new markets isn't enough. Companies want to remain agile so that they can adapt quickly and intelligently to volatile changes in customer demands and costs, according to Hackett. "Getting the right information to permit quick action can only be accomplished when mechanisms are in place to gather high-quality data, conduct rigorous analysis, and make decisions with confidence," the report says. "IT and other support functions overwhelmingly recognize this fact and are focusing their technology priorities for 2012 around the themes of improving the foundation of unified data (to create 'one source of truth') and being able to provide analysis and access to those findings."
Companies' goals here include implementing business intelligence and analytics applications, establishing data stewardship, standardizing master data and cleansing data, rolling out Web-based and self-service tools, and carrying out those tasks and others while investing minimally in new technologies.