IT budgets for small and medium-sized business are rising – and so is their hiring. A survey by Spiceworks found nearly a third plan to hire IT staff – the largest increase in the past 18 months. Companies with fewer than 20 employees are the most confident – 33 percent plan to hire. Small business is also looking at cloud technology. Cloud services are used by 28 percent, 100 percent growth rate from mid 2010. By the middle of this year, their cloud use could rise to 42 percent. And virtualization has become common. Fifty four percent are using it, and another 20 percent plan to in the next few months.
In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security said it would hire 1,000 cybersecurity professionals over three years. Well, hundreds of those jobs are still unfilled. Only about 200 were hired last year, and only 100 are expected to be hired this year. One big problem is federal hiring processes and other factors. The Federal Times says “lengthy security clearance reviews, flat budgets, the need to make a strong business case, noncompetitive pay, among other things, all get in the way of bringing new people on board. It may not get better for DHS. Some observers say that as the economy gets better, few professionals will be willing to tolerate the hassle.And it’s not like security experts don’t have a lot of opportunities.
Finally, Kansas City may become a high-tech hub now that Google said it’s going to build an super-high-speed data network there. Next year the city will have gigabit-speed data — about 100 times faster than most people now. That should it an interesting place to experiment with next generation Internet apps and services. The city of Topeka isn’t thrilled. It changed its name to “Google” for a day last year to try to get the network built there. I guess I won’t be changing my name to Xbox anytime soon.