Weekly Roundup: ‘War for Talent’ Continues, Especially in Tech-Centric Cities

In the most
optimistic tech news
of the week, Mashable sees a continuing "war for
in IT, especially in tech-centric locales such as the Bay Area
and Austin. The evidence: Google’s 10 percent raises and big holiday bonuses to
prevent the kind of poaching Google itself indulged in five years ago. New job
openings in the Bay Area are up an average of 17 percent in the last three

Weekly Roundup: 'War for Talent' Will Continue, Especially in Tech-Centric CitiesPoliticians who are
of pointing out that small business is the real job generator will be
heartened to learn that most SMBs plan to cease layoffs during 2011. More
than 40 percent expect to increase their staffs
. Another 53 percent expect their
staff size to remain the same. Only 5 percent plan layoffs, down from 10
percent last year.

Wherever you work,
here’s hoping it’s not a company on the
"most hated" list
. Using six criteria to determine which
companies are hated – including employee opinions, return on investment,
consumer surveys, changes in brand value, media coverage and the view of
taxpayers and politicians – experts flagged Nokia, AT&T, and Dell as top
tech offenders. Also on the list: DirecTV, Dish Network and Bank of America.

The new year is
in a wave of technology-space mergers, acquisitions and general deal-making
that may indicate an improving tech sector (as well as an improving overall
economy). The
four top acquirers last year were all tech companies
: Google, Facebook, IBM
and Zynga Game Network. Now that Facebook has received a cash
injection from Goldman Sachs, expect the acquisitions to continue. There may up
to ten targets on Facebook’s list.

When you look at
the cash that big companies like Intel, HP, and IBM have to make deals, there’s
even more upside. Tech deals still lag the deal-making of the overall economy,
so more
action is anticipated, especially in the areas of cloud computing and security
Buyers aim to capture the $3.4 trillion in tech spending projected for 2011 by Gartner.
That’s up 3.5 percent from 2010.

But as some companies
, others inevitably shrink. The undoing of MySpace continues, with the
announcement of layoffs
of up to 50 percent of its staff
, perhaps 550 people. Though it had its
brief moment, the social networking site, – still popular among musicians and
bands – was overrun by Twitter and Facebook.

Upcoming Tech Events

Trends 2011

January 11 – New
York City
Watch several discussion panels including Upcoming Trends in
4G, The Shift To Digital Media, and Trends/Drivers in IT.

How To Build A Productive Enterprise Social Networking Strategy

eWeek Editorial eSeminar

January 13 – Online
Join eWeek for an interactive webcast on how to build the
technology infrastructure that integrates social networks while assuring
compliance and security. Attend this online-only event and learn what tools are
to ensure employee efficiency and productivity.

— Don Willmott