Skills In Demand, Amazon’s Fire Conundrum, and ILCS


Dice News Update: The nine most important skills IT executives are looking for… Amazon will lose money on the Kindle Fire – and that’s okay… And have you ever heard of ILCS? I’ll tell you what it is and why you should care. All on this week’s Update.

Computerworld’s annual survey of IT executives finds a 45 percent increase in hiring expectations over the past two years. But the most important thing to come out of the study is a list of skills that they need the most going forward. The top nine:

  • Programming and Application Development: 61% plan to hire here in the next 12 months.
  • Project Management: 44 percent plan to hire here.
  • 35 percent will hire for Help Desk and Technical Support
  • While 35 percent will hire in networking.
  • Business Intelligence: 23 percent plan to hire.
  • Data Center: 18 percent plan to hire.
  • 18 percent will hire Web 2.0 experts
  • 17 percent will hire in security – it’s a surprise that that’s so low.
  • Finally, 9 percent will hire in Telecommunications

Again, the biggest surprise is that security is so low — actually trending down from last year’s 32 percent plan-to-hire. Given how prevalent cybersecurity issues have been lately, it’s kind of a mystery.

Amazon’s Losing Money on Every Kindle Fire It Sells. The device won’t hit the market until Nov. 15, but it’s already topping the retailer’s bestseller chart. This is a product whose specifications are mediocre at best when compared to the iPad and other Android tablets. It has no camera, 3G capability or GPS. On-board storage is a not-very-exciting 8 gigabytes, and it’s not expandable. So why’s it selling so well? Because $200 is ridiculously cheap. In fact, Kindle Fire is so cheap that Amazon won’t be making any money through sales of the tablet itself. An analysis by iSuppli finds the cost of Kindle Fire’s components is about $191.65. It costs an $18 to manufacture. In other words, Amazon will fork out $210 for every tablet it makes. What gives? Amazon’s willing to lose money here because it will make money selling books, apps, and movies. So Amazon will make money — as long as users don’t abandon the Kindle Fire in favor of offerings from Apple or other Android OEMs.

Here’s a new acronym to grasp for 2012: ILCS, otherwise know as Industrial Low-Cost IT Services. At the Gartner Outsourcing & IT Services Summit in London last week, much discussion focused on the trend toward replacing costly customized IT services with more standardized services that come at a lower price. Gartner says that while there are multiple ways to reduce the cost of IT delivery and increase IT’s value, the trend towards ILCS will become paramount for end users. They’ll want to trade nonessential customization for better and less expensive services. Gartner says that by 2015, ILCS services like outsourced e-mail will make up 30 percent of the IT services market. It also expects cloud services to grow into a $177 billion market. For IT, this cuts both ways. On the one hand, it gives IT the chance to cut costs and become heroes in the business. On the other, it takes away IT’s chance to shine as a builder of custom apps. It’s just one more twist on the, ahem, cloudy, future of IT.