Small Boosts in Budget, IT Hiring On Tap for 2014

IT hiring is on the increase at both vendors and end-user companies for 2014.

There will be more technology jobs available and more money for salaries and benefits during the next 12 months, but hiring managers are concerned a shortage of talent will hold back their plans for both new hires and new projects, according to a pair of new hiring surveys.

Sixty-three percent of managers at North American technology companies plan to hire new staff this year, while 69 percent worry about the shortage of talent and a quarter warn the shortage is “significant,” rather than simply reflecting a normal competition for fast-changing skill sets, according to a survey released Nov. 12 by the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA).

“Companies are feeling better about business conditions, but the talent shortage issue has the potential to sidetrack growth,” according to Steven G. Zylstra, TECNA chairman and president, who was quoted in the announcement of the survey.

The survey shows business managers are more confident in the economy than they were a year ago – 56.4 percent positive compared to 46.3 percent in 2012. Fifty-nine percent plan to invest in new products and services, though 44 percent are still concerned the economy isn’t strong enough to justify the expansion.

End-user companies are also concerned about the economy, but are more willing to invest in technology due to its potential to boost the bottom line, rather than representing a risk in itself as it does for tech companies investing in developing a new product.

IT budgets remained flat between 2012 and 2013 at 4.9 percent of corporate revenue, but will increase significantly in 2014, according to answers from 65 percent of the 484 organizations polled by the Society for Information Management (SIM) in advance of its annual meeting Nov. 10-12 in Boston.

The average amount of budget boost expected by those polled is 1.48 percent.

IT headcount rose an average of 1.1 percent during 2013, while salaries increased 2.24 percent. In 2014, 55 percent of respondents expect to increase headcount again, 90 percent expect salaries to rise again, by an average of 2.45 percent.

The down side is that turnover, which has hovered between 5.2 percent and 5.5 percent for the past three years, shot up to 6.6 percent during 2013, higher than at any time since the 7.1 percent in 2008.

Spending on tech is going up again as well; analytics and business intelligence products were listed by 42 percent of respondents, putting it in the lead of a pack that included CRM at 19.5 percent, cloud computing at 18.6 percent and ERP at 16.6 percent.

Analytics were also at the top of the list of IT managers’ list of concerns, however, trailed closely by security, disaster recovery, cloud computing and BYOD.

Fortunately for career-planning IT execs, criteria used to judge their performance are nearly identical to 2012. “Projects delivered on time” is No. 1; and “Projects delivered on budget” is No. 2 though “Increased customer/client satisfaction” moved up from No. 5 in 2012 to No. 3 in 2013. “SLA Targets,” “Productivity improvement,” and “Project ROI” are the fourth, fifth and sixth most-used criteria to judge the performance of IT.

 

Image: Shutterstock.com/ rnl

 

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