IT Industry Confidence Grows
The publication of two recent reports indicates growing confidence in the IT industry.
Firstly a recent survey, conducted by The Corporate IT Forum – an independent not for profit organisation founded by some of the world’s largest businesses - reveals that 61% of CIOs plan to maintain or increase their investment levels and 29% are focusing on organic growth.
The findings show that while cost cutting remains a priority for CIOs (21%), it is not considered to be an end in itself. The majority of CIOs will use any efficiencies made to enter new markets and develop new products.
During the year ahead, the majority of IT departments have said they will focus their strategies on aligning business and IT architectures (59%). Optimising service delivery (55%) is the next strategic priority, followed by on-going virtualisation (52%). IT professionals will also focus on efficiencies around development and deployment of systems and on transforming business processes and collaboration.
Secondly, a report by E-Skills UK, the sector skills council for business and information technology, says that employment in the IT industry will grow 2.19% a year over the next ten years – five times fast than other UK industries. This means that 110,000 new entrants will be required this year alone just to keep pace with demand.
The research however identifies some worrying trends, according to Karen Price, chief executive of E-Skills UK. "The proportion of IT and telecoms professionals under 30 has declined from 33% in 2001 to only 19% in 2010, as the sector increasingly favours experienced workers from other sectors over young recruits from the education system." She added, "There is a particular need for new types of development programmes that help young people move into IT roles and become productive more quickly, and for continued action to attract talent from all sources, particularly women."
E-Skills predicted the UK economy could be boosted by £50bn over the next five to seven years by exploiting the full potential of the technology sector.