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53% of IT Leaders Expect IT Budgets to Increase in 2012; CIOs Most Optimistic with 66% Anticipating Budget Increases

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HANOVER, MD – January 31, 2012 – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today announced findings from its quarterly IT Executive Outlook survey, conducted in partnership with the Inavero Institute. Fifty-three percent of IT leaders expect their budgets to increase in 2012. The most optimistic group is CIOs with 66% anticipating increases to their budgets.

2012 Expenditures and Initiatives
Throughout the first quarter, respondents indicate spending on IT infrastructure services and IT applications services will increase 44% and 40%, respectively. Of those expecting increases in IT infrastructure spending, 24% foresee expenditures growing by more than 5%.

“During 2011, a number of trends like mobility, cloud computing and business intelligence garnered a lot of hype, but many organizations did not adopt and implement these initiatives right away. In 2012 organizations will be more prepared to take action,” says TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell. “It will be critical for businesses to select service providers capable of lending practical insight developed from successful, on the line experiences to help guide and support these initiatives.”

In the year ahead, 54% of IT leaders are currently implementing or planning to implement mobility projects. Over three-quarters (76%) of healthcare IT leaders report mobility projects are currently being implemented or they plan to implement them by the end of the year.

Other projects included in the 2012 portfolio are business intelligence programs (44%), master data management (MDM) projects (44%) and cloud computing initiatives (43%). Sixty-six percent of IT leaders from the Finance and Insurance industries report plans to implement MDM projects this year.

Cloud computing presents the biggest year-over-year changes. In 2011 only 31% said they were planning to implement cloud initiatives, compared to 2012 where 43% indicate plans to implement, a 12% increase. The Retail (47%), Manufacturing (46%), Education (43%) and Government (41%) sectors had the highest percentage of respondents that have plans to implement cloud solutions this year.

Filling the Gaps
IT leaders report their primary method for filling key skill gaps in 2012 will be to train their existing staff to support and manage key IT initiatives. The secondary methods for addressing skills gaps include outsourcing projects and hiring full-time. Projects that require more strategic planning on the front end like server virtualization, virtualized desktops, VoIP/unified communications, cloud computing and ERP optimization are likely to be outsourced. IT leaders indicate full-time hiring is likely for roles that require constant improvement and monitoring like business intelligence, regulatory compliance and security.

“Training may seem like the simple answer, but it does require some strategic planning to appropriately manage the process and the workforce. Training takes time. It also requires ample reinforcement on the job to truly lead to skill mastery. Organizations planning to train staff should account for these considerations, ensuring workloads are balanced during the training period and that there is a backfill plan to manage legacy programs once staff is equipped with new skills and priorities. It is also important for organizations to take stock of what competencies they need and which can be trained into the workforce versus which are better bought into it. Experience, for example, cannot be trained. Moreover, some skills are only needed for the short term,” comments Russell.

About the IT Executive Outlook Survey:
TEKsystems partners with the Inavero Institute to conduct a quarterly survey of more than 1,500 IT leaders. The first quarter 2012 online survey was completed by IT decision makers during December 2011. IT managers and directors represented the majority of survey respondents at 85%, and IT executives made up the remaining 15% of responses. IT leaders represented all industries, regions and company sizes.