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First Quarter IT “Reality Check”: Budgets, Confidence and Difficult-to-Hire Skills Remain Consistent; Contingent Hiring Expectations Rise Significantly

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About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

Hanover, Md. – April 15, 2015 – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released the results of its quarterly IT “Reality Check,” a survey that compares current market conditions on the state of spending, skill needs and impact areas originally reported in the company’s Annual IT Forecast released in December 2014. The most recent survey represents the views of more than 300 IT leaders (CIOs, IT VPs, IT directors, IT hiring managers) as of March 2015.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Budget Expectations and Confidence Levels Remain Steady

  • Budgets Stay the Course; IT Leaders Slightly Less Confident in Ability to Satisfy Business Demands
    • Heading into 2015, 45 percent of IT leaders expected their IT budgets to increase, and 43 percent expected increases at the end of Q1. The number of leaders whose expected budgets to stay the same increased from 39 to 43 percent. Those expecting decreases shifted from 16 to 14 percent.
    • Heading into 2015, the number of IT leaders who were confident in their IT department’s ability to satisfy business demands stood at 71 percent. At the end of March 2015, 70 percent of leaders expressed confidence.  IT leaders expressing a neutral position decreased from 20 to 18 percent. Those who lacked confidence in their department’s ability to satisfy business demands increased from 9 to 12 percent.
    • Findings: The percentage of IT leaders who expected budget increases or decreases each lessened by 2 percent and shifted to “stay the same,” which increased by 4 percent. Those expressing a lack of confidence increased 3 percent, shifting from those who expressed confidence (down 1 percent) and those who were neutral (down 2 percent).   

Most Impactful IT Trends Show Consistency

  • Security, Business Intelligence (BI)/Big Data Maintain Top Two Positions
    • Heading into 2015, the five most impactful areas in order from the top position were security, BI / Big Data, mobility, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and cloud computing.  At the end of March 2015, the top two impact areas remained the same, while cloud computing rose from No. 5 to No. 3, pushing mobility from No. 3 to No. 4. DevOps gained significantly, rising five spots from No. 10 to No. 5.
    • Heading into 2015, the five least impactful areas in declining order were consumerization of IT/BYOD (No. 9), DevOps (No. 10), social technologies (No. 11), VOIP / unified communications (No. 12) and open source (No. 13).  With the exception of DevOps, these remained basically unchanged at the end of March 2015, with consumerization of IT/BYOD (No. 9), social technologies (No. 10), VOIP / unified communications (No. 11) and open source (No. 13) remaining in the bottom five. Data center consolidation dropped into the bottom five, shifting from No. 6 entering 2015 to No. 12 by the end of March.  
    • The initiatives that fluctuated the most in terms of impact were DevOps (rose from No. 10 to No. 5), ERP (dropped from No. 4 to No. 7) and data center consolidation (dropped from No. 6 to No. 12).  

Rankings of Most Difficult to Hire Positions Remain Consistent

  • Security Leapfrogs to Top Spot
    • Heading into 2015, the five most difficult positions to fill with exceptional talent in declining order from the top position were programmers and developers, software engineers, architects, project managers and security experts.  At the end of March 2015, security leapt to the top (No. 5 to No. 1), pushing down programmers and developers (No. 1 to No. 2) and software engineers (No. 2 to No. 3). Project managers remained in the No. 4 spot, while BI rose from No. 7 to No. 5.
    • Heading into 2015, the five least difficult roles to fill with exceptional talent, in declining order, were Big Data analytics (No. 8), help desk/technical support (No. 9), cloud (No. 10), mobile (No. 11) and social technology (No. 12).  While the ranking order shifted slightly, these remained consistent at the end of March 2015, with mobile (No. 8), help desk/technical support (No. 10), cloud (No. 11) and social technology (No. 12) still in the bottom five. Business analysts (dropped from No. 6 to No. 9) displaced Big Data analytics (rose from No. 8 to No. 7) in the bottom five. 
    • The positions that fluctuated the most in terms of difficulty of finding exceptional talent were security (rose from No. 5 to No. 1), mobile (increased from No. 11 to No. 8), architects (dropped from No. 3 to No. 6) and business analysts (dropped from No. 6 to No. 9).

Full-Time IT Headcount on Rise; Major Upswing in Contingent Hiring

  • Major Leap in Expectations for Contingent Hiring Increases in Q2
    • Heading into 2015, 40 percent of IT leaders expected increases in full-time hiring. Heading into Q2 2015, the percentage of IT leaders who expect full-time hiring increases rose to 45 percent. Those who expect full-time hiring to stay the same decreased from 50 to 46 percent, while those who expect decreases in full-time hiring dropped from 10 to 9 percent.
    • Heading into 2015, 36 percent of IT leaders expected an increase in contingent hiring. Heading into Q2 2015, the percentage of IT leaders who expect contingent hiring increases jumped to 51 percent. Those who expect contingent hiring to stay the same decreased from 54 to 44 percent, while those who expect decreases in contingent hiring dropped from 10 to 5 percent.  
    • Findings: Expectations for increases in hiring of full-time employees in Q2 increased 5 percent, mainly due to the 4 percent decrease in the percentage of IT leaders who expect full-time hiring to stay the same. The 15 percent gain in IT leaders who expect contingent hiring to increase in Q2 shifted from IT leaders who expected contingent hiring to stay the same (which dropped by 10 percent) and IT leaders who expected contingent hiring to decrease (which dropped from 10  to 5 percent).

“Similar to last year’s first quarter reality check, most IT leaders are not seeing significant changes in terms of budget expectations, confidence, impact areas or difficulty in securing skill sets as compared to when we entered the year,” said TEKsystems Research Manager Jason Hayman. “But, where we have seen significant change is in the area of contingent hiring, which has seen a major shift towards increased hiring plans. Employment growth was robust in 2014, at least by recent standards, and most signs point to continued growth in 2015.”

TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey or to schedule an interview, please contact Rick McLaughlin at TEKsystems@daviesmurphy.com.