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TEKsystems’ annual IT Forecast survey takes a pulse on IT leader expectations for the upcoming year. Each year, the forecast explores budgets and spending, in-demand skill sets, technology and trends impacting organizations as well as workforce planning. Here, we provide a glimpse into 2017.
IT spending is expected to be balanced between implementing new or improving existing core IT and operational systems. Many functions outside of core IT, including marketing and sales, are now taking independent responsibility for many tech-related investments and projects, further blurring the lines of technology ownership. Only 1 in every 10 IT leaders are planning to scale back their budgets, indicating that overall companies recognize the need to get more out of existing systems as well as invest in new technology.
In terms of staffing IT teams, spending on staff augmentation and managed services is expected to increase. Companies are demanding more from their vendors and want delivery options that meet their unique needs.
IT leaders believe programmers and developers, project managers, networking and software engineers will be the most essential IT roles. What’s more, these skills along with security top the list of most difficult to find.
Although programming and development remain the most difficult to find skills year over year, fewer IT leaders feel this way. Technology’s increasing decentralization means organizations require a wider variety of talent and functions outside IT must fill their own tech-related positions.
Information security, cloud computing and business intelligence are the top technology trends IT leaders expect to have the biggest impact on their business.
In terms of challenges, organizational alignment—or how well IT and other departments understand and coordinate with each other—will continue to be the biggest challenge organizations face. Based on survey findings, this is not surprising and could be directly related to the decentralization of technology spending and the diffused ownership of IT projects. With technology investments being made beyond the IT department itself, IT is more able to focus on its primary role and core initiatives.
Similar to other professions, compensation plays a major role in attracting top candidates, and with only a small fraction of IT leaders intending to increase salaries, they could face challenges when it comes to building and retaining high-quality IT teams. Given the competitiveness of the IT labor market, it is important for companies to evaluate their compensation packages they offer IT talent.
Because salaries are highly dependent on a number of market dynamics, including geography, supply and demand, and the competitive landscape, knowledge of the local labor market is essential to validating that salaries align with market conditions.