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IT Staffing Predictions - Clear Bright Spots!

 

TORONTO, January 17, 2012 – According to a recent survey of Canadian business decision-makers commissioned by Randstad Technologies with support from IBM Canada Limited, the IT staffing outlook for 2012, while featuring many areas of strong demand for top technology talent, is decidedly mixed. But there are some evident areas of strength for information technology professionals in search of opportunity.

Employers say they will continue to bring on IT Pros in 2012.

Since 2009, IT staffing projections have continued to increase and according to the results of the survey, this trend is expected to continue into 2012. Nearly half (41%) of the survey respondents say they plan to keep their IT staffing levels constant in the near and long-term, similar to what was reported in 2011. In addition, 49 per cent of those surveyed plan to grow their current staffing levels this year, while only 10 per cent expect to decrease.

According to Mike Winterfield, President of Randstad Technologies, contrary to much of what is being reported, Randstad is seeing active hiring within the ICT sector in Canada. “Our data shows that the ICT Sector has remained very strong throughout the course of 2011. In fact, permanent job orders and contract placements were higher in 2011 than they were in 2010, year-to-date,” he says.

“The markets that we’ve seen the most upswings in recently are the financial services and banking sector, as well as government. In terms of the types of roles that are in high-demand right now, we have seen a notable increase in companies looking to hire business analysts, web developers, and different infrastructure support type roles,” says Winterfield.

The demand is driven by a number of positive developments.

CIOs and VPs that were surveyed say they will continue to plan to hire more IT staff in 2012, and hiring plans overall are in line with expectations expressed in 2010.

New applications and increased IT workloads are said to be driving job prospects for Canadian technology professionals. Upgrades and refreshes are currently ranked as the biggest drivers for increasing IT staff in 2012 (47%), followed by internal company integration (37%) and IT/Data Security (29%), Collaboration (26%) and Cloud (24%).

“Finding skilled IT people to address resource gaps is challenging, particularly as technologies converge and skills in enterprise architecture, collaboration, security and cloud technologies continue to be in demand. Companies spent considerable time in 2011 understanding the various aspects of cloud and assessing the impacts on their IT strategy,  service delivery, and skill/resourcing  gaps, but they need to be better prepared to look at creative approaches to filling those gaps, including leveraging global resources, ” said Robert Wylie, Vice President of Integrated Technology Services, IBM.

Strong need for management and business roles.

The results show that for large and small companies, Project Management and Business Analysis continue to be the talent requirements most in demand within the IT industry. Although these two skills sets have remained in demand since 2009, the overall need has decreased to 42% (its highest peak reached 50% in 2010). The continued growth in the demand for these roles reinforces the move to a more specialized workforce with skills in business and IT.

Applications development skills in high demand.

Nearly half (48%) of respondents expecting IT staff increases cite applications development as a skill they will be looking for over the next 12 months. The application development skills that will continue to attract the most attention include .Net (33 per cent) and Java™ (31 per cent). These needs are similar across all regions, with the exception of SAP which is more highly in demand in the West.

According to Winterfield, “Professional SAP skills are particularly marketable in most industrial sectors of the economy. In this case, the oil and gas industry is directly contributing to the increase in demand for SAP in the West.” 

Infrastructure implementation and support skills also in high demand. 

Over 60 per cent of respondents indicated they will also be looking for infrastructure skills in 2012. Technical Project Managers (35 per cent), Server Virtualization Specialists (33 per cent) and Network Architects & Specialists (29 per cent) are among the Infrastructure skills that will be in high demand.

The use of global resourcing is increasing.

Almost half of the survey respondents currently use global resourcing, in contrast with approximately one-third in 2009 and 2010. Reducing cost is the primary reason for using global resourcing, although access to skill bases and 24/7 services are also important.

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About the Randstad Technologies/IBM Canadian IT Staffing Outlook
The study is the third annual survey and covered over 200 top-level business decision makers, from organizations of all sizes, for information regarding IT staffing trends and projections. The study was conducted between October 4, 2011 and November 18, 2011.

About Randstad Technologies: Specializing in delivering tailored IT recruitment solutions to specific business areas, Randstad Technologies provides short-term contractors with specific skills or permanent staff to bring a refreshed focus to IT divisions.  Our teams are experts in their local labor markets. They are skilled at marrying talent and business — matching talented IT professionals with the culture and business goals of Canada’s leading IT organizations. Visit randstadtechnologies.ca.

About Randstad Canada: Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, we understand the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of recruitment experts, we are shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit randstad.ca

About IBM: For more on IBM please visit www.ibm.com/ca    

Trademarks: IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml.

Java is a trademark or registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

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Comments

Robert Wylie, VP ITS of IBM, opines that finding skilled IT people up on current technologies and trends is a challenge. This has, of course, always been a challenge, as in the past companies entertained use of training and mentoring as a normal cost of doing business – it has become obvious when you leave it to candidates to amass the right knowledge on their own. It is a mixed blessing that project management and business analysis continue to be the higher in demand talents: many of those elusive skills tied to the actual implementation of systems are now attached to the PM (who should not act as an SME) or the BA (who should be focused on WHAT is needed, not HOW that should be implemented). Without implementers with technical skills even a technical PM is left high and dry. Much of the dissatisfaction of what IT delivers is the result of disconnects with business stakeholders, so the PMs and BAs need to be generalists that bridge between business and technology. Infrastructure skills are also rather broad as a category, ranging from installing servers to deploying networks to building datacenters, each more complex than the other. Application skills can reflect COTS procurement vs. custom development, each completely different in emphasis, unless (of course) the focus remains on professional PM or BA skills that are transferable to different contexts. The point is that with generalities as reflected in the surveys we can hardly hope to address Robert Wylie’s opinion with clear recommendations for how IT people can actively take the initiative to pursue learning relevant skills, except to note that anyone with strong foundational skills can quickly learn a new product or service. That leads to my opinion that the actual challenge is to restore training and mentoring as a normal part of the job, so that even beginners have an opportunity to gain a foothold and to help fill this purported shortage the way old-timers did.
Posted @ Friday, August 17, 2012 8:39 AM by Frits Bos
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