Surprise, Surprise: ITs Overworked

 
 
By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2001-10-10 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The good news: U.S. IT workers are, on average, putting in fewer hours. The bad news: Whoever doesn't get laid off is churning out more work than ever and, in the long run, that will lead to burnout among many IT workers.

The good news: U.S. IT workers are, on average, putting in fewer hours. The bad news: Whoever doesnt get laid off is churning out more work than ever and, in the long run, that will lead to burnout among many IT workers. In its 2002 World Wide Benchmark Report, Meta Group found that of 1,100 companies surveyed since the start of this year, 40 percent are cutting IT budgets by more than 20 percent. The budget cuts will lead to a 53 percent reduction in staff among that group. Because of the budget-hacking, fewer workers are left to do more work—indeed, the study found that U.S. development productivity, measured in KLOCs (thousands of lines of code), has increased to 36 per professional per year, up from 6.22 last year.
That productivity is getting squeezed into ever-tighter schedules. The study found that the average IT professional in the United States works 2,080 hours per year—down from 2,157 last year. That compares with the average worldwide IT worker, who now works 1,992 hours per year, compared with 2,151 last year.
Part of what accounts for the productivity spike, according to Meta spokeswoman Samantha Finnegan, is the use of tools such as Visual Basic, HTML and JavaScript. "[JavaScript, for example,] lets IT professionals work faster," said Finnegan, in Stamford, Conn. "It doesnt take as long as regular Java for workers to input more script." One consolation is that many IT professionals are getting paid more this year than last: Compensation is up 9 percent in the United States, with the greatest increases going to project leaders, business analysts and metric specialists. Worldwide, enterprises are having the toughest time filling the positions of system analysts and designers. The survey found that 10.5 percent of budgets are now spent on outsourcing, vs. 12.5 percent last year. Among organizations using outsourcing, 14.8 percent is spent on data centers; 45.1 percent on applications development; and 13.8 percent on help desks.
 
 
 
 
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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