Things Are Looking Up for IT
Opinion: Experts are optimistic about the future of IT, but the outlook isn't entirely rosy.CIOs and technology professionals, like the legendary groundhog, are starting to peer out of their burrows for signs of the end of ITs nuclear winter. What they are seeing are definitely the more optimistic signs of an early spring, according to Executive Editor Stan Gibson, who talked with CIOs at the Society for Information Managements SIM-posium conference, held in Dallas Sept. 17-20. Experts point to the Y2K conversion, dot-com bust, 9/11 and increased regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley as the mortars that IT has had to endure in the past seven years, all the while being pressured to cut costs and be more efficient and more secure. "I think Y2K is one of the worst things that ever happened to our profession," said Sabre founder Max Hopper, now president of the Max D. Hopper Associates consultant group. "The hype about the dangers and the subsequent nonevent created a false sense of security about the importance of IT," Hopper said at the conference.
But things are finally looking up. IT spending is increasing, and some jobs and skills are in demand despite, or perhaps because of, the outsourcing trend. As a group, CIOs are more focused on the future than on ducking and covering and are putting Web services on the top of their priority lists, Gibson reports on Page 18.