Heading into 2014, 62 percent of IT leaders expected their IT budgets to increase, but through the first three-quarters of the year, the percentage of IT leaders who experienced increases never rose above 47 percent, according to a TEKsystems survey of more than 200 IT leaders, including chief technology officers (CTOs), IT vice presidents, IT directors and IT managers.
At the end of March and June, only 47 percent had seen increases, while at the end of September, 46 percent reported their budgets had increased. Heading into 2014, 26 percent of IT leaders expected their budgets to stay the same.
Since the beginning of the year, this has steadily hovered at an average of 38 percent. Sequentially, the percentage of IT leaders who reported their budgets had actually remained the same was 38 percent (end of March), 37 percent (end of June) and 39 percent (end of September).
The study also indicated IT leaders are losing confidence in their department’s ability to satisfy business demands as 66 percent of IT leaders were confident in their IT department’s ability to satisfy business demands heading into 2014.
Through the first three-quarters of the year, the percentage of IT leaders who expressed confidence was higher than forecast, but has recently come closer to original levels. At the end of March, 72 percent expressed confidence, while 73 percent expressed the same at the end of June, but this fell to 69 percent by the end of September.
Only two skill-sets—developers and architects—placed consistently in the top five most difficult positions to fill with exceptional talent through three-quarters of 2014.Programming and application development has ranked anywhere from No. 1 to No. 4, and architects have ranked anywhere from No. 1 to No. 5.
Help desk and technical support, cloud and social media have consistently been the least difficult roles to fill with exceptional talent, according to the report.
In terms of difficulty in filling positions, help desk and technical support remained the eighth most difficult position to secure, while cloud has ranked from No. 7 to No. 10 most difficult, and social media has remained the least difficult position to fill.
The positions that fluctuated the most in terms of difficulty of finding exceptional talent were software engineers, project managers, and business intelligence (BI) and big data.
The project manager role has seen a steady increase from No. 10 most difficult to hire (end of March) to No. 5 (end of June) to No. 1 (end of September).
Throughout the first half of 2014, BI and big data, security, mobility and cloud computing ranked in the top five initiatives having the largest impact on organizations.
On the employment front, throughout the year the hiring of temporary workers has increased, coming closer to the percentage of IT leaders who originally forecast increases in this area.
Since the beginning of the year, an additional 7 percent of IT leaders expect increases in temporary hiring, while those who expected temporary hiring to stay the same decreased 4 percent and those who expected it to decrease dropped 3 percent.
“Tech employment, in the US, has been rather insulated from the ebbs and flows of the market,” TEKsystems research manager Jason Hayman told eWEEK. “While IT took a bit of a hit during the U.S. recession, the impact wasn’t as significant as what was experienced in other occupations. Part of the reason behind that phenomenon is the pervasiveness of technology. Organizations simply can’t do business without it.”
Over the next decade the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects IT employment to grow by 18 percent compared to about 10 percent for all other occupations, Hayman noted.
“What’s interesting is that IT unemployment in the U.S. and the overall unemployment landscape tend to correlate fairly closely,” he said. “Coming out of the .com bubble in the early 2000s overall unemployment and IT were nearly the same. But the gap as widened gradually, with IT unemployment now standing at around half that of the overall unemployment rate.”