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12/16/2014
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Chris Murphy
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IT Hiring, Budgets In 2015: 7 Telling Stats

30% of companies plan to expand IT staff next year, while 74% expect more demand for IT resources. How do your plans stack up?
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(Image: Korry Benneth, flickr)
(Image: Korry Benneth, flickr)

Eighteen percentage points.

How you feel about that figure will say something about how you feel about your IT strategy and plans for 2015.

In our Outlook 2015 survey, 18 percentage points is the difference between the share of tech professionals who see rising demand for IT inside their companies (74%) and those who expect their companies to actually increase IT spending (56%).

The takeaway: A sizable number of companies think they can cope with rising demand for IT without increasing spending.

An even larger percentage of survey respondents think that they can meet rising demand without adding IT people. Just 30% of the companies represented in our survey expect to have larger IT staffs in the coming year.

This optimism isn't irrational, of course -- doing more with less is what productivity gains are all about.

But today's rising IT demand isn't just about project volume -- generating 500 BI reports in the coming year instead of 450 this year. It's about IT doing entirely new things, the kind of creative work that doesn't just lower costs but also helps companies grow. It's about mobile apps that build new customer ties, data analysis that spots new opportunities, technology-powered services that drive new revenue.

No doubt some of today's technologies -- such as improved automation that allows for lights-out, remotely managed, highly virtualized data centers -- will eliminate some IT jobs. Virtualization continues to let IT organizations spend less time manipulating physical boxes. But as Choice Hotels International CIO Todd Davis told us recently, increased complexity in the data center also has made top-flight infrastructure professionals among the hardest IT pros to find.

And Choice Hotels offers a great example of a company investing in IT -- including people -- in order to grow. Davis is expanding his IT staff about 20%, adding 100 people, mostly in the Phoenix area. Improved mobile reservation tools, reservation system upgrades to meet international expansion, and moves to cloud platforms all tie directly to growth. "We're looking for people who can bring new thought to the table as we push into new markets and come up with creative ways to address our technology needs," Davis said.

How about your company -- are you among the 56% of companies that will increase their IT budgets to meet 2015 goals? Or the 33% staying flat, or the 11% cutting?

Perhaps you plan to "self-fund" innovation, walking that tightrope between lowering "run-the-business" IT operation costs while increasing "change-the-business" new development projects.

Or maybe you'll consciously plan to do less with less -- put a lid on IT project demands, and eliminate activities IT used to do.

Or maybe your company's strategy for meeting rising IT demand sounds like something inspired by an Elizabeth Gilbert novel: "Cut, Pray, Stall."

Our Outlook 2015 survey lets you compare your tech priorities and budgeting and staffing plans with those of your peers. We also delve into how much business units are setting their own IT spending agendas. Click for a look ahead.

Chris Murphy is editor of InformationWeek and co-chair of the InformationWeek Conference. He has been covering technology leadership and CIO strategy issues for InformationWeek since 1999. Before that, he was editor of the Budapest Business Journal, a business newspaper in ... View Full Bio

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batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:41:38 PM
Re: The right place, right time
interesting, I think soon we gonna see many thing get replaced but technology... as price of hardware/technology goes down... but time will tell...
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 3:06:34 PM
Re: The right place, right time
You read about the nurse calling system being replaced by other kinds of less valued software and hardware, similarly in about 3 to 5 years the entire hospital management scene would change due to IOT grids and cloud systems. 
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 2:50:51 PM
Re: The right place, right time
@SunitaT0: Wonderfully said. Even though hospitals are free from the brunt of recessions the IT industry goes through, they are dependent upon IT industries for their software and other cloud based systems. One cannot exist without the other. 
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 5:36:10 AM
Re: The right place, right time
@tjgkg: Not entirely recession proof. Hospital management relies on third party companies for cloud/software provisions and other supply chain companies for electronics and if a recession comes then it indirectly affects the hospital as well.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 5:31:09 AM
Re: The right place, right time
@Gbenga: Medical industry is rapidly changing. Physical mechanisms are being replaced with things like a tab and capable software. Recently I read an article about how the nurse calling system was replaced by a software generated calling that cost only half a million dollars against 40 million dollars if the management had taken the nurse calling system to a physical upgrading route.
GbengaA529
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GbengaA529,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2014 | 3:32:42 PM
Re: The right place, right time
The area that will see consistent increase in demand is in Medical Informatics. My understanding is that, most schools that offer Informatics wanted to train healthcare professionals on IT. My suggestion is to train IT professionals in healthcare. IT personnel can adapt quickly to technology, as it applies to healthcare.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2014 | 2:33:16 PM
The right place, right time
Thankfully I am in healthcare and our IT budgets are growing. This is really a great industry to be in for many reasons, the biggest being is that it is viturally recession proof. Other industries can be more interesting, but with this economy, I want to stay where i will have a job.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/16/2014 | 12:38:24 PM
Cut, Pray, Stall
Cut, Pray, Stall sounds pretty risky. I would push for Eat, Pray, Code. Remember your workgroups should be able to eat on 2 pizzas.
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