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Planned IT spending for 2012 up but growth slowing
STAMFORD, Conn. (1/9/12)--Companies worldwide in 2012 will spend 3.7% more on information technology (IT) in 2012 than in 2011. However, they won't spend as much as originally projected, says research group Gartner. That means credit unions will need to pick the areas they spend their IT dollars on more carefully.

The Stamford, Conn.-based company originally forecast a 4.6% growth. Companies will spend $3.8 trillion on IT, compared with $3.7 trillion spent last year (E-Commerce Times Jan. 6). That was a 6.9% increase over 2010 spending, the company said.

The revised forecast means that all four major technology sectors--computing hardware, enterprise software, IT services and telecommunications equipment and services-- will grow slower than previously forecast, Gartner said. It attributed the slower growth rate to three major factors: the faltering global economy, the Eurozone financial crisis and the impact of flooding in Thailand, which is a major hard-disk-drive producer, said the publication.

Credit unions and other companies likely will see the strongest growth this year in telecom equipment spending, expected to increase 6.9%, followed by the enterprise software at a growth rate of 6.4%. Computing hardware is projected to rise 5.1%, followed by IT services at 3.1% growth, and telecom services at 2.3%.

Some analysts interviewed by E-Commerce Times also indicated that cloud computing and social mobile areas will have a major impact on how companies allocate their IT budgets, with cloud computing presenting a major challenge in demand.

Another survey projected that IT hiring will increase for the third consecutive year, with IT professionals with programming skills in high demand. Computerworld's annual Forecast survey forecasts a 45% increase in IT hiring expectations over the past two years.  Of the 353 IT executives it polled, 29% said they plan to increase IT staffing through next summer--up from 23% in the 2010 survey and 20% from the 2009 survey (Computerworld.com Dec. 27)..

Computerworld's survey indicates that IT managers are thinking about innovation, not merely maintaining.  Nine skills will be in particular demand:

  1. Programming and application development. Sixty-one percent plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, compared with 44% in 2010. Several analysts attribute the boost to mobile application development.
  1. Project management.  Forty-four percent plan to hire, compared with 43% in 2010.  The demand has been for more business analysts who can plan, design and implement projects, rather than project managers who merely oversee and monitor them.
  1. Help Desk/Technical support. Thirty-five percent expect to hire, down from 43% in 2010.
  1. Networking. Thirty-five percent, down from 38%. Virtualizagtion and cloud computing projects continues the high demand.
  1. Business intelligence. Twenty-three percent, compared with 13% in 2010. This indicates increased focus on cost savings and return on investments in technology.
  1. Data Center. Eighteen percent, compared with 21% in 2010, plan to hire.
  1. Web 2.0. Eighteen percent will hire, up from 17%.
  1. Security. Seventeen percent plan to hire, down from 32% in 2010.This does not diminish companies' emphasis on security; many already have security hired.
  1. Telecommunications. Nine percent plan to hire, down from 17% in 2010.


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