What's on Tap for IT Pros in 2007?

By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 12-01-2006

The themes of the 2006 IT professional world could be summed up as the following: H-1B visas, certifications, a job market that either rocked or was awful; and the Baby Boomer-Generation Y gap in the workplace.

Not bad for a year's work, eh?

eWEEK caught up with IT workforce experts and asked them what they had on their minds and dockets for the coming year.

Many of the issues sounded surprisingly familiar but all agreed that if there is one thing that couldn't be watched closely enough, it was the release of Microsoft's Vista.

1. Vista, Vista, Vista

Ongoing questions surrounding Microsoft's new operating system range from how quickly organizations will adopt it, what kinks they may run into in their transitions and how quickly IT professionals will be expected to have more than a basic understanding of the way the system works.

"What will this mean for corporate environments? What will the adoption rate be like? Will it be like XP, where it took nearly four years to pick up speed, or a lot sooner?" Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh Services, a provider of talent and outsourcing services based in Philadelphia, told eWEEK.

Scot Melland, president and CEO of Dice, a New York-based site for technology careers, felt that many of these questions will not be answered until later in the year.

"The impact of Vista may only be felt nearer to the end of 2007, as it could lead to a series of upgrades."

But, beyond the immediate upgrade process and the secondary impact on networks, most feel it is too soon to tell the impact.

"There will also be second-order effects, such as the secondary impacts of changing operating systems. Nobody knows what the impact is going to be just yet, but if you're a tech pro or a CIO, this is something to be concerned about," said Melland.

Lanzalotto notes that Vista will not be the only Microsoft release in 2007 that has the potential to change the landscape and daily rituals of the IT professional.

"The second new product that will be interesting to watch is Microsoft's Duet, their SAP product which will integrate Outlook into ERP," said Lanzalotto.

2. A Job Market on the Up

Nearly unanimously, IT experts saw good news on the tech job market horizon, with low unemployment rates among IT pros, strong hiring plans and multiple offers for candidates with the right mix of skills.

"In general, the job market for tech pros is going to continue to be an attractive one," Melland said. "The market is very tight today. There is a 2 percent unemployment rate among IT professionals with still a lot of employment being created. If pros want to make a move, they can and will probably see some escalation of their salaries as well."

Read the full story on Baseline: What's on Tap for IT Pros in 2007?