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August 2006 IT Organization Survey: IT's Future is Brighter Than You Think

By Allan Alter  |  Posted 09-06-2006 Print
As IT organizations keep growing, the question is whether they can develop the kind of IT professionals they'll need.

According to the results of this month's survey on the future of the IT organization, corporate IT departments are going through more change now than ever before. Change is never easy or universally welcome, of course, but in this case, change is good—for the most part. Organizations are growing, morale is improving, and more opportunities are opening up for IT professionals. So put aside those worries that outsourcing means there will be no IT jobs for college graduates. One caveat: Business know-how is now so important that, given a choice, most IT executives will hire and promote a job candidate with a superior grasp of business over someone who's an ace technologist.

Unfortunately, this positive picture isn't true across the board. Nearly half of IT organizations are still seen as a staff or support function, rather than as a strategic one, and those IT organizations are less likely to grow. And even at companies that are growing, some changes are hard for many IT professionals to accept. Large companies, in particular, have come to rely heavily on contractors and outsourcing firms to supply IT labor, and on business users to provide new ideas for using technology. IT pros aren't always comfortable seeing the business side take on a bigger IT role, and CIOs need to tell them to get used to it. If they can adjust, today's tech workers can expect a strong future, though the IT landscape will look quite different from the way it looks now.

Research Guide:

CIOs Expect IT Organizations to Keep Growing

  • Finding 1: IT organizations are getting larger, not smaller.
  • Finding 2: Large companies are relying on contractors, outsourcers and H1B visa holders.

    CIOs Put Out Help-Wanted Sign for Business-Savvy IT Professionals

  • Finding 3: CIOs are looking for business-savvy technologists to build new systems.

    IT Departments Are Going Through Unprecedented Change

  • Finding 4: Most IT executives believe their departments are undergoing more change than ever.
  • Finding 5: The IT morale problem has stabilized, but it's still serious, especially at large companies.

    The Wall Between IT and Business is Falling Down

  • Finding 6: Only half of IT executives say their companies view IT as strategic.
  • Finding 7: The division between the IT organization and the rest of the business is diminishing.

    Click here to download a PDF of our 2006 IT Organization Survey.


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