Outlook Bright for Devs with Business Savvy

Demand for enterprise devs with both technical and business-savvy skills will rise in the next 12 months, says a just-released survey of IT managers from Gartner Inc. See why Gartner researchers say there is "light at the end of the tunnel" for a broad range of Java, .NET and web l services devs who know how to link IT with business needs.

Tags: Survey, Skills, Business, Mok, Staff, Career Development, Employers,

Demand for enterprise devs with both technical and business skills will rise in the next 12 months, says a just-released survey of IT managers from Gartner Inc.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of all employers surveyed expect some increase in IT staffing (full-time and contractors) over the next 12 months, according to Gartner's 2005 IT Market Compensation Study. The study is based on research and survey data from 160 organizations as of March 2005. The study looks at 137 different IT job types.

"I would say we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel for IT hiring," study co-author and Gartner senior consultant Lily Mok told Integration Developer News. "But there is a difference now. Today's [IT] job opportunities are not purely technical, so [developers] won't go too far with only technical skills. They also need to be more business-oriented and have skills that will help businesses realize more value from their IT investments."

The survey also found that employers are more willing to help technical staff gain better business skills, Mok said. "In the past, a lot of companies ran into some trouble because they focused on the short-term goals of an IT project. But, now, we see companies thinking of IT as a longer-term investment [in their company's business value] , and so we're finding employers willing to invest in career development programs [for their IT staff]," Mok said.

For the most part, salaries for devs with enterprise-level J2EE, .NET, ERP and XML/web services skills jumped between 5 and 10 percent, said Diane Berry, managing vice president of Gartner's Executive Program Content Research. "In terms of geographic locations ... I think we see the usual pockets of [activity] in the Boston area, Dallas, North Carolina and New York. This isn't necessarily drawn from our study per se, but what we find in talking with clients," Berry told IDN.

Details from the Gartner IT Survey
  • The most difficult-to-hire IT positions include project manager, web applications programmer, security analyst, database administrator and network engineer. The intensified search for project managers suggests that companies are starting to focus on more effectively managing and prioritizing projects that can deliver a competitive advantage for the business, the survey concluded. "Many companies are finding it very difficult to find people who not only have solid technical skills, but also can manage projects and people, and can help [employers] better interface their IT staffs with business needs," Mok said.

  • On the programming side, the demand seems to be even across the board: J2EE, Java .Net, and XML and web services. I do see an increase in web services and integration, and those [cross-department] kinds of skills," Mok told IDN. "We're seeing many of our clients adopt the open architecture frameworks and multivendor integration approaches, so many of the job opportunities will be for helping IT deliver applications for the growing open architectures

  • The sectors with the fastest job growth included financial services and government/nonprofit, according to the survey. Financial services will see biggest rise in IT recruiting, with 63 percent of firms in that sector projecting some IT hires. More than one-fifth (22.2 percent) told Gartner they plan an IT staff increase of more than 10 percent. In the government/nonprofit sector, 62 percent of organizations expect new IT hires.

  • Another sign from Gartner's survey that IT hiring is picking up: Total IT voluntary turnover was higher in the 2005 survey than last year. "This may imply that … IT professionals will consider leaving their current jobs for better opportunities," Mok said.

Click here for more information on Gartner's 2005 IT Market Compensation study, which also includes strategic information on trends in IT recruitment, retention, career development and training.