finger toughing virtual screenMore than half of IT organizations are increasing IT staff headcount this year in the most positive sign for IT job growth since the beginning of the recession, according to the 25th annual Computer Economics IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks study. The most positive finding in the study this year is that at the median, IT staff headcount will rise 1.0 percent, an indicator that has remained flat since 2007. The sector with the highest rise in IT staff headcount was financial services at 5.0 percent, followed by healthcare providers at 3.9 percent.

“The hiring is primarily concentrated in larger organizations, as it has been,” Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, said. “But the rise in the median is a good sign that the recovery is broadening its base to include more midsize companies and additional sectors.”

IT operational budgets will increase 2.4 percent at the median, a rise that is in line with revenue growth and similar to what has occurred over the past few years. “What we are seeing is slow and steady improvement, but the growth is still a long way from robust,” Scavo said.

IT capital spending growth has halted, with a 0.0 percent growth rate in budgets at the median, the survey also found. Why organizations are putting capital-spending growth on hold is uncertain. They could be simply delaying infrastructure upgrades in the interest of cost containment or choosing to deploy an increasing number of systems in the cloud instead of with on-premises infrastructure. Or they could be pausing to digest previous investments.

“The latter explanation may be the most likely,” Scavo said. “Although the trend toward cloud systems is real, we do not believe it yet represents a major portion of the IT budget for most organizations.”


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