Mergers and acquisitions are driving integration
projects. And not surprisingly, anything that adds to
the bottom line is being moved to the top of the list.
“A lot of revenue-generating projects were
tabled in the first part of 2009 for budget reasons,
but now CIOs are ready to get them done,” Ms.
And for that, they need people.
In the United States, consulting giant KPMG
found that two-thirds of the 130 technology executives surveyed between May and July believed
their sector will pull through the crisis more
quickly than the country’s overall economy.
Executives in Silicon Valley—the heart of the
U.S. IT industry—were even more optimistic,
with 77 percent predicting the tech sector will
lead the recovery.
“The results are in line with recent earnings
reports in the technology sector [that] suggest
business conditions are starting to improve,” Gary
Matuszak, partner, global chair and U.S. leader
for KPMG’s information, communications and
entertainment practice, said in a
statement. “There are also reports of
software industry sales expanding
5 percent to 10 percent after the
Nearly 80 percent of the KPMG
respondents predicted stronger revenue in 2010 and about half saw
an improved job picture in 2010.
When asked how they responded
to the economic downturn in the
past year, the most frequently cited
action was reducing headcount
( 68 percent). But only 14 percent of
respondents reported they are considering more cuts in 2010.
Some tech companies are already
launching recruiting campaigns aimed at taking
advantage of the current IT talent surplus.
“We’re hiring people while we can before the
economy swings back and the best tech
employees will be hard to find,” Don Vaccaro,
CEO of Ticket Software, a concert ticket
exchange business in Vernon, Connecticut, USA,
told Business Week.
No matter the state of
the current job market,
stay connected. “You
should spend 5 percent to 10
percent of your time engaged
with organizations and meeting people in your field or
industry outside of work,”
advises John Challenger of
Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Ms. Cheedle says IT projects are bouncing back
faster because they’re more easily tied to bottom-line results and are often integral components of
“If companies want to scrutinize their sales or
improve customer service, IT is a part of that,”
she says. “IT helps
executives stay on top
of business trends.”
Expertise in software
design and development,
computer security, and
network and database
be among the hottest
If you can’t land your
dream job right now,
try working on a
contract basis. “A lot of
contract project management
jobs run 18 months or more,”
says Susan Cheedle of
Robert Half Technologies,
Denver, Colorado, USA. “It’s a
great way to get your foot in
the door and it’s not a bad
way to make a living.”
Given the massive
stimulus plans launched
in the past year, gov-ernment-related projects, particularly in healthcare, are also expected to take off. In the United
States alone, President Barack Obama intends to
spend $50 billion to computerize the country’s
“Healthcare IT projects—such as developing
electronic medical records technology and
administration and system upgrades—is a very
strong area,” says Mr. Challenger.
He also pointed to energy projects, from
traditional oil and gas endeavors to alternative
For now, though, companies are exercising
caution and starting small.
“Big IT projects haven’t rebounded yet, though
we are seeing the first signs,” Mr. Challenger says.
“IT infrastructure projects are slow to come on
board and companies want to be careful.”
By the middle of 2010, though, larger projects
should begin to be funded—and that’s when
demand for project management skills will truly
“When the economic cycle starts moving
toward expansion,” Mr. Challenger says, “more
companies will focus on big IT overhaul projects
that will require strong project management