It’s easy to see that the environment surrounding IT departments is rapidly changing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in IT fields is expected to increase 22 percent over the next six years. After years of layoffs and downsizing, this may come as a surprise to many. Yet, those in the know haven’t been taken by surprise because they’re aware of driving factors behind this trend of IT department expansion. Here’s a look at four of the most important reasons why the IT landscape is evolving:
1. Software is now everywhere in the company.
Software improves efficiency and, ultimately, reduces operational costs. It also makes it easier to communicate with clients’, partners’ and vendors’ systems. Now, companies are seeking to leverage the advantages of software in every aspect of their operations. Thus, technology powers logistics, inventory, medical, hospitality — even manual labor jobs often include software for measuring, designing or fabricating. Every kind of company now has an It department to support critical business functions.
2. Every company is now a software company.
In addition to using software, companies are now creating it. Ford Motor Co. hosts regular hackathons; Progressive Insurance launched a mobile app; casino owner Caesars Entertainment has built a massive infrastructure that tracks customers from their first visit to a website to their post-stay surveys. John Deere continues to innovate its software platform for tractor owners. There are many more examples of companies developing software to meet their internal needs or to serve customers and partners.
3. Big data keeps getting bigger.
The torrents of data generated by doing business digitally are becoming a competitive weapon that companies can mine for deeper and more interpretive insights. According to the technology councils of North America (TECNA), 64 percent of companies identified Big Data — analytics, data mining and business intelligence — as the top driver of growth in 2014 to 2016.
4. Mobile is major.
The continued emphasis on mobile and mobile-first strategies has upped demand for mobile developers. A TECNA survey found that 59 percent of companies identified mobile application development as a key driver of growth. Daniel Burrus, author of Technotrends and Flash Forward, expects half of all companies to have their own mobile apps within the next two years. Obviously, they’ll need help. Some may turn to IT shops, which are experiencing their own hiring boom: 41 percent plan to hire more technical staff in 2014, with medium-sized firms being the most aggressive in hiring.
How to Handle IT Department Expansion
As departments continue to expand, companies will have to fight hard to attract top talent. Our latest white paper, “Moving Away from Outsourcing” explains that while outsourcing may seem like a prudent option, evidence shows that there are many disadvantages to outsourcing, and many advantages of alternative solutions including insourcing IT talent. Download your copy here.