CIOs ‘Uncomfortable’ With Economy, IT Hiring Prospects

A study shows that while companies are slowing down on hiring IT personnel, they remain open to making technological investments.

Janco Associates noted that its IT jobs tracker, which was at 144,000 at this point last year, is sitting at 66,600. That’s almost half.

Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis said that 2016’s forecast growth could be compared to that of 2013, which was “not a very good year.” He pointed to an outsourcing of IT jobs, in addition to national telecommunications events like the Verizon strike.

“Drivers of this slowing are not just economic factors,” he said. “Companies just are not hiring and until there is a clear picture what the impacts of the major market trends like the implementation of the Paris green initiative, Brexit, immigration policies and implementation both overseas and in the US, as well as the uncertainties caused by the Middle East.”{ad}

The study took the opinions of 126 chief information officers, who expressed overall hesitancy to add new IT staff – especially IT executives – over the course of the next three months.

“Few of these C-level executives are comfortable with the overall direction of the economy and prospects for new IT jobs.  This also is reflected in acquisitions for new equipment and major application developments and implementations. Many of these executives are hedging their bets and forecasting flat-to-lower budgets for the new year.  A common thread we heard is that it will be easier to come back and get more monies than to have to cut spending after the new year starts.”

But it wasn’t all bad news. For many of the companies, the lack of personnel growth isn’t related to the actual IT budget.

“On the plus side, many CFOs are not completely adverse incremental spending for IT-related activities that have operational support and have a good ROI,” Janulaitis said. “We have found no IT initiatives that are being approved to upgrade technology for the sake of IT’s desire to have the latest new thing.”

Janco’s prognosis from earlier this year had similar conclusions about the slowing of hiring. It noted that replacements are not coming in quickly enough for baby boomers that retire from their positions.

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