Ready for Recovery
We’re closing in on the second half of 2005, so it seems like as good a time as any for a reality check. In other words, how’s IT treating you so far this year?
There has been no official death knell for the recent recessionary troubles that have plagued the IT industry, most likely because the patient is still in recovery. But signs of improvement continue to appear: Programs are still launching new certifications, methods of testing are still evolving and emerging (check out this month’s cover story on the growth of performance-based testing), and the overall job situation is improving for many certified IT professionals.
It’s hard to make broad statements like that with the knowledge that every rule has an exception. Things have gotten better—for some. The IT career pendulum is swinging back upward—but not for everyone. Everyone in IT can expect a return to brighter times, but the caravan doesn’t always move quickly enough.
Earlier this year, Info-Tech Research Group released a study of IT budgets and spending projections for 2005. While 16 percent of respondents expected decreased budgets, 51 percent were expecting higher budgets.
The news got better:
- Of those companies expecting a budgetary increase, 35 percent expect their budgets to climb by more than 15 percent.
- Another 22 percent of respondents expect budgets to climb 5 to 15 percent.
- By sector, health care, professional services and retail are the most active markets, followed by manufacturing and government.
All interesting, but here’s the stat most readers will most celebrate: Internal staff is the largest (by far) chunk of IT budgets at 30 percent, nearly three times ahead of the 11 percent hardware expenditure. Perhaps best of all, outsourcing barely placed in Info-Tech’s research, registering at just 4 percent of IT dollar allocation.
This may not mean much in May. The year’s about to start its downhill side and arguably the course for the rest of the year was set when budgets were closed last fall. But those who’ve followed IT trends can attest that strides are being made. (Don’t believe me? How’d you do in 2002?)
IT’s been a bit beleaguered, without question. But the indicators are pointing to a brighter horizon. If that recovery continues to progress, you’ll need to be ready to advance with the industry’s next leap forward.
Ask yourself: Are you ready for the next big thing? Have you kept sharp the foundational skills you’ll use to build yourself up? Stop what you’re doing and consider where you’ve been, where you are and, of course, where you’re heading. Take a little mid-year reflection, and if needed, make a mid-course correction.
Self-reflection can be the best rudder to steer the ship of your career. As always, consider where your career is taking you and make sure you’re doing all you can to move it ahead.