Robert Half Technology Reports IT Workloads

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In a recent survey, Robert Half Technology discovered that 55 percent of chief information officers report that their information technology departments have seen a greater number of projects over the past year. And surprisingly, of those who reported increased IT workloads, 46 percent said that the cause was new initiatives, rather than decreased head count, as might be expected.




The national poll was developed by Robert Half Technology, which provides IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and it was conducted by an independent research firm. More than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees responded to the poll.




The poll asked chief information officers how the workload of their IT staffs had changed in the past 12 months. Twenty percent said there had been a significant increase, and 35 percent said the workload had “increased somewhat.” No change in workloads was reported by 38 percent of respondents. Only 6 percent said workloads had decreased.




Those respondents who cited an increase were asked to report the main factor that was contributing to this growing workload. Nearly half of respondents (46 percent) said that new projects were contributing to increasing IT workloads. And 36 percent said corporate expansion was the contributing factor. Only 9 percent said that decreased IT staff size was the main factor leading to increased workload, and 8 percent said “other.”




Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, said that postponed upgrade projects are starting to move forward to help businesses save money. In addition, she explained that some of the technology purchased in the late ’90s is reaching the end of its lifecycle and needs to be updated or replaced.




Lee also offered some tips for IT department heads to keep their staff motivated when workloads increase. First, she said employees should be encouraged to take breaks throughout the day and to use vacation days in order to avoid getting burned out. Second, she said to make sure that the workload and deadlines should not be impossible to deal with. Staff members must be evaluated to determine that they have the needed skills for projects, and they must be allowed to attend training if necessary. Lee also said that managers should explain how the work connects with larger strategic objectives of the organization, and that employees should be expected to prioritize their own work based on the company’s priorities. Finally, Lee said that companies should bring in support when necessary to avoid overloading full-time employees.




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Emily Hollis is associate editor for Certification Magazine. She can be reached at 

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