2012: The outlook for IT professionals

2011 was about job security. 2012 will be about skills, and flexibility.

Given continued economic uncertainty, perhaps it was inevitable that 2011 would be a mixed year for IT professionals, and they can be forgiven first and foremost for concerns over job security.

A faltering recovery in the private sector, combined with continued job cuts in the public sector, have affected the IT market. There have been high-profile cancellations of public sector projects, including the National Programme for IT, as well as the earlier decision to scrap ID cards. And these are just the largest examples of cut backs.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In commerce, too, there is evidence of growth, especially in online channels.

But the need to trim costs in the public sector a process set to continue into 2012 is being offset, in part, by improving demand in the private sector. Overall, the IT industry has returned to growth, with spending increasing in financial services in particular.

Financial services IT job vacancies had already returned to 2007 levels by last year, and demand may well increase further in 2012 as banks turn to technology to meet regulatory requirements, such as the proposed ring fencing of retail banking operations.

In commerce, too, there is evidence of growth, especially in online channels. Reports earlier in the year suggested that spending on IT in the retail sector was falling, driven in part by the difficulties faced by many on the high street. But e-commerce and online channels are growing rapidly. Even relatively traditional bricks and mortar retailers, such as John Lewis, reported strong demand online: the department store's web sales during one week in December were 44.1 per cent up on 2010. The company also launched its first Facebook page.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

This trend is creating opportunities for IT professionals with strong online and e-commerce development expertise, as well as a track record in working with social media.

However, a large number of e-commerce, social media, and "app" projects are being developed not by in-house IT teams, but by external consultants. John Lewis, for example, turned to FusePump for its Facebook presence; NatWest's iPad banking app was developed by Monetise Group. And whilst some brands have turned to the large IT consultancies for their apps or social media sites, others have opted for smaller, boutique developers, especially in London.

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now

Most Popular

Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020
video conferencing

Zoom beams iOS user data to Facebook for targeted ads

27 Mar 2020

These are the companies offering free software during the coronavirus crisis

25 Mar 2020
Mobile Phones

Apple lifts iPhone purchase restrictions

23 Mar 2020