2012: The outlook for IT professionals

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

From the IT Crowd to the A Team

At the same time, businesses want staff who can move from project to project, take a brief from a business unit, and even work on mixed development teams within the business itself.

If the watchword for 2011 was looking for stability, for the IT professional, 2012 may be the year of flexibility.

Diageo, the drinks company, already runs mixed project teams of IT and marketing specialists in areas such as web services, mobile device applications, and social media.

At BAA, the airports operator, a 400 million outsourcing deal with CapGemini has reduced the internal headcount.

According to Philip Langsdale, the company's CIO, the smaller core IT team will still include specialists in areas such as IT security, and airports operations. But he is looking for IT professionals who can work as part of the business, and have a genuine understanding of what makes that business successful. But he is also looking for IT professionals who can manage contractors, outsourced work, and even cloud service.

And this reflects another key aspect of the landscape for the IT professional in 2012: growing complexity. IT professionals will be dealing with more operating systems, on more devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs. They will be managing company-owned devices, and personal technology, and will be dealing with internal IT systems, outsourced technology, and the cloud. They could be working with start-ups, for consultancies, as freelancers, or directly with a line of business manager.

If the watchword for 2011 was looking for stability, for the IT professional, 2012 may be the year of flexibility.

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