Upbeat IT directors plan fewer job cuts in 2013

Optimism returns to IT departments, as numbers plotting job and budget cuts fall.

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A new report suggests IT directors are feeling more optimistic about the future, with fewer of them anticipating job and budget cuts this year.

According to ReThink Recruitment's fifth annual IT directors' survey, 10 per cent are planning to make job cuts in 2013, which is half as many as last year.

The jobs site claims the number of IT directors planning to cut jobs in 2013 is at its lowest level in five years.

The poll also revealed that a quarter of IT directors expect to make budget cuts in 2013, which is down from 36 per cent in the 2012 report, while 48 per cent expect their departmental budget to rise this year.

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Expectations of headcount, salary, and budget increases are all up on recent years.

Michael Bennett, director of ReThink Recruitment, said, while IT budgets may appear to be on the rise, we still have a long way to go before they return to pre-recession levels.

"Generally, expectations of headcount, salary, and budget increases are all up on recent years," he said.

"The importance attached to IT departments has grown enormously since the financial crisis, but paradoxically this has not been matched by growing IT investment...[but] spending now looks like it has turned a corner."

Bennett cited the stabilisation of the Eurozone in recent months as a reason for the surge in economic confidence reported by IT directors.

"Confidence about what 2013 holds in store has spread throughout IT departments," he said.

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"Factors that tended to make IT directors cautious...have subsided [and] businesses are now hoping to bring years of IT job cuts or headcount freezes to a close and are ready to invest in their IT departments again."

The report also revealed that doubts about recruiting top quality staff continue to persist, with 87 per cent of respondents citing this as a concern, while 83 per cent said they worried about retaining their staff.

"IT directors will be concerned about the depth of the talent pool available to fill the new roles being created, particularly when these roles involve newer technologies, such as app development or cloud computing," said Bennett.

"With pay rises finally becoming the norm again, IT departments may struggle to hold onto staff that have put up with years of pay freezes and who could be easily tempted to move elsewhere by the offer of a better salary."

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