During the economic expansion and accompanying technology boom, filling IT positions was one of the most challenging jobs an HR professional or CIO faced. When the economy faltered, IT workers were among the first to be laid off, and companies slashed IT budgets. Now a new study reveals that the combination of layoffs and budget cuts has created a crisis in IT management. The research, from CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Assn., reveals that the average number of IT services and support positions in U.S. companies has more than tripled since 1999, and CIOs and HR leaders disagree on how to fill those positions. The poll, "Ongoing Crisis in IT Management," surveyed CIOs and HR managers at companies with sales of at least $20 million and was conducted in May and June of 2001. The study found:
- In hiring IT workers, CIOs stress "soft skills" such as communications and patience, while HR managers tend to screen for hard, technical skills.
- CIOs were more likely than HR managers (61% vs. 37%) to outsource some IT functions.
- Due to staffing shortages, the number of CIOs expressing the need for outsourcing nearly doubled from similar research conducted in 1999 (66% vs. 33%).
- Vendor-neutral certification is playing an increasingly important role in IT hires.
- The number of unfilled IT service and support jobs tripled compared with similar research findings from 1999 and was reported at two unfilled positions per filled position in an average IT department of 25.6 positions.