The economic recovery is proceeding at an unstable pace, but the emphasis on cost reduction that dominated the IT agenda in recent years now shares the stage with more imperative and interesting innovations.
Despite the pressure to reduce costs, companies are also expected to increase investment in IT by 2013 (according to Gartner recent report). Many are writing software to automate processes across the enterprise, which in the long term will make companies more agile and more efficient. Companies are investing in their technology and managing their B2B connectivity options, which generate income. You’ll also see companies are investing in technologies such as VMware and Microsoft Terminal Services to enable a remote workforce to meets the needs of the company, regardless of location, which provide long-term benefits.
Companies have long relied on IT to increase efficiency, and for years IT leaders have spoken of a better alignment of IT with business objectives to drive innovation. The IT job market has been gaining strength, and as more companies begin to grow and increase the payroll, employees who have been waiting for this change are preparing to take action.
A Computerworlds annual IT Forecast survey of IT hiring managers indicates over 33% plan to hire new IT personnel in 2013 – that’s up from 29% in last year’s Forecast. This year promises to be an exciting time in the information technology job market, as the most demanded IT skill sets focus on the development, deployment & management of new technologies to grow the business.
Several of the consultancies including Mercer, Hay Group, WorldatWork, Aon Hewitt and the Towers Watson Data Services Salary Budget Survey note that employers anticipate the 3 percent increase in salary despite a recent spate of mixed to gloomy economic news. These consultancies also see the following top most important IT skills in 2013:
Programming and Software Development
A recent Computerworld survey indicates that 60% of IT executives plan to hire programmers and software/app developers through 2013. Software development is a shoe-in for IT, and this standard isn’t expected to change for at least a decade. It’s important to remember though, that while the development of mobile applications and web applications is rising considerably, software development still has its limitations.
Software Maintenance, which requires the same knowledge or skill set, is another important role for companies in 2013, but employers do not have the same level of enthusiasm in maintenance than in development.
Hot programming languages for 2013: Java, J2EE, .Net, PHP and Objective-C.
Mobile applications are emerging everywhere. There is a clear consumer demand towards these applications specifically for iPhone and Android, followed by Windows Phone that is gaining popularity.
Organizations are seeking talented IT professionals and developers who can handle the demands born from the proliferation of smartphones and tablets.
Hot mobile skills for 2013: Mobile App Development, Device Management and Mobile Security.
More projects mean more project managers. Project management professionals in demand because projects are growing more complex due to the connectivity between applications increases as both programmers and expertise are a response to the emergence of new applications that require companies to compete with each other.
Hot PM skills for 2013: Systems Development, Business Analysis and PMP Certification.
Cloud and SaaS
An integration of software and web development is Cloud/SaaS. This synergy is the future, which will empower collaboration and reduce localization. Most companies have jumped on the bandwagon, offering cloud storage and web applications.
As businesses continue to establish and expand cloud-based solutions for increased productivity and reduced operating expenses, they will pursue new talent in this fast-growing IT domain.
Hot cloud skills for 2013: Cloud Architecture, SaaS Agreement Negotiation and Cloud Security experts.
Business Intelligence and Analysts
Big data is one of the top priorities for many companies. Professionals with the combination of technical & business acumen to analyze and transform this data into actionable intelligence for smarter business decisions and increased performance will be in high demand.
Organizations are looking for talented professionals to create centers of excellence of technical expertise that will drive innovation. As a result, the demand for talented data scientists is increasing.
Hot BI skills for 2013: Big Data Analytics, Math Skills, and Technical + Business Acumen and Data Scientists.
There is a definite crisis of resources and to overcome the current deficit in IT, the IT world uses logical platforms – whether hardware, software or storage. Virtualization is the importance of optimization, and this technology is the key to the future success of all organizations.
Improved technology ROI (return on investment), better efficiency and easy availability of IT resources make virtualization a critical part of modern IT strategies.
Hot in-demand Skills for 2013: Virtualization Administration, Virtual Security and VCP5 Certification.
Information security is a skill that is always in demand. Although companies have the best firewalls, hackers will always find a way to enter or search around and this is where this skill is essential. More than 27% of the IT managers plan to bring on new IT security specialists in 2013.
Add to this the inherent risk of integrating new systems, and it’s no surprise that computer security will remain a top concern for IT decision makers in 2013.
Hot Security Skills for 2013: Enterprise and Enclave Security, Securing Virtual and Cloud Environments
Technical Support Services
New systems deployments means more help desk techs will be needed to handle the increase in service calls. Demand for technical support jobs in 2013 will get an added boost as companies will start migrating their environment from Windows 7 to Windows 8 or from Windows XP to Windows 7/8 before the XP support cycle terminates in 2014.
Hot IT Support Skills for 2013: Technical Specialist, Mobile Device Support, Windows 7/8 Deployment, and Soft Skills.