Healthcare Providers Boosting IT Staff Ranks

August, 2011

Irvine, Calif.—IT job seekers will find healthcare providers the most likely candidates for job openings, according to the IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2011/2012 study by Computer Economics, an IT research and advisory firm.

The survey of more than 200 IT organizations in the U.S. and Canada found that 61% of healthcare organizations are increasing IT staff headcount this year, which is well above the rate for all organizations in the study. At the median, IT staff headcount in the sector is rising 3.6%, compared to flat growth at the median for all other sectors.

“The continued transition to electronic medical records and data collection, relative immunity to economic slowdown, and effects of government policy makes healthcare one of the brighter spots of IT employment,” said John Longwell, vice president of research for Computer Economics. “Hospitals are hiring specialized workers to manage these new systems.”

The study shows that healthcare providers, a category that includes hospital groups and integrated healthcare systems, are allocating more new dollars to operational spending than capital spending, which is still restrained in this sector. IT operational budgets are rising 3.1% at the median, which is well above the 2.0% rise for all sectors combined. Meanwhile, healthcare providers are increasing capital spending by only 1.4% at the median, an increase that is in line with the composite median of 1.8%.

Only 17% of healthcare providers planned to decrease staff, for a net 44-point spread between organizations that are hiring over those that reducing the size of their IT workforce. Other sectors with above-average net increase in staff size are wholesale distribution at 27 points, discrete manufacturing at 16 points, and insurance, also at 16 points.

About the Study
The Computer Economics IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks study, now in its 22nd year of publication, provides key metrics to assist organizations in the financial and strategic management of information technology. Each year, we conduct an in-depth survey of IT executives in the U.S. and Canada to gather detailed metrics concerning their IT spending and staffing levels, use of outsourcing, and adoption of IT management best practices. The respondents include executives in the public and private sectors. By repeating this survey each year, Computer Economics is in a unique position to identify long-term trends and understand the challenges of managing IT organizations.

The study is based on a survey of more than 200 IT executives conducted in the first quarter of 2011. It provides composite statistics of IT spending and staffing data, a segmentation of the same statistics by organization size, and individual chapters for 19 sectors and subsectors. A detailed description of the study’s content, design, demographics, and methodology can be found in the executive summary.