IT Hiring Gets Broader and Deeper in 2014, Says Computer Economics

June, 2014

Irvine, Calif. – More than half of IT organizations are increasing IT staff headcount this year in the most positive sign for IT job growth since the beginning of the recession, according to the newly published annual Computer Economics IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks study.

The survey, now in its 25th year, collects data from more than 200 IT organizations in the U.S. and Canada on the IT budget and staffing plans for the current year. The most positive finding in the study this year is that at the median, IT staff headcount will rise 1.0%, a significant movement for an indicator that has remained flat since 2007. The sector with the highest rise in IT staff headcount include financial services at 5.0%, followed by healthcare providers at 3.9%.

“The hiring is primarily concentrated in larger organizations, as it has been,” said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, Irvine, Calif. “But the rise in the median is a good sign that the recovery is broadening its base to include more midsize companies and additional sectors.”

In line with the IT staffing forecast, IT operational budgets will increase 2.4% at the median, a rise that is about in line with revenue growth and similar to what has occurred over the past few years. “What we are seeing is slow and steady improvement, but the growth is still a long way from robust,” Scavo said.

In contrast to the modest rise in plans for IT operational spending, IT capital spending growth has come to a halt with a 0.0% growth rate in budgets at the median, the survey also found. Why organizations are putting capital-spending growth on hold is uncertain. They could be simply delaying infrastructure upgrades in the interest of cost containment. They could be choosing to deploy an increasing number of systems in the cloud instead of with on-premises infrastructure, or they could be pausing to digest previous investments.

“The latter explanation may be the most likely,” Scavo said. “Although the trend toward cloud systems is real, we do not believe it yet represents a major portion of the IT budget for most organizations.”

About the Study

The Computer Economics IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2014/2015 study is based on a detailed survey of more than 200 IT executives in the U.S. and Canada on their IT spending and staffing plans for 2014/2015. It provides IT spending and staffing benchmarks for small, midsize, and large organizations and for 23 sectors and subsectors. A description of the study’s metrics, design, demographics, and methodology can be found in the free executive summary.