Is Your IT Job Safe in 2009? - Page 2

Jan 8, 2009

Jeff Vance

“Organizations spend their IT dollars in three main ways: running the business, growing the business and transforming the business,” Karamouzis said. Running the business means keeping the lights on. In normal times, this type of activity accounts for 65% of IT spending.


Growing the business usually involves new technologies, such as the adoption of CRM or salesforce automation applications. Transforming the business is more radical; often meaning the adoption of entirely new models such as SaaS. Growing and transforming businesses usually accounts for about 35% of IT spending.


“Organizations will focus on trimming that 65%,” Karamouzis said. “Transformational technologies could actually benefit.” Take SaaS, for instance. The benefit of SaaS is that you pay for what you actually use, with no over-provisioning and no excess licensing fees. You also hand IT management burdens off to someone else. The downside is that applications aren’t as customized to your specific business needs as with the old model, where you owned the application and hired a consultant or VAR to tailor it to your needs.


“With the utility model, software is configurable rather than customized,” Karamouzis said. “The problem has long been that clients want customization. A prolonged recession could force the issue and drive complacency and inefficiency out of the IT model. The recession could very well serve as the tipping point towards SaaS, cloud computing and the overall ‘consumerization’ of IT.”


IDC also predicts that the bad economy will help to transform IT. IDC sees cloud computing, virtualization, green IT and information access and analysis technologies all benefiting, while mobile devices and the telecom sector in general will suffer.


What does this all mean in terms of jobs? Although they didn’t come out and say it, it’s safe to surmise that Gartner and IDC both see fewer IT jobs in the coming year or so. If your organization decides to cut down that 65% of IT dollars dedicated to running the business, it probably translates into automating or outsourcing a number of IT jobs. Similarly, transformational models like SaaS mean that there will be fewer in-house IT jobs, with many of them handed off to service providers.


Jeff Vance is the president of Sandstorm Media, a writing and marketing services firm focused on emerging technology trends. If you have ideas for future stories, contact him at or visit

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