The Roundup: Pay Not Top Concern For IT Pros

Jul 31, 2001

David Aponovich

Salaries Not Top Concern for IT Pros
The average tenure for an IT professional is less than three years, with more than half of IT professionals leaving their employers within that time, according to a study by people3, a Bridgewater, N.J., division of Gartner Inc., focused on IT workforce management issues.

People3's 2001 "IT Market Compensation Study" found three factors -- the use of new technologies, offering learning and training initiatives and providing a challenging technical environment -- ranked higher than competitive, market-based salaries as effective retention practices.

"While turnover in IT organizations is generally lower across the board, the workload of the IT function is expected to increase 50 percent by 2005," said Linda Pittenger, president and CEO of people3. "It is absolutely essential for IT and human resource leaders to have the right programs and policies in place to attract and retain IT staff during the next few critical years."

Other findings from the people3 study include:
  • Of the 104 IT jobs analyzed, the position that takes the longest average time to fill is network architect (4.2 months), with database administrator coming in second (3.7 months).
  • Of the 25 IT job families analyzed, the largest average base salary increase (7.1 percent) and total cash compensation increase (8.1 percent) was found within the system-programming job family.
  • The median base salary for the IT jobs surveyed was $62,100 (an increase of 1.8 percent over last year), and median total cash compensation was $64,200.

Separately, Computerworld's eighth annual "Job Satisfaction Survey" found that IT professionals are, overall, satisfied with their salaries and job security, but an overwhelming majority still feel that they are not sufficiently challenged and are demanding better support for their professional development.

Two-thirds of the 781 IT workers surveyed by Computerworld reported being "very satisfied" with a career in IT, although three-quarters claimed they are not working to their full potential. The survey also uncovered high levels of dissatisfaction among high-tech workers with the amount of company-sponsored training they receive, as well as opportunities for advancement.

The survey examined workers at non-technology companies, consultants, contractors and high-tech companies. In each category, at least 25 percent of the respondents reported being "very dissatisfied" with the level of company-sponsored training they've received. Thirty percent of the respondents said they are satisfied with opportunities for advancement at their companies. Fifty percent of workers at non-technology companies are dissatisfied with their opportunities to discuss career goals with their managers, and 46 percent of workers at high-tech companies are dissatisfied with those opportunities.

High-tech workers say they have a firm grasp of their companies' high-level strategies and business goals: sixty-five percent of those surveyed said they are satisfied with their understanding of the company's business mission. The numbers are even higher when it comes to an understanding of issues impacting the company. But far fewer -- less than one-third -- feel empowered to influence day-to-day company success. This demonstrates a significant disconnect between knowing what needs to be done and having the chance to do something about it.

- This item reprinted from, an site.

Remote Workers' Numbers Are Growing
Recent reports by tech research firm In-Stat Group finds that the growing trend of "remote" workers and telecommuters is accompanied by an increasing demand for high-speed Internet connections that is straining the network resources of many companies.

According to Scottsdale, Ariz.-based In-Stat, a division of Cahners Business Information, more than half of U.S. workers perform their jobs in what could be considered "remote sites," including small branch offices and home-based telecommuters. By 2005, that percentage is expected to surpass 60% of U.S. workers, according to the research firm.

The upshot: The trend is driving increased demand for high-speed broadband services and equipment across businesses of all sizes. As a result, In-Stat notes, businesses face a number of challenges supporting remote workforces (and opportunities for service providers to offer services including virtual private networks, hosted applications and broadband solutions).

"Increased availability of broadband access, like cable modem and DSL services, has certainly facilitated, if not enabled, the recent increase in remote workers," said Kneko Burney, director of eBusiness Infrastructure & Services for In-Stat. "In-Stat expects fragmentation to continue, as businesses continue to accommodate highly skilled professionals by allowing them to work from home, also in tandem with keeping employees closer to customers in branch offices around the globe."

Among the details found in the research results:

  • There are nearly 3 million remote offices in the U.S. business market. By 2005, this number is expected to grow to nearly 5 million.
  • There will be more than 21 million telecommuters in 2001 and more than 35 million by 2005.
  • More than half of the companies surveyed expressed interest in purchasing VPN services to connect remote locations and employees, even among small businesses.
  • U.S. businesses are expected to spend more than $160 billion on communications services and equipment in 2001, and nearly $260 billion by 2005.

Business Intelligence Use Skyrocketing
A recent report from research firm Datamonitor finds that business intelligence software is poised to be one of the hottest software sectors in the coming years as businesses turn to it to use critical data to boost profits.

Datamonitor, based in London, said the market for business intelligence (BI) software will grow at 37% in the next year alone, on its way to becoming a $17.4 billion global market by 2005. (The compound annual growth rate is pinned at 35% worldwide.)

The market is being driven by companies that want to cease being "data rich, information poor" and instead leverage their vast data stores to make better business decisions that in turn drive revenue and profits.

Helping to drive the market: cheaper Web-based business intelligence systems that, until recently, were available only to Fortune 1000 firms due to the high cost. Datamonitor finds that in 2000, less than 2% of BI sales were made to companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. But in response, vendors have partnered with application service providers and other service-oriented companies to offer lower-cost analytics services to smaller companies.

E-Procurement on the Upswing
The National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) and Forrester Research, Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., recently released a study, "Report On eBusiness," which tracks online activity for manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations.

The report found that about 73% of organizations use the Internet for indirect purchases, up from 71% during the previous quarter. Also, during the past quarter 54% of buyers reported using the Net to purchase direct materials, up from 46% last quarter. These online buyers reported sending nearly 10% of their total direct materials order over the Internet.

"The full impact of economic conditions is seen in the mixed progress of many of our responding companies. While the general trend is positive, I believe there is now more of a tendency to wait and see before making major strides. This does not mean that the goal is being reassessed, but that the timing may not be as quick as initially planned," said Edith Kelly-Green, vice president of sourcing and procurement for FEDEX.

"The Internet continues to expand as a buying channel but it's no longer a panacea. Buyers realize that eProcurement takes more than surfing on supplier Web sites," said Bruce D. Temkin, group director at Forrester. "That's why we're seeing a growing number of organizations changing their procurement practices -- and running into the difficulties of integrating their purchasing systems."

The report also found that the use of online auctions significantly expanded -- more than 20% of organizations bought products or services via an online auction, up from 15% the previous quarter. The number of large-volume-buying organizations reporting online collaboration with suppliers dropped to 46% from last quarter's 56%. At the same time, small-volume buyers increased their online collaboration activity to 41% from nearly 35% last quarter.


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