IT leaders are just plain worried

Canada’s IT industry may be experiencing its first twinges of teen angst, according to a recent survey of 2000 Canadian computer professionals that found “the future of IT” as their most pressing concern.

Bob Hafner, a vice-president with Gartner’s Canadian offices in Toronto, said the industry’s focus on the future of IT reflects the concern executives have as they struggle to find the proper place for IT in their business plans. He added it’s increasingly important for companies to pick out the right opportunities, rather than simply jumping into e-related ventures. “Managers seem to be asking themselves, ‘Am I doing the right thing for my company – am I moving too fast or too slow?'” Hafner said.

Concerns about e-business infrastructure and architecture issues were ranked number two by Canadian IT executives, followed by matters related to security and privacy and mobile and wireless technology. Customer relationship management rounded out the top five.

Faye West, the Edmonton-based past president of the Canadian Information Processing Society, relates this industry soul-searching as a result of the recent, much-publicized economic setbacks in the technology sector. However, West said she’s surprised Canadian IT managers are as intensely concerned about the future as the Gartner study indicates.

“We’re better positioned to handle the [IT] slowdown in Canada – in our own responsible, Canadian way of doing things we didn’t plunge too far ahead and won’t fall too far behind,” West said.