IT skills for the midmarket

John Baschab, senior vice-president of management services at technology services provider Technisource, discusses the types of IT skills being sought by his company’s midmarket clients.

What’s the IT recruitment landscape like?

The recruitment market is still strong. It feels like it’s stronger than the overall economy. From 2001 to 2003, there was a little bit of a logjam [in labor demand] when IT spending had gone down. Around 2004-2005, spending began to pick up to address initiatives that had been put on hold. Those projects have since been completed, but now there’s a second wave of investments around areas like security, how to get costs down in the data center, etc.

How has this translated in terms of the types of IT skills that are in top demand?

There are a couple of things that are important right now. One is BI, including data architects, people who know how to operate the tools like a portal or Crystal Reports or Cognos. And business analysts who can train the end users on what the BI tools can actually do.

The second area is security. It’s similar to BI, where there are a number of subskills that IT specialists need to possess — not things that you can traditionally find in one person — like network security, operating system security, database security, application security and physical security around the data center.

How difficult is it to find people with these skills?

They are definitely findable. They are midcareer professionals for the most part, people with three to 10 years of IT experience. The hardest area to recruit for is this business analyst position. Evaluating how good someone is at evaluating requirements and translating them effectively is more difficult to measure and thus more difficult to find.

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