A recent study commissioned by RHI Consulting had even those analyzing the data slightly miffed at the results. The semi-annual Hot Jobs Report surveyed 270 CIOs across Canada, asking them where they believed the demand would be highest for positions in IT.
Data and database management topped the list at 18 per cent, but what can only be described as a surprise, systems analysis was nearly at the bottom with a meagre two per cent.
“Systems analysis at two per cent was a little shocking to us,” said Stephen Mill, senior regional manager for RHI Consulting in Toronto. The results might be linked to the fact that an abundance of the work surrounding systems analysis has already been done by organizations during the course of the last twelve months, he said. Also, project management fell down to sixth on the list and Mill attributed the decline to the cost of hiring new project managers, adding that those currently filling the role are being asked to handle multiple projects.
Mill said the shift in the importance of database management is not dramatic. “There has always been a decent demand for database management. It’s just now as we move into working with existing systems and less new projects come online that’s where the increase has come from.” This signifies is that companies are not expanding their systems but are rather utilizing the tools that they currently have within their systems, he said. The plans for expansion have been put on hold as organizations have chosen to concentrate and work within the systems they do have.
The emphasis on data and database management is a result of companies trying to control their fate. Database management is an area that CIOs can’t do without, said one CIO who affirmed Mill’s sentiments.
“People are being very prudent about what they’re spending on, they want to optimize both the information systems they have and the data to make business decisions with,” said George Postalian, CIO global services in Canada in Markham, Ont. Companies today are not likely to increase their spending on building new infrastructure, applications or large investments, he said. The goal now is maximizing the systems they do have in place. Today, IT spending is scruntinized closely, and there is certainly a need to manage the finances that relate to IT spending, Postalian said.
Even such organizations as World Gaming, which says it’s not experiencing a slow down said it will focus on data. London-based Mike Aymong, the company’s CEO said while World Gaming has recently expanded their operations into Canada and Europe, a lot of its strategy this year will be data mining and data software. What RHI’s study does is reaffirm the business strategy for the company while benchmarking its thinking, he said.
And for Calgary-based company gettyworks, Nav Dhunay, director of development, also agreed that data and database management is a large piece of its organization. He said the company has had to prioritize its spending and has stopped running projects that are not profitable. “But we want to make sure that our systems are ready for the turn around”, he said.
The study was also conducted in the U.S. where networking emerged as the leader, topping the list with 24 per cent, while data and database management ranked fourth with 12 per cent.
Mill predicted another shift will occur in approximately six months because the work involved in data and database management is not necessarily long-term work. RHI’s clients, he said, are ready and talking about pursuing new projects again.