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The State Of IT

By Steve Jones,

The State of IT - 2004

I recently took a survey about the state of IT put on by Techweb and its parent, CMP and was entitled to the results, which came a few days ago. I thought the results were interesting, so I thought I'd share some of the highlights from the survey.

Over 1000 IT professionals responded to the survey this past June. The vast majority (> 85%) were employed fulltime with almost half of them at large companies with more than 1000 people. The remainder were almost evenly distrubuted between medium and small organizations. Almost all were in the IT/IS/MIS organization in their company, so it's a decent look at the makeup of this industry. What wasn't clear was if this was worldwide or US based.

Job Security

Always a big topic in this industry, especially the last few years. I have a friend who pinged my very recently since his division was about to be sold off and he was thinking he might need to find another job. More friends at a former company are in the RFP process to have portions and potentially all of their IT functions outsourced to a third party. While you might not be able to do anything about it, it does help to know how others in the industry feel. There's always a little more security in a group.

According to the survey, there are realtively few people, less than 1/3, who are worred about their job being offshored or downsized, but at the same time, less than 1/3 feel secure in thier job. An interesting contradiction, but reflective of the state of IT, at least in the US. Most jobs will stay here, but there isn't any particular loyalty to the individual. Definitely something to be aware of. Not that I'd encourage you to job hop, but keep your options open and keep your resume up to date. One never knows when a good offer or situation will come up.


This should be a no brainer, but I'll quickly summarize. Most people see SPAM as a problem and it's getting worse, about 3/4s of the people see it as a moderate to large problem. Most people responded that more of their budget is being devoted and their organizations have made a committment to deal with it.

IT Projects

As most people probably guessed, only moderate projects are being undertaken by most people, although a small percentage are taking on major projects and expenditures. About half the people said the budget had increased more than 10%, which is encouraging for vendors. Web, wireless, and BI are listed as the top three projects. That's good for SQL Server, but Linux was more than 3 times as common as Windows as an IT project. That's not so good.


Overall it's as I suspected and many of you as well. The economy is recovering, IT is growing, but not by leaps and bounds. Your job isn't secure, although the outsourcing isn't as likely according to IT management. As I mentioned, keep your resume up to date and your eyes open. Both internally and externally. You never know when you might learn that you'll be consolidating from 3 DBAs to 2 or when a friend that loves his job might get approval to hire someone else. For 15% more than you're making now!

Most of all, do a good job, be sure that you make good use of the company's budget and provide business value. It's the best protection for your job.

Steve Jones
©dkRanch.net August 2004

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