BI a Bright Spot in 2011 Hiring Plans

by Ann All

If there's a bright spot in IT staffing for 2011, it's in business intelligence, an area identified by the Corporate Executive Board as likely to be a big focus for companies in the next year.

An eWEEK story about the advisory firm's recent research quotes Shvetank Shah, executive director of its Information Technology practice, who says continued economic uncertainty "will require even richer analytics and data-driven insight to supplement executive intuition."

As they look to generate new revenue opportunities, companies will focus on data analytics, collaboration and the customer interface, all of which involve "a need to capture, integrate and interpret information, both structured and unstructured," says Shah.

Generally speaking, BI fits into a broader trend of companies adding internal IT staff for more strategic and business-centric functions like project management and enterprise architecture while using third parties for more routine tasks such as data center management, server support, and QA and application testing.

The Corporate Executive Board expects operating budgets to rise at a median range of 3.3 percent -- the first increase in three years. While companies will spend 60 percent of those budgets on labor, it predicts only a 1 percent increase in staffing.

Breaking down internal vs. external staff, 55 percent of companies surveyed by the Corporate Executive Board expect to increase internal staff next year, with 17 percent saying they will decrease internal staff. Twenty-three percent of companies anticipate hiring more contractors, while 40 percent will decrease contract staff.

Given the growing need for BI staff, perhaps more companies will adopt creative approachs such as those used by Netflix, which employs developers who create complete BI solutions on their own rather than focusing on just a single part of the BI stack, and Information Control Corp., an Ohio-based IT services company that places entry-level workers on different project teams so they can learn a variety of BI skills from seasoned employees.


  This article was originally published on Monday Nov 1st 2010
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