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IT skills CIOs will look for in 2009

Check out Computerworld's list of the nine hottest IT skills for 2009. Do you have what it takes to keep your consulting business thriving through 2009?

¬†Computerworld recently published a list of most sought after IT skills in 2009. According to the article, CIOs will be looking to retrain in-house staff rather than rely on consultants where possible in 2009. That doesn't have to mean bad news for consultants — we can remain competitive by offering the skills companies need the most. Computerworld writer Thomas Hoffman says CIOs will be looking for specific skills; market those skills to current and prospective clients, and your 2009 calendar should be full.

Take a look at Computerworld's list of the nine most sought after IT skills in 2009:

#1: Programming/application development, with an emphasis on SAP and .NET

#2: Help desk/technical support — Unfortunately, this is something that is not well suited to consulting, although you could dedicate a single employee to this function and offer that service to several clients.

#3: Project management, which means your promotional materials might need a tune-up. Make sure prospective clients know that you can meet deadlines and budgets.

#4: Networking

#5: Business intelligence — BI and IT are definitely blending.

#6: Security

#7: Web 2.0

#8: Data center, with virtualization taking a front seat

#9: Telecommunications

My primary skills lie in #1, #2, #3, and #5. I'm surprised to see Web 2.0 on this list — has it really become so popular? Small to medium-size companies certainly aren't utilizing it. The one skill I want to push in 2009 is virtualization. It'll be a big help to small and medium-size clients who need to grow but don't have the budget for it. If you can show a prospective client how to save money, while paying your fee, you can be an exception to the in-house trend.

Do you agree with Computerworld? What skills do you think your clients will clamor for in 2009?

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Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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