CIO Jury: 50% of tech leaders plan to hire IT workers in 2018

Tech leaders say they plan to hire data scientists and IT support specialists in the coming year.

In 2017, companies that made new hires tended to focus on IT support, developers, IT management, and network administration, according to a recent Tech Pro Research survey. But in 2018, emerging technologies may change the hiring landscape for some companies, with professionals predicting that new job growth will come from areas such as network security, data analysis, and artificial intelligence.

We surveyed the TechRepublic CIO Jury panel about their plans for adding new employees. When asked, "Does your company plan to hire more IT workers in 2018?", six of the 12 members of the CIO Jury said yes, while six said no.

"We're definitely hiring, mostly on traditional IT," said Dustin Bolander, CIO of Technology Pointe. "We are seeing lots of growth from companies, especially with the focus on digital transformation."

SEE: Hiring kit: Data architect (Tech Pro Research)

Data specialists were also a popular area for those planning to hire in 2018. Michael Hayes, founder and CIO of Darby Hayes Consulting LLC, said his firm plans to hire more IT workers, but not traditional support staff.

"I've chosen to outsource support staff, such as system administrators, while bringing in-house at least one data analyst," Hayes said. "She/he will be responsible for web traffic analysis, as well as predictive AI models for a variety of products we are innovating. In my opinion, predictive modeling will be necessary to stay competitive in any significant way in the technology markets."

Jerry Justice, CIO of Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, also plans to hire for data positions, as well as IT support workers.

Along with data experts, business analysts with tech knowledge were also popular. "We plan to hire for standard IT positions, but also tech-savvy business people to help us better identify the needs of other departments and cooperate with them using 'their language,'" said Arkadiusz Olchawa, IT director and CIO of Itaka.

Inder Davalur, group CIO of KIMS Hospitals Private Limited, was not a part of this month's CIO Jury, but said his hospital also sees a need for business analysts, along with programmers and database administrators. "I'm working on building an in-house team that can tackle day-to-day management information systems and analytics needs more efficiently," Davalur said. "An in-house dedicated project team (PM and BAs) with a tiny programming team in a hospital is the way to go."

Of those who are not hiring, some cited budgetary concerns, or plans to outsource work or hire consultants over full-time employees.

"Our headcount will remain static, though we will likely invest more in consultancy and niche support, such as security and BI," said Simon Johns, IT director at Sheppard Robson Architects LLC.

This month's CIO Jury included:

  • Shane Milam, executive director of technology infrastructure services, Mercer University
  • Mike S. Ferris, global IT director of infrastructure, Lincoln Electric
  • Simon Johns, IT director, Sheppard Robson Architects LLC
  • Michael Hayes, founder and CIO, Darby Hayes Consulting LLC
  • Jerry Justice, CIO, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
  • Joel Robertson, CIO, King University
  • John Rogers, IT director of Nor-Cal Products, Inc.
  • Dustin Bolander, CIO, Technology Pointe
  • Arkadiusz Olchawa, IT director and CIO, Itaka
  • Cory Wilburn, CIO, Texas General Land Office
  • Michael R. Belote, CTO, Mercer University
  • Dan Gallivan, director of information technology, Payette

Want to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury and have your say on the top issues for IT decision makers? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director, or equivalent at a large or small company, working in the private sector or in government, and you want to join TechRepublic's CIO Jury pool, click the Contact link below or email alison dot rayome at cbsinteractive dot com, and send your name, title, company, location, and email address.

Image: iStockphoto/scyther5

Also see

Special report: IT Jobs in 2020: A leader's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Open source professionals are more in demand than ever (ZDNet)

Cheat sheet: How to become a data scientist (TechRepublic)

Survey: Future IT pros should learn security and communication skills (ZDNet)

The 10 fastest growing tech skills of 2017 (TechRepublic)

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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