Guest Post by Steve Mezak In the past few weeks, I’ve been watching online discussions around software development trends. Some of it seems like hype: cloud computing takes over the world; mobile phones and tablets (and mobile apps) take over the world. There is some truth about these trends to be sure, but another trend seems more serious. IT departments and companies developing software continue to report a shortage of programming talent in the U.S. capable of using these new technologies and platforms.
So what are the real trends for 2012, and how should companies plan their IT budgets?
We decided to do some research online to find the best indications of the trends. And we also asked our email list of about 10,000 IT and software professionals to respond to a simple two-question multiple-choice online survey. The survey results and links to the most interesting articles about trends are compiled in the free eBook, The 2012 IT Planning Guide for Application Development.
High level trends we found include:
• IT budgets are growing: 40% of IT decision-makers expect their budgets to grow, the lowest level since 2009
• Maintenance dominates: 70% of IT spend is devoted to maintaining and operating the organization, systems and equipment
• Information management outpaces process automation: 39% of IT 2012 budgets will be spent on information management; 32% on process automation.
• And several others. . . you’ll find links to articles with the details in the eBook
The best advice for doing your 2012 IT planning we found, is to use these three steps:
1. Evaluate the trends: Understanding the factors driving your business and operations to empowers you to make better decisions that will positively affect your bottom line.
2. Identify your priorities: Choosing the trends that provide the most opportunity for your enterprise will enable you to focus resources on activities that get results.
3. Determine your staffing needs: Executing your plans for 2012 requires the right talent for the job, including internal staff and external contractors.
And we also discovered a great framework for annual IT planning published by IBM (a link is provided in the eBook).
As for staffing, most survey respondents say they want to hire programmers locally. But respondents that are using offshore outsourcing want to continue, and very few plan to move software development back in house.
There is continued interest in IT outsourcing to Latin America but smart Indian companies are fighting back by focusing on providing excellent service in a few specific technical practices instead of trying to offer everything for everyone. Outsourcing to Eastern Europe is also still popular, especially for tough technical challenges and to have at least some overlap with U.S. time zones. In general the successful software outsourcing companies do a better job of excellent communication with clients, making outsourcing a viable choice for staffing even the most critical software development initiatives.
Get the details! Download The 2012 IT Planning Guide for Application Development (no registration required) and learn what the software engineering professionals and the pundits predict for 2012. The eBook also contains all the results of our online survey conducted at the end of November 2011.
Steve Mezak is founder and CEO of Accelerance, Inc. and author of the book Software without Borders.