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IT Directors expect workloads to rise but budgets to stagnate for the second year

66% of IT Directors expect workloads to increase throughout 2010
48% of Directors have a major concern about delivering projects within budget double the number last year
Two thirds (66%) of IT Directors expect workloads to rise throughout 2010, but less than a third (29%) expect budget increases, reveals research by ReThink Recruitment, the business and technology staffing company.
According to the research, more than double the number of IT Directors (48%) have a major concern about delivering IT projects and support within budget compared to last year (22%). This suggests that IT departments are increasingly struggling with the repercussions of two years of budgetary freezes.   
Michael Bennett, Director, ReThink Recruitment, says: For many IT departments this will be the second consecutive year in which budgets have not kept pace with workload demands. The pressure clearly remains on IT Directors to raise the output of their departments while in many cases budgets continue to be frozen or cut.
Concern is growing among IT Directors that budgets simply wont be able to cope with workload demands as projects which were shelved during the recession are revived.
The third annual research from ReThink Recruitment quizzed IT Directors from a broad cross-section of organisations which included several global companies with IT departments in excess of 250 staff.
Michael Bennett comments: Many organisations from blue chip FTSE 100s to SMEs will have put off upgrading outdated technology as the recession kicked in. As these mothballed projects are reviewed again, it is essential that realistic budgets are put in place. 
Being asked to do more with less will mean that many IT departments are stretched too thin. Investment in IT will be essential to helping businesses grow post-recession, but placing unrealistic demands on IT departments could hamper that growth. Its a recipe for inter-departmental strife.
ReThink Recruitment says that despite budgetary concerns, its survey does offer hope for IT workers, with just under half of Directors surveyed (46%) expecting to increase headcount, up over a third from the 2009 figure (34%).
Michael Bennett concludes: Recession-related cost cutting measures are coming to an end and businesses are once again looking to invest. This should feed through to IT budgets before too long. From a staffing perspective the focus is already shifting from cost cutting to hiring. Demand for both contract and permanent staff increased significantly in Q1 10. This is pushing up attrition rates in IT departments. IT Directors will have to look at pay and other incentives or risk losing staff. At a time when workloads are rising and budgets still tight, retaining key personnel will be a major challenge.


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