IT workers must prove their worth

15 Jan 2009 View Comments
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Your employers will need you more than ever once the downturn is over

It is getting increasingly difficult to find anything other than grim news if you are an IT professional.

Research last week suggested that demand for UK IT jobs is falling at record rates. In an effort to be resolutely optimistic, the survey of recruitment consultancies also showed that the number of vacancies is dropping less rapidly in technology than in almost any other sector.

Further reading

It’s always good to know that you will be last to hit the bottom of the cliff.

It is no easier for IT vendors. Dell, EMC and Lenovo announced 6,800 job cuts last week, following on from the 21,000 lay-offs at Real, Viacom, AT&T, Adobe and Sony in December.

Oh, and Intel reduced its revenue forecast for its latest financial quarter by nearly $2bn (£1.3bn).

Have you got that knife pressed against your wrists yet?

Banking giant Barclays came up with an interesting statement, saying it was cutting 400 IT staff because their roles and responsibilities were “unclear”, “obsolete” or “being duplicated elsewhere”.

Does that make you wonder how many of these headline redundancy figures are genuinely down to the economic crisis, and how many are the result of employers simply using the current conditions as a chance to trim some fat that no one had a good reason to remove before? Or are we just being cynical?

The one inescapable fact is that for now at least, it is time for IT professionals to keep their heads down and prove they are indispensable. For a sector that has become used to frequent job hopping, that might not be a bad thing. But don’t forget -­ your employers will need you more than ever once the downturn is over.

Lucky number seven?

The early signs are that Windows 7, out in beta test form now, is a big improvement on the disappointing Vista, which was shunned by so many IT managers.

That’s good news, of course, but it doesn’t half beg the question of why the world’s largest software company could not get such a critically important upgrade right the first time.

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