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IT Budgets, Salaries To Grow In 2014

Almost two-thirds of CIOs said they plan to boost salaries -- for security personnel, developers, big-data specialists and more -- as part of overall 2014 IT budget increase.

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CIOs are bullish on their IT budgets increasing for 2014, with 62% expecting that their budgets will grow, and just 12% expecting them to decrease. That's an improvement from last year, when only half of IT executives said their 2013 budgets would grow, and 16% expected them to decrease.

Those findings come from the 2014 IT Industry Forecast, released Wednesday by staffing firm TEKsystems. The forecast is based on a survey conducted by the company in September, involving about 900 IT executives and hiring managers at small, medium-size and large businesses.

When asked which trends and technologies they expected to be most important to their business next year, respondents ranked business intelligence and big data as their number-one concerns, followed by information security, mobile, cloud computing, virtualization and data center consolidation. Those concerns are highlighted by CIOs' anticipated budget increases: 62% of respondents plan to increase their spending on mobile, followed by spending on information security (59%), the cloud (59%), storage (57%), and BI and big data (51%).

[ Looking to meld your mobile security with the rest of the company's security efforts? Read It's Not 'Mobile Security,' It's Just Security. ]

CIOs' increased budgets -- and evolving priorities -- come with an upside for many types of IT employees: a higher salary. Sixty-nine percent of the IT executives said they expected to increase salaries for programmers and developers, followed by software engineers and project managers (both 67%), security personnel and IT architects (both 65%), business analysts (63%), employees involved with mobile technology (62%) and business intelligence and big data (60%).

Other positions pegged for salary increases include cloud personnel (58%), help desk and technical support (56%), and social media (50%).

Overall, 47% of respondents said they planned to increase their full-time IT employee headcount, and 46% said they planned to hire more temporary IT workers. Conversely, 9% of firms plan to cut the number of permanent IT personnel they employ, and 11% will reduce the number of temporary employees they use. Meanwhile, half of survey respondents said they plan to increase their spending on consultants, with 8% planning to decrease consultant spending.

Other areas marked for increased spending include application project services (for 49% of respondents), staffing augmentation (47%), infrastructure project services (46%), training (41%), application outsourcing (40%), and infrastructure outsourcing (37%).

The TEKsystems survey findings that predict increased IT spending across the board aren't an outlier. Research firm IDC is likewise predicting that worldwide spending levels will increase next year. "Overall tech spending is on course to increase by 4% this year at constant currency, reaching $2.04 trillion, down from last year's growth of 5% due mainly to the slowdown in key emerging markets including China and Russia," said an IDC study released Wednesday. But thanks to "a rebound in China and continued momentum in the U.S. and Europe," IDC expects to see the industry's growth rate hit more than 5% in 2014.

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