Bright Future for IT Contractors
There is a very bright future for IT Contractors.
After the internet boom and bust in the early years of the century, as well as the end of Y2K and throw in Fast Track Visas and Offshore Outsourcing, they said that IT Contracting was finished.
Many, many IT Contractors were out of work.
Indeed a poll on this website showed that almost half of IT Contractors were out of work. That’s especially those with the core skills.
IT Contracting Finished
One pundit wrote an article for another contractor website with 20 reasons why IT Contracting was finished.
We didn‘t agree with that synopsis at the time and said so.
We said that the main factor was the downturn in the economy and when it turned up that contracting would go on to even greater heights. That is how it proved.
The Bright Future
But what now?
What does the future hold for IT Contracting?
We think it is bright and here are 10 reasons why.
This is the Information Age with it being said that the main competitive advantage that companies will have is the best access to information.
IT Contractors and employees are the enablers of this new age.
Cost Cutting Enablers
Previously, IT Contractors were seen as a cost that could easily be lopped off when a downturn came along. However, there has been a sea change in attitudes towards them by companies.
Now companies see them as being enablers of cost cutting during a downturn.
That gives IT Contractors an each way bet. It means that it is a less risky profession as it is now less cyclical.
In the past contractors used to spend many months out of work during a downturn. This soaked up the money they had earned during the upturn.
Banks break up
The Government is forcing the banks to downsize and lop off non-core businesses such as their insurance and card processing arms.
Those floated-off entities have to develop their own software or have it developed for them as Direct Line has had to do after its split off from RBS.
4 to 1 Return on Investment
We often quoted this but a survey of the top 500 American companies on Wall Street showed that the best Return On Investment that they get was in spending on IT.
The found that they had an average Return On Investment of â‚¬4 for every dollar spend on IT.
Mobile boosts Telecoms
In the eighties and nineties Telecoms was a top sector for IT Contractors.
However, it fell away badly.
Now this Cinderella Sector is on the rise again with the use of mobiles for internet access and internet shopping.
Mobile boosts Retail
Retail is getting a major boost from the internet.
More and more shopping is being done online.
Indeed shopping via mobile devices has given retail a big shot in the arm.
The advent of mobile shopping is forcing retail companies to develop new systems for mobile shopping.
The pace of change in technology is accelerating.
Bill Gates said a few years ago that the world would change in the next 10 years more than it would in the last century.
And that was some century for inventions and technological innovation.
IT Contractors and employees are the enablers of this technological revolution
We have seen in the last year that the legacy systems at the banks are creaking badly and are now so complicated that they are causing problems for customers at the ATMs.
It seems that when you take money out, up to 20 systems have to be updated.
Many of the systems are written in Cobol, PL/I and RPG – and just check ITJobsWatch to see how many people have these skills these days and how many jobs there are for them.
This is going to get worse, not better.
At some point the big banks will have to rewrite causing loads of work for IT Contractors – especially older ones with those skills.
It won‘t just be the banks either as any company who processes lots of transactions daily using old legacy systems will need to rewrite too.
Because of the credit crunch and the bailing out of the banks the Government are putting in place loads of new Compliance legislation and rules that the banks and other financial institutions will have to comply with.
This will cause major changes in their IT systems.
Offshoring Outsourcing Receding
Perhaps the one that will raise the biggest cheer amongst IT Contractor is that the threat of offshore outsourcing is receding.
Indeed, the opposite is happening with the new terms inshoring and insourcing.
Companies are bringing their IT systems back onshore.
Indeed the head of general Motors in America called offshoring dead.
In the UK M&S, who used to be a big hirer of IT Contractors at Baker Street, announced that they were hiring 50 IT staff, 25 with experience and 25 graduates with the object of eventually bringing their systems back onshore.
Companies have found that they didn‘t get the benefits that they expect by offhsoring.
Communications and quality was a major problem and now the cost differential has been mainly eroded.
Bright Future in IT Contracting
OK, not everything is rosy in the garden but it looks as though IT Contracting is going to be a great profession to be in for at least the next decade.
There’s a bright future ahead.