06Jun

After slowing due to the COVID-19 shutdown, demand for tech professionals is again on the rise, with job postings increasing to more than a quarter of a million positions in June.

Meanwhile, total estimated tech employment grew by 227,000 jobs between May and June.

An analysis by the tech industry trade group CompTIA shows nearly 6 million IT professionals were working in June across all industry sectors. Since January, tech employment has increased in five of the first six months.

Between May and June, IT help wanted listings grew by 42,000, showing growing demand for tech professionals.

“The latest employment data for tech was generally positive, with continuing signs of momentum,” said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “While uncertainty is still a major concern, the forward-looking employer job posting figures suggest hiring will accelerate in areas such as software development, IT support, cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity, and certain emerging tech fields.”

According to CompTIA, almost a third of the total positions advertised in June were for software and application developers. The 82,800 developer jobs online in June is an increase of 13,500 over May. Other in-demand occupations, according to CompTIA include IT support specialists (22,000), systems engineers and architects (20,700), systems analysts (16,900) and IT project managers (14,600).

Despite the economic slowdown, hiring tech talent is only slightly less intense than it was last fall, when the IT unemployment rate fell well below 2%. It’s now 4.3%.

California had both the most number of tech job listings (43,521) and the greatest June over May increase (6,548). Texas, with 23,994, was second for total job posts followed by Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Florida all with double-digit numbers of advertised openings.

Among metro areas, Washington topped the list with 20,205 tech openings online. New York was close behind with 18,137. San Francisco, Dallas, and Los Angeles rounded out the top five.    

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Green Key

CIO or CTO? Does it Matter?

What’s the difference between a CTO and a CIO?

“Good question,” admits ZDNet. Where once the Chief Information Officer was universally acknowledged as the most senior IT executive, now, says the tech site, it “depends very much on the type of business you’re talking about.”

Where a business has only a CIO or a Chief Technical Officer, it’s an easy call – that’s the top IT executive. The duties and responsibilities are clear. Where the situation gets murky is when an organization has both.

Explains ZDNet, “The traditional split is that the CTO is responsible for the operational concerns associated with technology implementation. CTOs drill down into the details of technology. They have a strong systems focus and they know how technology works, making it more of a chief architect role.

“CIOs, on the other hand, tend to focus more on engaging with the business. So while the CTO might go and speak with vendors to source technology, the CIO makes sure the internal business gets the secure and governable systems and services it wants.”

Everyone got that? No? How about this from InsiderPro:

“CTOs are similar to CIOs. But they are responsible for the overarching technology strategy and infrastructure to help meet the organization’s goals, while CIOs oversee the IT departments and staff to manage everyday operations and in many cases work with business leaders on aligning IT with business goals.”

Where both roles exist, InsiderPro says “the CTO usually reports directly to the CIO.”

But wait. Pointing out that “As the importance of technology within the business has risen, so has the demand for knowledgeable technologists,” ZDNet says, “Some businesses – including established enterprises – have opted to rely more on a CTO than a CIO.”

Dig a little further and you’ll find that the hierarchical distinction is becoming less important as the bigger businesses move ever further along the path to digital transformation. Bornfight, a project-focused development firm, has a different take on the relationship between chief technology and chief information officers. It defines the jobs this way:

  • “Chief Information Officers are members of the executive team who are responsible for ensuring that a company leverages technology in a way that helps it optimize, improve and streamline internal processes.”
  • “Chief Technology Officers are members of the executive team who are responsible for ensuring that a company’s product utilizes technology in a way that will meet the customers’ needs.”
  • The company included this handy chart comparing the roles.CTO vs. CIO - blog.jpg

Bornfight’s most significant contribution to the discussion may well be that in organizations large enough to need both, CIOs and CTOs are complementary to each other.

“From a business perspective, you need these two positions and you need them to fit well together and cooperate — this leads to progress. The right way to approach this is to look at these positions as two sides of the same technology coin, a sort of a buddy-buddy relationship.”   

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

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Green Key

Tech Execs Optimistic About Returning to Normal

While many businesses across the country are struggling in the face of COVID-19 required shutdowns, tech executives are more positive with nearly two-thirds expecting to see the start of a return to business as usual by mid-summer.

CompTia, the trade association for the tech industry, says 46% of tech leaders are “upbeat and optimistic.” Another 46% say their companies are “hanging in there.” A mere 8% report being in difficulty.

Much of the optimism may stem from the demand for tech services from companies whose employees are increasingly working from home.

When CompTia first surveyed its community and advisory council members in March, three-quarters said they were getting new business and inquiries. The larger share of the new opportunities (38%) came from businesses shifting from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. In the latest survey, conducted at the end of April, the largest share of business opportunities came from communications, collaboration and video technologies.

For the managed services providers, CompTia’s April survey discovered their new business was shifting to cybersecurity, which grew from 39% in March to 44%. Meanwhile, new opportunities in consulting inquiries and outsourced and managed IT had dropped, the latter by 10 percentage points.

Overall, 83% of the responding tech firms were getting new business.

Tech firms, however, haven’t been immune from the disruption caused by COVID-19. The most recent survey found 58% of tech firms had customers cancel or postpone spending.

Still, barely 20% have laid-off staff or contractors or cut hours. In fact, the survey found 40% had taken no staffing action and more were hiring. The percentage of firms adding staff increased from 9% in March to 13% at the end of April.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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