THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WORKFORCE: IT PROVIDER TRENDS AND IMPLICATIONS

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1 THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WORKFORCE: IT PROVIDER TRENDS AND IMPLICATIONS WHITE PAPER Kate M. Kaiser Marquette University Tom Abraham Kean University Cynthia Beath University of Texas Austin Christine V. Bullen Stevens Institute of Technology Keith Frampton The Marlo Group Kevin P. Gallagher Northern Kentucky University Tim Goles Texas A&M International University Stephen Hawk University of Wisconsin-Parkside Judy Simon University of Memphis September 2008 Contact: Kate M. Kaiser Acknowledgements We especially appreciate the time and care our respondents took to participate in the survey. The Society for Information Management provided contacts to providers, conference call support, and a venue for presentations at SIMPosium and chapter meetings. We especially acknowledge the support of SIM through Ruth Gallagher, Leo Collins, and Phil Zwieg. Our families and friends deserve special recognition for living through our consuming addiction to data and writing. Disclaimer This document is intended as a repository from which the research team will develop focused articles. It is a working draft and not intended for publication. Please contact us if you notice any inconsistencies or have questions. Do not distribute without permission. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 1 of 80

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION METHODS, PARTICIPANTS, AND THEIR FIRMS Data Collection Methods Respondents Experience Firm Demographics Reporting Unit Type of Service Providers Country Classification Firm Size Global Distribution Majority of Employees Location with Respect to Reporting Unit CHANGES IN IT PROVIDER STAFFING Expected Employee Growth Retirements IT PROVIDER SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES Critical Skills Critical Skills by Firm Size Critical Skills by Wage Region Emerging Skills How to Obtain Skills Less Critical Skills Declining Skills Critical Skills for ENTRY-LEVEL HIRING BY PROVIDERS Entry-Level Hiring Entry-Level Hiring in Type of Entry-level Positions Being Filled All Entry-Level Positions Entry-level Positions with the Most Openings Entry-level Hiring by Wage Region Hiring by Size of Firm Skills Sought in Entry-level Hires Entry-level Skills Desired by Revenue Entry-level Skills Desired by Wage Region Skills Missing From Entry-level Candidates The Supply of Entry-level Candidates Desired Educational Background for Entry-level Candidates Entry-level Position Recruiting Channels Entry-level Training MID-LEVEL PROVIDER HIRING Number of Mid-level Hires Type of Mid-level Positions Being Filled Mid-level Hiring by Location and Size Years of Experience Expected in Mid-level Hires Skills Sought in Mid-level Candidates Mid-level Skills by Revenue Mid-level Skills by Wage Region Supply of Mid-level Candidates Desired Educational Background for Mid-level Candidates Mid-level Position Recruiting Channels Mid-level Training COMPARISON OF IT FIRMS AND CLIENT FIRMS Caveats of Comparing the Phase One and Phase Two Data Collections Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 2 of 80

3 8.1.1 Methods Comparison of Sample Characteristics Comparison of Future Critical Skills Comparison of Entry-Level Hiring Entry-Level Positions Preferred Entry-Level Degrees Critical Skills in Entry-Level Candidates Comparison of Mid-Level Hiring Mid-level Positions Preferred Degrees Critical Skills in Mid Level Candidates Future Research Topics CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RESEARCH APPENDIX A. SKILLS CATEGORIES REFERENCES Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 3 of 80

4 TABLE OF EXHIBITS Exhibit 3.1 Management Levels Exhibit 3.2 Years of IT Experience Exhibit 3.3 Type of Service Provider by Revenue Exhibit 3.4 Wage Region/Country of Headquarters, Reporting Units, and Hiring Locations Exhibit 3.5 Firm Size by Revenue Exhibit 3.6 Firm Size by Number of Employees Exhibit 3.7 Headquarters Locations by Region and Wage Level Exhibit 3.8 Number of Domestic Locations by Revenue Exhibit 3.9 Number of International Locations by Revenue Exhibit 3.10 Distribution of Employee Citizenship Percentage by Headquarters Location Exhibit 3.11 Distribution of 50% or Higher of Employees Location by Reporting Unit Exhibit 4.1 Expected Workforce Change from 2006 to 2009 by Revenue Exhibit 4.2 Expected Workforce Change by Location Relative to US versus Exhibit 4.3 Reasons for Change in Workforce by Exhibit 4.4 Respondent Percentage of Expected Retirements by Revenue Exhibit 4.5 Expected Retirements by Reporting Unit's Location Relative to US Exhibit 4.6 Expected Retirements by Reporting Unit's Number of Employees Exhibit 4.7 Expected Retirements by Wage Area Exhibit 5.1 Critical Skills Exhibit 5.2 Critical Skills of Large Firms Exhibit 5.3 Critical Skills of SMEs Exhibit 5.4 Critical Skills by Revenue Exhibit 5.5 Critical Skills in High-wage Regions Exhibit 5.6 Critical Skills in Low-wage Regions Exhibit 5.7 Critical Skills by Wage Region Exhibit 5.8 Skills Emerging in Importance by Exhibit 5.9 How Providers Plan to Obtain Critical Skills Exhibit 5.10 Less Critical Skills Exhibit 5.11 Declining Skills Exhibit 5.12 Critical Skills Exhibit 6.1 Expected Number of Entry-level Positions Exhibit 6.2 Expected Entry-level Hiring by Revenue Exhibit 6.3 Expected Number of Entry-level Positions by Exhibit 6.4 All Entry-Level Positions to be Filled Exhibit 6.5 Entry-Level Positions with the Most Openings to be Filled Exhibit 6.6 Expected Entry-level Hiring by Wage Region Exhibit 6.7 Expected Entry-level Hiring by Revenue and Wage Region Exhibit 6.8 Expected Locations for Entry-level Hiring Exhibit 6.9 Hiring by Wage Region of Employment Expected Location Exhibit 6.10 Location of Entry-Level Hiring Headquarters by Employee Assignment Exhibit 6.11 Entry-level Focal Positions by Revenue Exhibit 6.12 Desired Entry-level Skills Exhibit 6.13 Desired Entry-level Skills by Revenue Exhibit 6.14 Desired Entry-level Skills of Large Firms Exhibit 6.15 Desired Entry-level Skills of SMEs Exhibit 6.16 Desired Entry-level Skills by Wage Region Exhibit 6.17 Desired Entry-level Skills of High-wage Regions Exhibit 6.18 Desired Entry-level Skills of Low-wage Regions Exhibit 6.19 Skills Missing from Entry-level Candidates Exhibit 6.20 Entry-level Supply Adequacy by Wage Region Exhibit 6.21 Entry-level Supply Adequacy by Focal Position Exhibit 6.22 Degrees Preferred in Entry-level Candidates Exhibit 6.23 Degrees Preferred in Entry-level Candidates by Wage Region Exhibit 6.24 Subanalysis of Firms Preferring Undergraduate Business MIS/IT Degree...45 Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 4 of 80

5 Exhibit 6.25 Subanalysis of Firms Preferring Undergraduate CS/CE Degrees Exhibit 6.26 Entry-level Recruiting Channels Exhibit 6.27 Entry-level Formal Training Content in First Year Exhibit 6.28 Entry-level Formal Training Content by Wage Region Exhibit 6.29 Entry-level Training Methods Exhibit 6.30 Entry-level Training Methods by Wage Region Exhibit 7.1 Expected Number of Mid-Level Positions Exhibit 7.2 Expected Mid-level Hiring by Revenue Exhibit 7.3 Expected Number of Mid-level Positions by Exhibit 7.4 All Mid-level Positions to be Filled Exhibit 7.5 Mid-level Positions with the Most Openings to be Filled Exhibit 7.6 Expected Mid-level Hiring by Wage Region Exhibit 7.7 Expected Mid-level Hiring by Revenue and Wage Region Exhibit 7.8 Expected Locations for Mid-level Hiring Exhibit 7.9 Focal Positions Being Filled by Employment Location Exhibit 7.10 Location of New Mid-level Hires Headquarters by Employee Assignment Exhibit 7.11 Mid-level Focal Position Hires by Firm Size Exhibit 7.12 Years of Experience Required in Mid-level Hires Exhibit 7.13 Years of Mid-level Experience by Wage Region Exhibit 7.14 Desired Mid-level Skills Exhibit 7.15 Desired Top Ten Mid-level Skills by Revenue Exhibit 7.16 Desired Mid-level Skills by Large Firms Exhibit 7.17 Desired Mid-level Skills for SMEs Exhibit 7.18 Desired Top Ten Mid-level Skills by Wage Region Exhibit 7.19 Desired Mid-level Skills for High-wage Regions Exhibit 7.20 Desired Mid-level Skills for Low-wage Regions Exhibit 7.21 Mid-Level Supply Adequacy by Wage Region Exhibit 7.22 Mid-level Supply Adequacy by Focal Position Exhibit 7.23 Degrees Preferred in Mid-level Candidates Exhibit 7.24 Degrees Preferred by Wage Region Exhibit 7.25 Mid-level Recruiting Channels Exhibit 7.26 Mid-level Recruiting Channels by Wage Region Exhibit 7.27 Mid-level Formal Training Content in First Year Exhibit 7.28 Mid-level Formal Training Content by Wage Region Exhibit 7.29 Mid-level Training Methods Exhibit 7.30 Mid-level Training Methods by Wage Region Exhibit 8.1 Client and Provider Firm Size by Revenue Exhibit 8.2 Future Critical Skills for Provider (2009) and Client (2008) Respondents (n=126) Exhibit 8.3 Desired Entry-level Skills by Provider and Client Respondents (n=115) Exhibit 8.4 Desired Mid-level Skills by Provider and Client Respondents (n=121) Exhibit 8.5 Average Number of Skills Desired by Type of Firm (n=121) Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 5 of 80

6 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Information Technology Workforce (ITWF) research project has collected data about IT human resources since In Phase One the research team examined the skills and capabilities that IT departments, or client organizations as we call them (those buying IT services from service providers), needed to effectively support their organization s mission. 1 In Phase Two, we focused on the skills and capabilities sought by providers. This report summarizes our Phase Two results. The ITWF team for Phase Two consists of nine academic investigators. Data was gathered via a Web-based survey that was available to provider respondents from late 2006 to mid The respondents were primarily senior managers from an internationally dispersed group of 126 IT service provider reporting units (a few respondents are from different units of the same parent company). Three quarters of the firms are small to medium enterprises and two-thirds are U.S. based. Our data primarily focuses on changes in staffing, skills considered critical to the providers, and skills desired in entry and mid-level hires. This report concludes with some comparisons of these provider-oriented results with our earlier client results. Changes in staffing All respondents expected their units to have more employees by 2009, with 13% expecting dramatic growth by then. Smaller units expected higher growth than larger units. The most frequently cited reasons for staff changes were business increase and merger/acquisition. Among the smaller units, by far the majority expect few retirements by Among larger units, about a quarter predict that between 11% and 25% of their staff will retire by then. Critical skills for providers Providers see their project management and business domain skills as critical. They also value two customer-facing skills, systems analysis and system design, as well as system testing. Skills in working globally are becoming more critical regardless of firm size and location. The skill sets providers seek for entry-level workers and mid-level workers also include project management, systems analysis and business domain skills. Providers expect entrylevel workers to have foundational technical skills as well (e.g., programming & testing). Entry-level hires Almost all reporting units were hiring at the entry level in the current year ( ). The median unit was hiring between 7-10 individuals, and a quarter were filling over 100 positions. In low wage regions, the dominant position being filled was programming. In high wage regions, units were filling programming, PC support/helpdesk and systems analysis/consulting positions. Firms headquartered outside the US had a stronger tendency to employ new entry-level employees in their home country than did firms headquartered within the US. Despite their need for entry level hires with business skills, almost all providers seek candidates with computer science degrees (although most of these also value business IT/MIS degrees as well). The tendency to focus on computer science degrees is stronger in low wage regions, which may reflect the regional emphasis on technical rather than business education. 1 For a summary see Zwieg et al (2006) The Information Technology Workforce: Trends and Implications , MIS Quarterly Executive, 5(2), June, For more details contact Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 6 of 80

7 Mid-level hires Almost all reporting units were hiring at the mid-level in the current year, with most firms hiring at an even higher rate than at the entry level. The median firm was hiring individuals, and 25% were hiring more than 100 people. The positions they most sought to fill were for programmers, systems analysts and project managers. Units in low wage-areas consider mid-level candidates with fewer years of experience than units in high-wage areas, but they also seek candidates with graduate degrees. Smaller units emphasized the technical skills of systems analysis and systems design in midlevel hires while larger firms emphasized project management and business skills. Units in low-wage areas put higher values on skills in systems analysis, system design, and skills in working virtually and globally than do units in high-wage areas. Comparing client and provider skills: In terms of the skills they consider critical to own and maintain, providers and clients present very similar profiles, including business skills, project management skills, and analysis skills. Both clients and providers recognize the importance of foundational technical skills in their entry-level hires; but providers expect their entry-level hires to have more project management and business skills than clients do. Clients, in contrast, expect entry level hires to have almost exclusively technical skills (many of which, incidentally, they also outsource to some extent). Client firms put more emphasis on business domain skills and systems design, while providers put more emphasis on industry knowledge and relationship management skills.. Providers expected to hire more employees at both entry and mid-level than client firms; providers were also more concerned than clients about there being an adequate supply to fill these positions. The conclusion that can be drawn from our data is that a set of requisite skills including not only foundational technology skills and project management capabilities, but also business and relationship management capabilities -- are emerging that all information systems professionals will need if they wish to develop a successful career in IT, whether they are employed by clients or providers and regardless of where they are employed across the globe. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 7 of 80

8 2. INTRODUCTION If there is one constant in the IT industry, it is change. Rapid technological advances, increasingly distributed work arrangements, growing globalization, escalating competition, a volatile worldwide economy, changing population and workforce demographics the net result of all these changes is a transformation in the skills and capabilities that are needed to solve business problems with information technology. Coupled with low enrollments in IT programs at all levels, these changes have fundamental implications for both IT professionals and their employers. In response to these developments, the Society for Information Management (SIM), an association of senior IT executives, consultants, and academics, sponsored a multi-year research project aimed at: Understanding current and future IT skills sought by both internal IT departments and IT service providers; Determining how organizations recruit and develop IT employees; Evaluating the role of universities in preparing their graduates for an IT career. The first phase of the project was an study in 2005 conducted by a team of over twenty international researchers. Senior IT executives of client firms were interviewed regarding their current and future workforce skill requirements and related trends. Among the findings of that phase was that client firms turn to IT service providers to supply some technical skills (to some extent) while looking inside their organization for business-oriented and project management skills (Zwieg et al., 2006). This paper presents results from the second phase, which seeks to understand the current and future workforce skill requirements of IT service providers. It also compares and contrasts results from client firms (first phase results) and service providers (second phase results). More specifically, we sought answers to the following research questions: What skills do IT software and service providers seek to maintain in their organizations? What changes are projected in these skills over time? What skills do IT software and service providers seek in entry-level and mid-level employees? What differences in desired skills, if any, are there between client firms and IT service providers? How do IT service providers recruit and develop new hires? SIM is not alone in believing that IT workforce issues are a critical concern in the IT community. Both practitioners and academics have consistently identified staffing and workforce issues as a key topic of interest, starting in 1982 (Ball and Harris, 1982; Brancheau and Wetherbe, 1987; Brancheau et al., 1996; Dickson et al., 1984; Leitheiser,1992; Luftman and McLean, 2004; Luftman, 2005, Luftman et al. 2006; Luftman and Kempaiah, 2008; McKeen and Smith, 1995; 1996; 2003; Niederman et al., 1991; Smith and McKeen, 2006). However, prior research has generally viewed workforce skills from the viewpoint of the individual, seeking to identify skills that contribute to the success of an individual IT professional. In contrast, this paper investigates what skills are considered critical by firms when hiring IT professionals. 2 Furthermore, there has been little research that specifically investigates employee skills sought by IT service providers. Therefore this study is a first foray into hitherto uncharted research territory. This report serves as a repository for the research team, from which we hope to cull ideas and develop more detailed analysis in subsequent focused papers. It presents data, raises questions, and does not attempt to make recommendations. Over time, kernels of this report will be 2 There is a substantial body of work that investigates what organizational competencies and capabilities contribute to organizations success. Organizational capabilities spring from a combination of factors, of which employee skills are but one. Hence the current research is distinct from the organizational capabilities stream. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 8 of 80

9 extracted and used in other papers to discuss in more depth why and how to explain these results, how they might influence practice, and what IT management can do to improve and strengthen their workforce resources. The References section contains a list of publications produced by the research team to date. The intended audience of this report are readers informed about information technology and its application to business. Some comments regarding terminology we use might be helpful. Consistent with general industry practice (ITAA, 2004) and prior research (Zwieg et al., 2006), we distinguish between IT and non-it firms. Non-IT firms are those whose primary business is the production of goods or services other than IT products or services. In these firms, IT workers are generally found in one or more IT departments. Because these firms sometimes source some IT services externally (and because this research project has a particular interest in the comparison of skills desired within IT departments and at their service departments), we sometimes refer to these firms as IT clients. IT firms are generally defined to include manufacturers of IT hardware and other devices, telecommunications organizations, and IT service providers. In this study, however, we examined the skill needs of IT service providers whose primary business involves supplying services associated with software development and maintenance, infrastructure support, or IT consulting. 3. We sometimes refer to these firms simply as providers. Although the terms skills, capabilities, and competencies are often used interchangeably, we differentiate between them as follows. The term "skills" is defined as proficiency in a specific tool or method. It is the most basic level in a hierarchy of proficiencies. We view capabilities as the proficiency to adapt skills to broad sets of activities, and competencies as aggregates of capabilities (Abraham et al., 2006; Gallon et al., 1995). As an example, while system testing is a skill, and project planning, budgeting and scheduling a capability (that requires some knowledge of system testing), there is a general competency called project management. The paper proceeds as follows. In the next section we provide information regarding our methods, the participants and their companies. Next we examine changes in services provider staffing, followed by an assessment of sought-after workforce skills. We then look at entry-level and mid-level hiring practices. The subsequent section compares service providers with their clients. Finally, we briefly list more focussed topic areas arising from the investigation. We expect to explore these topics in future articles and presentations at academic and practitioner venues. Please contact a team member if you would like to know the status of these activities or be involved in their further exploration. 3 These firms are classified in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services with the code 541 along with similar services. Companies outside of North America do not use this classification, but we used the NAICS approach to categorize our global firms. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 9 of 80

10 3. METHODS, PARTICIPANTS, AND THEIR FIRMS 3. 1 Data Collection Methods The 2005 client study used interviews to collect data, an approach appropriate for exploratory research. Based on what we learned in that study, we developed a more structured questionnaire to collect data for the current study. We piloted our Web-based survey with five participants. It took less than 20 minutes to complete. Respondents were solicited from SIM, professional contacts of the researchers, and secondary sources such as professional organizations and news reports. (Because SIM members are predominantly client firm representatives and not service providers, many sources other than the 2005 study were needed to identify respondents.) We made a particular effort to obtain responses from firms outside the US. For the most part, we have only one respondent per firm. However, due to our desire for global diversity in the sample, we have multiple responses from some multinational firms. Therefore, the unit of analysis is the reporting unit although this is most often the same as the company itself. Our respondents were people from that unit who determined or executed the human resource strategy; specifically we asked for someone responsible for IT workforce strategy and recruiting plans in solicitations and phone calls. Upon identifying the appropriate person in each reporting unit and securing their agreement to participate, we ed them a link to the survey Web site and gave them a unique identifier. The researcher responsible for that respondent and the team coordinator are the only ones who know the identity of the firm and respondent. Most participants completed the questionnaire within a few days of contact. We followed up to encourage participation if they had not responded. Some respondents were solicited as many as three times. We also followed up later to clarify some responses. Data was collected from late 2006 to mid Most demographic questions did not refer to a specific year but instead asked about current data. Because fiscal and budget years may not correspond to the calendar year, we realize that our respondents, regardless of the year they were completing the survey, may have provided responses for either year. The skills questions specifically listed 2006 as the year for which we wanted them to report their skill needs, and 2009 was listed as the year for which we sought future data. Thus, some respondents who completed the survey in 2007 may have reported skill needs in 2006, while others might have reported their current skill needs (e.g., as of 2007). Because we do think that neither the demographic data nor the skills data would change much in one year, we do not think this creates any problems in our analysis of results. 3.2 Respondents Experience The majority of our respondents were senior level managers (Senior Vice President or equivalent) or executives (CxO or above) (73%), with the remainder describing themselves as middle managers (see Exhibit 3.1). They are well-seasoned veterans of the IT industry, with 69% of them having more than ten years experience (Exhibit 3.2). Taken as a whole, this indicates that the respondents have a significant presence in their firm's management structure, and possess a wealth of experience in the IT industry. This affords us a high degree of confidence in their subsequent responses. Exhibit 3.1 Management Levels Revenue Middle Senior Executive Total Fortune Large SME Total Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 10 of 80

11 Exhibit 3.2 Years of IT Experience Revenue < >20 Total Fortune Large SME Total Firm Demographics There are several demographic dimensions that we used to sub-analyze the data. Some were determined prior to the collection, and some were determined upon viewing the data. The following sections describe in detail the breakdown categories that are used in later analyses Reporting Unit As noted earlier, our unit of analysis was the unit on which our respondent reported. We refer to this unit as the reporting unit. In many cases (71%), the reporting unit was, in fact, the firm. We asked respondents about the location of their company headquarters in terms of global regions, and also the location of the employees in the reporting unit. Some reporting units were a firm completely located in just one place, in which case the headquarters location and the reporting unit location would be the same. Alternatively, the respondent might work in a unit of a multinational firm with employees in many locations; in all such cases we were able to determine where the reporting unit was mainly located. Although we did not ask directly where the reporting unit was located, we imputed it by asking where most of the employees were located; most were in one area. We also asked our respondents where their entry-level and mid-level hires would be employed. Later tables will sometimes distinguish among headquarters (HQ),reporting unit or hiree locations Type of Service Providers Our focus was on firms directly involved in providing IT services to other firms. We defined "IT service provider" as a firm that provides either (1) consulting services; (2) software services (software development, systems integration, maintenance, or packaged software implementation and support); or (3) infrastructure services (facilities management, network services, server and storage administration, or help desk services).the initial round of data collection resulted in 153 responses. After eliminating responses from firms that did not fit one of these categories, we were left with responses from 126 units. Some tables and figures may show a lower number of respondents because not every respondent answered every question. The following chart shows the breakdown of the 126 units by industry and size (see section for a discussion of size).. Exhibit 3.3 Type of Service Provider by Revenue Type of Service SME Large N % Consulting/contracting Software services Infrastructure Total Country Classification Participants reported both the country of their headquarters and the country in which their reporting unit was located. We use two types of analysis with regard to countries. First, we classified our responding units as being in regions were either high wage or low wage. We sought to obtain a global mix of respondents and were successful in acquiring data from many regions of the world but not all regions. Exhibit 3.4 shows how we classified the regions and countries from which we had data into high or low wage areas. Bear in mind that although a Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 11 of 80

12 company may have its headquarters in one region, the reporting unit of the participants may be in a different region, and they could be hiring in yet another region. For example, one respondent s headquarters might be in Germany, while the reporting unit is in Brazil, and they are hiring in China. Exhibit 3.4 Wage Region/Country of Headquarters, Reporting Units, and Hiring Locations High Wage North America -US, Canada Western Europe -France, Germany Oceania -Australia Low Wage Commonwealth of Independent States(CIS-former Soviet Union) -Belarus, Russia, Ukraine Eastern Europe -Czech Republic Asia -China, India, Pakistan Latin America -Brazil We also classified our responding firms with regard to whether most of their employees (more than 50%) were located in the US or most were employed outside the US. See section Firm Size Industry reports indicate that firm size may be relevant when studying the IT workforce. Larger firms have more specialized workers, more slack resources with which to recruit and develop employees and more formal processes for planning and recruiting their workforces. But they do not employ the most IT workers. Among US IT firms, small companies account for approximately 50% of all IT jobs (ITAA, 2004). Although the definition of "small business" varies worldwide in terms of revenue and number of employees, the percentage of the economy represented by small businesses is typically a substantial majority in most countries. Using the US as an example, over 99% of US businesses have fewer than 500 employees. 4 Therefore many of the findings of this study are sub-analyzed according to firm size. For these analyses, we rely on firm revenue, as noted below, which correlates, as expected, with number of employees (see below). For revenue we gathered data in terms of United States dollars (USD) as follows: Fortune 500: revenues equal to or greater than USD 3 Billion Large: revenues between USD 500 Million and USD 3 Billion Small-medium enterprise (SME): revenues less than USD 500 Million Phase One of the IT Workforce project, on client firms, used these same categories, facilitating direct comparisons. Exhibit 3.5 shows the distribution of respondents by size (in terms of revenue) in the current study. Exhibit 3.5 Firm Size by Revenue Fortune 500 Large SME Total For comparison purposes, Exhibit 3.6 compares these revenue categories with size in terms of number of employees. As expected, the median SME firm (in bold) has between 100 and 1100 employees (many countries define a small or medium enterprise as having 500 employees). The median Large firm has ,000 employees, and the median Fortune 500 firm has more than 25,000 employees. 4 Source: the United States Small Business Administration Worldwide, while the definition of small business varies, it is usually based on revenue or the number of employees; however the percentage of the economy that small organizations represent is a large majority of business in most countries. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 12 of 80

13 Exhibit 3.6 Firm Size by Number of Employees Revenue Number of Employees <100 >100-1K >1K-5K >5K-10K >10K-25K >25K Total Fortune Large SME Total Because the number of respondents in the Fortune 500 and Large categories in this study is much smaller than the number of SME firms, we combined the Fortune 500 and Large categories in subsequent analyses, yielding two size categories: <USD 500 million (we call this the SME category) and >USD 500m (the combined Large and Fortune 500 categories). 5 The median number of employees for the combined category is 10,001 to 25,000. We refer to this category as Large Global Distribution As noted earlier, to reflect the global nature of the IT service industry, we solicited input from respondents at companies around the world. The following tables show how the responding firms of different sizes are distributed around the world. Exhibit 3.7 presents the distribution of firms by the location of their corporate headquarters; it also shows totals by high and low wage levels. Most of the firms are in the US, with India being the next most represented geographical area in the dataset. Exhibit 3.8 shows in how domestically dispersed (that is, within the same country as the headquarters) the responding firm s employees are. Exhibit 3.9 shows how internationally dispersed (that is, outside the headquarters country) the firms employees are. There were no respondents from China, Africa, or the Middle East firms for either headquarters or reporting unit. Exhibit 3.7 Headquarters Locations by Region and Wage Level Revenue US Can WEur Aus High Lat EEur CIS India Low Total Wage Am Sub Wage Fortune Large SME Total Exhibit 3.8 shows how many domestic locations each firm has by size in revenue. A domestic location is in the same country as the firm s headquarters. So, for example, a firm headquartered in India might have multiple locations in India. As expected, the largest firms have the most domestic locations, and the smaller one have fewer domestic locations. 5 With two small categories and one large one, it would be difficult to see the impact of firm size on any particular issue. With one large and one medium size category, some size effects can be teased out, but the total or overall results of any analysis are dominated by the SME category results. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 13 of 80

14 Exhibit 3.8 Number of Domestic Locations by Revenue Revenue >100 Total Fortune Large SME Total Exhibit 3.9 shows how globally distributed the firms in the sample are. Not surprisingly, small firms have fewer locations outside of their headquarters country, while almost all the Fortune 500 size firms have employees in over 50 locations. Exhibit 3.9 Number of International Locations by Revenue Revenue >100 Total Fortune Large SME Total From this data, we can see that even SMEs in this industry typically have employees in more than one location. All the Fortune 500 size firms employ people in more than six international offices, while half of the SMEs have at least one international location. Exhibit 3.10 shows the percentage of employees that are citizens or permanent residents of the country in which the firm s headquarters is located. For example, in 31 of the 122 firms reporting this data, 100% of their employees are citizens of their headquarters country Exhibit 3.10 Distribution of Employee Citizenship Percentage by Headquarters Location Revenue 0-19% 20-49% 50-79% 80-99% 100% Total Fortune Large SME Total In the majority of firms, 80% or more of the employees are citizens of the country where the firm has its headquarters. But note that in 21% (19 of 89) of the SMEs, more than half of the employees are citizens or permanent residents of other countries (see cells from 49 to 0%) Majority of Employees Location with Respect to Reporting Unit Headquarters location may not indicate where most employees work so we asked the respondents about the location of the workforce of their unit. The table below summarizes data about the reporting unit (not headquarters) with regard to the majority of its employees by geographic areas. It shows companies by size and summarizes high and low-wage areas. Fifty seven (49%) of the 116 respondents who answered this question reported that the majority of their employees are located in the United States. There are 66 firms where the majority of the employees are in high-wage areas (57%) and 50 firms where the majority are in low-wage areas (43%). Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 14 of 80

15 Exhibit 3.11 Distribution of 50% or Higher of Employees Location by Reporting Unit Revenue US Can WEur Aus High Wage Lat Am EEur CIS India Sub Low Wage Totals Fortune Large SME Total Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 15 of 80

16 4. CHANGES IN IT PROVIDER STAFFING 4.1 Expected Employee Growth Participants were asked to indicate the number of employees currently in the unit on which they were reporting, as well as the expected change in number of employees in that unit by As can be seen in Exhibit 4.1, no unit expected a decrease in the number of employees, and only one indicated no change. Nearly 13% of the units expected dramatic growth more than tripling in size! As might be expected, the Large units predict slightly lower growth than the smaller ones the median level of growth (in bold) is 26%-50% for the Large units, and % for the SMEs. Exhibit 4.1 Expected Workforce Change from 2006 to 2009 by Revenue SME Large Total Expected % Change N % N % N % Decrease No Change Increase <10% Increase 11-25% Increase 26-50% Increase % Increase % Increase >250% Total Exhibit 4.2 compares the expected growth in headcount in the respondents organizational units in which most of the employees are located in the US with growth in those where most of the employees are employed outside the US. Interestingly enough, the median responses (51-100% growth) are the same in both categories. There is just as much growth in those units where more than 50% of the people are employed in the US as there is in firms where employees are mainly employed outside the US. It is worth noting, however, that the only firms with low growth (e.g, of 10% or less) are those with most of their employees in the US. Exhibit 4.2 Expected Workforce Change by Location Relative to US versus 2009 Majority of Employees in United States Majority of Employees NOT in United States Total Expected % of Change N % N % N % Decrease No Change Increase <10% Increase 11-25% Increase 26-50% Increase % Increase % Increase >250% Total Participants could give us multiple reasons for expected changes in workforce size A very high percentage selected business increase as the reason for change, with merger/acquisition as the second highest response. Apparently our respondents expect some consolidation in this industry. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 16 of 80

17 Exhibit 4.3 Reasons for Change in Workforce by 2009 Percentage Reasons N=124 Business increase 98.4 Merger/acquisition 33.1 Divestiture 2.4 Reorganization 4.8 Outsourcing 5.7 Insourcing 4.8 Reengineering/automation Retirements The tables below show 2011 expected retirement levels among our respondents. The year 2011 is the year in which most analysts expect the first wave of baby boomers to retire. (The last column in each table shows the overall results for both categories.) In most IT service firms, regardless of size, the expectation is that less than 5% of the workforce will retire by See Exhibit 4.4. The data do show, however, that larger firms will experience higher levels of retirement by 2011 than smaller firms. Exhibit 4.4 Respondent Percentage of Expected Retirements by Revenue 2011 Expected SME Large Total Retirements N % N % N % 5% > 5-10% > 10-25% > 25-50% > 50% Total The next table compares expected retirement levels in firms where most employees are located in the US with those in firms where most employees are located outside the US. Firms in which most employees are located in the US expect slightly higher retirement rates, but the differences are small. In both types of firm, the median response is 5%. Exhibit 4.5 Expected Retirements by Reporting Unit's Location Relative to US 2011 Expected Majority of Employees in United States Majority of Employees NOT in United States Total Retirements N % N % N % 5% > 5-10% > 10-25% > 25-50% > 50% Total The following table compares expected retirement levels across reporting units with different numbers of employees. (Almost half the reporting units had less than 100 employees) As might be expected, the units with the fewest employees (which may also be the newest firms) expect the lowest level of retirements by 2011, while the largest ones expect only a little more. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 17 of 80

18 . Exhibit 4.6 Expected Retirements by Reporting Unit's Number of Employees 2011 Expected < Total Retirements N % N % N % N % 5% > 5-10% > 10-25% > 25-50% > 50% Total Retirement trends vary across cultures so we analyzed the retirement data by wage area. Exhibit 4.7 shows that both high and low-wage areas are expecting few retirements by Exhibit 4.7 Expected Retirements by Wage Area 2011 Expected High Wage Low Wage Total Retirements N % N % N % <5% % % % >50% Total Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 18 of 80

19 5. IT PROVIDER SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES To investigate what skills and capabilities provider organizations need today and into the future, we presented respondents with lists of capabilities and asked them to first identify those that were critical to their business unit. The lists of skills were adapted from the workforce development study of client organizations (Zwieg et al. 2006). The list of skills used in that study was developed from prior literature and pilot interviews. For this study, we added effective selling skills, which were relevant to providers but not clients. Four categories of skills were presented to the participants: technical business domain project management sourcing (both effective selling and buying). Our list of technical skills is relatively generic, including programming, for example, rather than specific programming languages, tools, or environments. We were more interested in the need for programming capability rather than particular languages. Many people can learn a second language more easily once they have learned the first. We were also more interested in how the desire for technical skills compared to desires for other capabilities. See Appendix A for the skills listed by category as they were presented to the respondents. The business domain capability category includes knowledge of industries, companies, and how they operate. Project management capabilities include knowledge and skills related to working with users and team members, as well as those related to planning, budgeting and scheduling. Sourcing skills related to managing client and third-party relationships were offered in two subcategories, effective selling capabilities, such as customer go-to-market strategy and selection and managing contractual matters and customer relations, and effective buying capabilities, include sourcing strategy, third-party provider selection and managing those contracts and relationships. 5.1 Critical Skills 2006 Participants were asked to identify the skills their organizations considered critical for business units to retain. In the following analyses we focus mainly on the top ten (or more in the case of ties) skills identified by the respondents. From the list of 37 skills, participants selected, on average, 23.4 skills as critical for employees to possess. (This number is slightly higher than the number of skills identified by clients, who identified just over 20 skills during an interview. The use of an online survey instrument as the method of data collection presents one explanation for this slight increase.) There is a marked difference in the frequency of responses on the top ten skills and the rest, suggesting general agreement across respondents on which skills are the most critical ones. The average number of respondents identifying any one skill as critical was just over 62%, while the top critical skill, managing customer relations, was chosen by over 80% of respondents. The least critical skill was chosen by 47% of the respondents, suggesting that every skill in our list is important to many. The eleven most frequently selected capabilities are shown in Exhibit 5.1 (note some ties). These skills were all identified as critical by more than 72% of respondents. The capabilities are primarily drawn from three general areas: business domain, project management and technical skills. The lone departure in Exhibit 5.1 is actually the most frequently selected capability, managing customer relationships, which is classified a sourcing skill (pink) related to the effective selling of IT products and services. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 19 of 80

20 Exhibit 5.1 Critical Skills % 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 83% 82% 81% 79% 79% 75% 75% 74% 73% 73% 73% Cust Rel Mgmt Proj Planning Indust Knowldg Process Knowldg Proj Leadrshp Sys Design User Rel Mgmt Communication Proj Risk Mgmt Sys Analysis blue=business Domain orange=technical green=project Mgmt pink=sourcing Sys Testing Business domain skills (blue) were the most frequently selected skills. Industry and process knowledge are highly valued by service providers. The capabilities to effectively communicate and manage relationships with users are also highly valued, as shown in Exhibit 5.1. Project management (green) and technical (orange) capability categories are each represented by three skills in Exhibit 5.1. In the technical skill category, systems design, systems analysis, and system testing are among the top critical skills. While system design and system analysis were among the top skills that were critical to client firms, system testing was not. The frequency of its selection as a critical skill among providers seems to reflect the importance of testing in the development and delivery of quality products and services that will serve multiple clients, a primary activity of many of these organizations. However, as we will see later, many respondents indicated that testing was a skill that would be decreasing in importance in coming years Critical Skills by Firm Size To further analyze how differences among the firms may have affected respondents selection of critical skills we conducted analyses of the skills and capabilities based on the company s size and its geographic location (a proxy for wage levels). In both cases a graph using the top overall skills showed very little difference. We present the top skills for each firm size separately and then present some interesting examinations of skills that did not rank in the top skills. Exhibits 5.2 and 5.3 show the top ranked skills of Large firms and SMEs, respectively. Although there are many similarities, some items that appear on one list do not appear on the other and vice versa. The overall skills rankings in Exhibit 5.1 are influenced by the larger number of SMEs in the sample. Copyright IT Workforce Research Team White Paper Do not copy or distribute without permission. Page 20 of 80

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