A Meta Group survey has revealed that 45% of companies would pay premiums for IT skills that are difficult to find or retain.
Skill shortages were cited as most acute in highly specialised areas such as wireless computing and information security, in the survey of 650 large and midsize companies.
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Poor morale among IT workers, fuelled by budget and staff cuts, was cited by 72% of respondents as a major problem in their organisations. To improve morale, 45% respondents said they have employee recognition programmes in place, while 40% offer training and other skill-development opportunities.
Growing demand for IT skills is leading companies to pay IT workers more than their nontechnical peers. This year, 76% of respondents said they plan to pay IT workers more than other workers, about the same as last year.
Meta said 15% of respondents cited a continuing need for Internet-related skills such as application development and Java application management, while 11% said networking skills are highly sought after.
However, demand for e-commerce skills continues to ease, with only 15% indicating a strong need for those capabilities, down from 22% last year and 25% in 2002.
Of those surveyed, 20% of companies are involved in offshore outsourcing, while 40% of this group said that 5% or less of their IT workforce is deployed offshore.
Although 81% of survey respondents have added IT staff this year, hiring is far from robust and there is no net gain in the number of new IT workers, Meta said.
Thomas Hoffman writes for Computerworld