IT job prospects improve as UK begins slow recovery out of recession

There is a renewed sense of optimism, as the end of the recession seems to have come into sight. Recovery is a long way off but the outlook is promising. As Rebecca Thomson discovers this week, demand for IT jobs is on the increase, which suggests chief information officers are kick starting projects put on hold due to the budget freeze of the last 12 months.
In the financial sector, demand for IT contractors is up 0.5%, while the latest quarterly results from the Computer Weekly Salary Services Limited survey of the jobs market shows the number of jobs advertised was down 10%, compared to a drop of 26% the previous quarter. There are less jobs in IT than there were a year ago, but the rate of decline in the jobs market has slowed down.
According to recruitment firm Harvey Nash, CIOs have cut back as much as they can, now they are looking at the next step. People are looking towards the future, which is good news for IT professionals.
The businesses that recover quickest will be the ones that are most adaptable, and able to identify emerging trends before their competitors. Business intelligence has always been considered one of the fundamental principles of IT, to provide decision makers with the right information to help their businesses grow. Today, tools that make use of web 2.0 technologies are supplementing standard query and reporting tools. Chris Middleton looks at this emerging area of business intelligence – called collaborative decision making – and finds out how blue chip companies are using IT to help them identify issues and opportunities and make decisions quicker and more accurately than was previously possible.
The road to recovery is long and arduous. Many more people will lose their jobs before the UK’s economy moves out of recession. However, the outlook is positive, especially for IT people with the right skills and attitude to help businesses innovate out of the downturn.