Containing IT workforce costs vital

66% of businesses do not have an IT workforce planning process

In today’s economy, it is imperative that CIOs understand what resources they have and may need in the short and long term and avoid making deep staff cuts without first considering their effects on the organization’s ability to attract and retain talent.

However, a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. showed that nearly 66 percent of respondents do not currently have a formal IT workforce planning process that will enable them to leverage the opportunities presented by this downturn.

“Considering that workforce-related spending is the largest part of the IT budget, one of the primary challenges for CIOs and HR leaders for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010 will be finding ways to control labour costs while engaging and retaining the workforce,” said Lily Mok, research vice president at Gartner. “Since it will still take time for the economy to establish a new normal, the impact of this recession will continue to be felt on an organization’s bottom line, as well as on the overall job market. This could cause companies to consider making further cuts in workforce-related spending.”

According to a survey of 325 U.S.-based organizations in March of 2009, 64.1 percent of survey respondents indicated that they will put hiring on hold for the next 12 months (March 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010). In contrast, a total of 35.9 percent of respondents projected an increase in IT head count.

“Economic crisis is the best time to ‘stress test’ the endurance and agility of an organization’s workforce practices. IT and HR leaders should learn from painful experiences of the past and make a conscious effort to not repeat the same mistakes,” said Berry.

“Now is the time for CIOs and HR leaders to review and revise IT human capital management programs to ensure they can continuously attract and retain talent during and after this economic period. Make employee engagement and retention top priority because it will be the key to ensure that critical talent stays long after the economy rebounds.”

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Containing IT workforce costs vital