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Feeling Insecure About Your Job?

by Administrator on April 3, 2008

Interesting piece on Network World.  Glad they are finally catching up with blog posts made here nearly a year ago.  Seems that IT folks are concerned about job security.  Seems that IT spending is down.  Seems that companies are trying to do more with less (including fewer people) and to delay technology refresh. 

They quote an analyst firm:

Nationwide for all industries, job security fell 1.9% in February, according to ScoreLogix’s Job Security Index, a tool that predicts an employed person’s probability of job loss.

IT job security fell 10.2% in February, the eighth decline in 13 months and largest drop in more than a year. “This reduced demand for IT jobs, which has lowered job security level in the IT sector, can be attributed to outsourcing, offshoring, and relocation of production to cheaper, foreign locations,” ScoreLogix analysts state in a report sent to Network World. “In addition, companies have reduced their investment in IT infrastructure because of lack of compelling, technologically superior upgrades – since existing infrastructure works just fine. Besides, the economy is weak and offers every incentive to cut costs and scale back non-essential, avoidable investments in technology related products and services.”

It’s one thing for folks to take a poll, with all of the nonsense that that brings to the accuracy of the data (think the PBS Effect — everyone says they watch smart programs on PBS even if they watch Jerry Springer, Oprah, L Word, or Queer Eye marathons).  It’s another to let the polsters start commenting on causality in the data they are collecting.

I really doubt that slowing IT investments are caused by a lack of compelling, technologically superior upgrade opportunities.  There are no bucks for new toys, compelling or not.  IT is being forced to adhere to the rules of providing a full business value rationale before funding occurs.  That is a good thing and long awaited.  Hopefully, a lot of vendors are being handed their hats when they visit to propose the next buy-this-because-we-think-you-should technology.

The economy is weak?  I don’t agree.  We have something like a $14 Trillion economy.  The markets, however, are weak — and unpredictable.  That usually hurts consumer confidence and we husband our resources to avoid losing our shirts if something bad happens.  Inflation is also rising, increasing the costs of already overpriced storage gear to obscene levels.  That will help whack sales to be sure.  Couldn’t happen to nicer guys.

Want to keep your job?  Play by the rules of the front office:  demonstrate the value of what you do for the company from the standpoint of cost-savings, risk reduction and process improvement.  Make yourself indispensible.  If they don’t appreciate you then, you need to move on.  You will always be hiding in your cubical and sweating a pink slip because you work for a company helmed by assholes.

My two centavos. 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kenguru April 7, 2008 at 11:40 pm

What can I say…This article in Network World is a confirmation of what most of us have felt and feared for some time now. While job security in IT has never been high as it was a 10-15 years ago, it has gone up and down depending on the economy. There are some exceptions in both good and bad ways i.e. some people do well when many were losing jobs and vice versa, but on the whole I agree with the assessment that things are really bad in the IT sector now. In last few days major IT companies such as DELL, GOOGLE, and AMD have made significant job cuts running into thousands, so I can only imagine more IT jobs being lost. In a sense I am glad that someone has come up with something scientific to quantify the ‘unhappy feeling of being insecure’.

And I politely have to disagree with Analyst Foo above who thinks economy is not bad. Every economic indicator and Gallup poll shows that we are either in or near recession. If the economic and business conditions are not good, then companies will increase layoffs whether you play by rules or not. If you don’t play by the rules, you will probably get ‘fired’ but if economy goes sour, more people will lose their jobs, which is what we have beeing seeing for the last 3 months. 2 cents…

Administrator April 9, 2008 at 2:22 pm

I feel your pain kenguru, and I agree that things are bad in IT. However, my view is that the Front Office-Back Office rift has existed for quite a while and economy cycles just tend to exasperate the situation.

I agree that a recession is already here, by the way. I just don’t harbor the same doom and gloom sentiments about it as everyone else does. The trigger was quite a while in coming. Obscene housing price acceleration fostered by idiot loans underwritten off the books. Hey, I thought the storage vendors were unscrupulous creeps — seems that they are angels compared to the mortage underwriters, et al.

Times are hard. I’ve been through it all before, though, and if it provides any encouragement, you will survive and be stronger for it. Last time around, I was caught on my heels. This time, so far at least, I have my carefully planned and executed safety net strategy.

All I was trying to say about the analysts in this case was that sentiment is no substitute for common sense.

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