Demand is "skyrocketing" for Business Intelligence and analytics projects in the Enterprise, according to a Forrester Survey, indicating demand for yet another IT career that helps the company make money.
The news from a slew of hiring reports all support the fact that career advancement, hiring, promotions, and your salary are all being driven by the demand for technology and IT staff that help the business make money, not simply operate. I've called it, IT for the sake of business, not IT for the sake of IT.
- IT staffing firm TekSystems's annual survey revealed that IT hiring budgets in 2011 were supporting projects that expanded the business and more than ‘keep the lights on'.
- Foote Partners' 2011 IT Skills & Certifications Hot List Forecast, revealed enterprises are paying a premium for IT skills that impact business.
- A survey by IT job board Dice indicated industry experience is a top concern of hiring managers when poaching IT talent because managers want someone able to improve the business.
BI, perhaps more than most other IT disciplines, impacts revenue and makes it a prime area of opportunity in the trend of IT for the sake of business.
The latest evidence comes from Forrester's annual BI Maturity In The Enterprise. The survey suggests career opportunity for current BI developers and IT integration, software and data architects who are willing to learn transition, Boris Evelson, Forrester vice president and principal analyst, told Integration Developer News. BI is growing, he said, because it has "buy-in" from business-line managers.
"Senior enterprise managers recognize the importance of BI and view it not just as a reporting application, but as a major competitive differentiator for the enterprise. There's a strong top-down mandate to build and continuously improve BI infrastructure and applications."
Mark Feffer, a blogger for Dice, offered his assessment of the report:
Two phrases stick out here: "competitive differentiator" and "top-down mandate." One thing we saw through the recession was a willingness of the guys with walls (by that I mean executives. Who else has walls in their offices nowadays?) to spend money on IT projects that have a demonstrable impact on the bottom line. The ability to glean more information that can be used in the market has results you can see. And, since some executives have an endearing tendency to know what they want and not really care about how they get it, those who can develop the solution are going to be very valuable indeed.
In addition to corporate buy-in, the very nature of BI and processes surrounding it, make it a safe haven with good earning potential for IT pros worried about being commoditized. For one thing, BI is not easily outsourced and analytics projects are typically ongoing projects with many iterations, Evelson said. It also relies on employees who aren't just good technicians, but good collaborators and problem solvers, intangible qualities that you can use to advance your career.
In other words, there is demand for BI for the sake of business, not BI for the sake of BI.
I love it when trends support each other.
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