Working more?

By Alan Earls

Meta Group report finds evidence of longer work hours, sharply increased IT spending.

Spending on information technology (IT) by U.S. business organizations, as a percentage of gross revenues, increased 8.7% in 2000, compared to a 3.4% increase in 1999, according to a recent study by Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group.

Companies are investing in a wide range of technologies. "As business becomes more reliant on the Internet, efficient file servers and fast networks are becoming critical elements of success," notes Howard Rubin, META Group research fellow and author of the report.

Worldwide, the report's finding indicate that the IT work year is significantly longer than in years past. Working hours per year for the IT professional increased substantially in 2000, up 36% from the prior year in the U.S. and up 30% in non-U.S. companies. The average IT professional in the U.S. works 2,157 hours per year. The average IT professional outside the U.S. works 2,138 hours per year.

The report goes on to talk about compensation. Compensation in the U.S. is up 6.6% this year, compared to 6.4% in 1999, with the greatest increase in network-associated areas such as Inter/Intranet specialists and network analysts/architects. India and many non-U.S. countries lag far behind in compensating IT professionals, although compensation levels among non-U.S. countries is up slightly over last year. For

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an equivalent salary of one U.S. professional, an organization could hire 9.1 professionals in India. Switzerland, however, has the world's highest IT salaries. Compensation among IT employees in Switzerland is 18% higher this year than U.S. IT salaries, but down from 36% in 1999.

IT staff turnover rates also showed an increase in both the U.S. and worldwide. The rate in the U.S. jumped to 11.4% this year, up from 8.4% in 1999. Turnover at non-U.S. companies rose 12.6%, from 9% in 1999. The highest turnover rates were reported by organizations in India (16%), China and Switzerland (14%), the U.S., and Canada (10%).

Additional resources:

About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.

This was first published in February 2001

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