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  • A high demand for IT professionals will drive continued staffing expansions at U.S. companies this year, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. Seeking to land the best available talent, organizations are forecast to increase compensation for existing employees, as well as to offer higher starting salaries for new ones. Technology remains one of the most aggressively sought skill sets—second only to customer service. Meanwhile, to address lingering talent shortages, employers will recruit more temp and contract professionals and groom them for permanent positions. They'll also increase their investment in training lower-tier workers in order to position them for more demanding roles. In other words, the job market is red hot, and IT pros should expect to benefit at the negotiating table. "On average, the U.S. has added 200,000 jobs each month over the last two years, and we expect 2016 to produce similar results, if not better," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. "The market is also showing signs of broader wage pressure. While employers have been more willing to pay a premium for high-skill labor, they now have to pay more competitive wages for entry-level positions. Workers are gaining leverage." Nearly 2,340 U.S. hiring and HR managers took part in the research.

  • The huge demand for talented IT professionals will grow even more intense this year, according to a recent survey from Dice. A clear majority of hiring professionals said they plan to increase their recruitment of tech employees in 2016, and most organizations in the survey are planning to boost IT headcount by 11 percent or more, findings reveal. Employers are feeling the pressure because it's taking longer to fill open positions, and they're seeing a notable rise in counteroffers as well. This means companies need to boost the "curb appeal" of their packages. With this in mind, many are more likely to offer additional perks, sign-on bonuses and other goodies to land quality hires. "The environment for a talent crisis in tech has been growing over the past few years and, as the level of interest in technology professionals rises, it doesn't appear the challenging recruitment market will lighten any time soon," said Bob Melk, president of Dice. "Companies today are looking for new and innovative ways to streamline their hiring processes and attract top talent. Sourcing, in particular, continues to serve as a top strategic recruiting initiative, as companies are thinking more long term and are building out an on-demand talent pipeline rather than focusing on one-off hires." Nearly 400 HR managers, recruiters, consultants and staffing company representatives who primarily seek tech professionals took part in the research.

  • A significant share of CIOs in cities throughout the United States said they expect to continue expanding their IT department staffing in 2016, according to a recent survey from Robert Half Technology. The resulting "IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report" indicates that fewer CIOs plan to hire only for vacant tech positions (keeping staffing size as is) in the first half of 2016, when compared with six months ago. Meanwhile, only 2 percent plan to reduce the number of IT department employees. As for the most highly sought skills? Desktop support, database administration and network administration top the list. "Organizations have spent the past few years building core technology teams that can keep pace with rapid marketplace changes, resulting in an industry that's near full employment," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Hiring remains steady, and there is particularly strong demand for staff and consultants to complete short-term projects, implementations and upgrades." As an added bonus, Robert Half Technology has come up with the following ranking of top cities for IT staffing growth, and we've included those here. (You may be surprised to discover that the No. 1 metro area isn't San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Washington, Boston, Austin or other traditional tech meccas.) More than 2,500 U.S. CIOs took part in the research.

  • Officers and directors at public companies want direction about the reasonable security measures needed to protect customer data—and the firm from liability.

  • The digital partnership has emerged as the business model of the present—and future—as the majority of global executive leaders believe their organization will need to forge relationships with other companies to maximize the value of future technologies, according to a recent survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Telstra. The resulting report, "Connecting Companies: Strategic Partnerships for the Digital Age," notes that a significant share of these executives predict that organizations that decide to "go it alone" will eventually go out of business. The execs maintain that existing digital partnerships have positioned them to increase revenue substantially for the next year, enabling them to develop new customer segments, products and services. These initiatives are also helping them access new technologies, especially those related to big data/analytics, the cloud and mobility. "Digital technology is blurring the distinctions between companies and industries as we know them," according to the report. "Offline companies in older industries—those that came to the Internet later in life—are looking to develop digital capabilities by partnering with those that have perfected them. Native online companies, for their part, are learning to value the product and service expertise of offline firms as they attempt to turn rapid growth into mature, profitable and sustainable business models—or simply to survive." Nearly 1,045 global business leaders took part in the research.

  • The rapid growth of cyber-crime and the resulting risks are frightening to both businesses and consumers. It's increasingly difficult to evade the problem. A new report from security firm ThreatMetrix, "Cybercrime Report 2015," illustrates just how huge the hacking and attacking problem is and what impact it has on organizations. During the period from July through September, the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network detected and stopped 90 million different attack attempts—an astounding 20 percent increase over the previous quarter. The report also identified a number of key issues, including the growing risks associated with mobile technology; the need to balance security and convenience, particularly involving authentication; digital data leakage risks; location spoofing; digital identification cloaking; and the need for more sophisticated detection through analytics. Aside from negatively affecting corporate brands and reputations, these attacks represent billions of dollars in financial losses across the globe. Here are some of the key findings from the study.

  • Few front-line technology workers give their companies high marks for adapting to new, transformative tech, according to a recent survey from Business Performance Innovation (BPI) and Dimension Data. The resulting report, "Bringing Dexterity to IT Complexity: What's Helping or Hindering IT Tech Professionals," indicates that most organizations haven't even begun to transform IT—or are just getting started. A major sore spot: A lack of collaboration and/or alignment with the business side, as most tech staffers said business teams wait too long to bring IT into critical planning processes. This, combined with a lack of funding and other resources, results in tech departments spending too much time on legacy maintenance and far too little on essential advances that bring value to the business. "Instead of ushering their companies into a new age of highly agile innovation, IT workers are hindered by a growing list of maintenance tasks, staff cutbacks and aging infrastructure," according to the report. "All the while, growing tension between IT [staffers] and their business colleagues has proven a roadblock to the type of communication that fosters collaboration, innovation and true IT transformation. … The business and IT teams should meet in ongoing cross-functional teams that analyze business needs, existing capabilities, desired improvements, and the technologies, skills and funding needed to achieve mutual goals." A total of 200 front-line IT workers from around the world took part in the research.