Internet, client-server fuel huge demand for IS staff

Increased spending on Internet pro-jects and the conversion of legacy systems to client-server are fuelling an unparalleled demand for IS staff. Nearly 80% of the 1442 CIOs surveyed in 20 countries, including New Zealand, say they will increase spending on the Internet next year, and nearly 70% predict they will replace their legacy systems with client-server within two years.

Increased spending on Internet pro-jects and the conversion of legacy systems to client-server are fuelling an unparalleled demand for IS staff, according to Deloitte Touche’s first Global Survey of CIO (chief information officers).

Nearly 80% of the 1442 CIOs surveyed in 20 countries, including New Zealand, say they will increase spending on the Internet next year, and nearly 70% predict they will replace their legacy systems with client-server within two years. At the same time, however, seven out of 10 CIOs indicate difficulty recruiting client-server architects and distributed database specialists.

“This lack of qualified personnel may slow the growth of both Internet and client-server systems,” says Steve Pliskin of Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group.

However, outsourcing does not seem to be easing the situation. While there is a worldwide trend for application development to be outsourced, the actual benefits of outsourcing fell short of CIO expectations in every area surveyed. More than 60% of the CIOs who responded expected to benefit from the outsourcing vendor’s expertise but only 35% reported actually achieving this benefit.

The survey says 50% of applications are now running on client-server but this is expected to increase to 75% over the next two years. More than 80% of CIOs surveyed expect client-server expenditures to increase significantly while lack of qualified personnel and the complexity of multi-vendor environments are most often cited as the major barriers to client-server implementation.

As for legacy systems, nearly 70% of mission-critical systems employ legacy technologies but CIOs indicate that 70% of these systems will be replaced within the next two years. When replacing legacy systems the majority of CIOs plan to use commercially available packages.

CIOs were asked to say what client operating systems are important to their organisation. Windows 3.x is still important to 72% of the CIOs, followed by Windows 95 (47%), Windows NT (44%), OS/2 (16%) and Macintosh System 7 (5%).

Across most regions Novell maintains its dominance over other server operating systems with 68% of respondents considering it important. Windows NT narrowly overshadows Unix with more than 55% of respondents rating it as important.

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