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Fastest-Growing Industries

Amid the overall slowdown, several industries report relatively strong IT hiring and technology investments. Increased provincial and federal government expenditures are expected to further boost IT spending in some sectors throughout the country.

Here are four industries in which IT growth is expected to continue in several markets: 2012/2013

Healthcare: An aging population, the need for constant technology upgrades and government funding should result in continuing rapid growth for IT in healthcare and related industries.

Government: Canadian government funding is likely to fuel IT hiring both within government agencies and in firms that rely on government contracts.

Education: Technology investments and hiring should remain strong thanks to Canadian government funding, rising student enrolments at all levels and the growth of e-learning.

Financial services: Technology investments and hiring may increase as firms strive to meet reform and compliance requirements. Continuing uncertainty may encourage organizations to consider contract and project professionals.

Technology Trends

Especially during an economic downturn, competitive businesses must carefully weigh the value of any technology investments they make. The savviest companies are positioning themselves for recovery, but they are not planning exorbitant investments. In fact, most of the investments IT leaders foresee are in line with the current emphasis on cost savings.

Following are some of the areas expected to drive IT investment: 2012/2013

Information security:Companies of all sizes increasingly recognize the importance of reputation damage and the loss of proprietary business intelligence.

Virtualization: As cost concerns merge with environmental initiatives, firms are considering the benefits of virtualization in several contexts. Many companies seek professionals who can help them protect hardware investments and reduce space and power requirements.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): Businesses are investing in VoIP to lower their phone bills, increase network flexibility and establish unified messaging.

Software as a Service (SaaS): Subscribing to SaaS rather than purchasing software licenses is a particularly attractive option for businesses with tight IT budgets. Many firms are evaluating the potential cost savings of SaaS.

Business intelligence: Many companies view the information they maintain as a key source of competitive success. They are investing in innovative ways to leverage that data more strategically.

Since several of these trends will require supplemental expertise, they are also likely to affect IT hiring activity.