Canadian IT departments understaffed.


A recent survey by Robert Half Technology revealed that a significant number of technology executives feel that they could use more help.  Thirty-seven per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed said their IT departments are understaffed in relation to current workloads.

The survey was  conducted by an independent research firm, and was based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CIOs from companies across Canada with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, “How would you describe the staffing level of your IT department in relation to current workloads?” Their responses were as follows:

  • Somewhat understaffed ……….. 37%
  • At the appropriate staff level … 59%
  • Somewhat overstaffed …………… 4%

Within the professional services and business services sectors, CIOs noted an even greater discrepancy between staff levels and workloads, with nearly half (46 per cent), respectively, reporting that their departments are understaffed.

“Many technology departments experienced cuts to their staffing levels and have been challenged to manage workload demands,” said Geoffrey Thompson, vice president of Robert Half Technology. “While companies are often able to operate with lean teams in the short term, longer periods of understaffing can harm the overall productivity and morale of the organization.”

To keep projects on track and prevent burnout, Thompson recommends that IT managers bring in extra support, if only for a short duration. “Contract professionals alleviate the demands of workload peaks and major projects, allowing existing staff to concentrate on crucial initiatives. Observing professionals in the work environment is also an excellent way to evaluate them for full-time opportunities.”

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