Starting IT Salaries Flat in 2002
After several years in which IT professionals regularly job-hopped for higher pay, overall starting salaries for IT professionals will rise only 0.1 percent this year, compared with a projected rise of 8.4 percent last year, according to RHI Consulting, a staffing agency for the IT industry. The annual salary study is based on an in-depth analysis of thousands of job orders managed by the company's US offices.

The outlook isn't all doom and gloom. Some specialty areas should still see relatively healthy increases in starting salaries. As Graph 1 shows, applications architects, systems integration directors, and data security analysts could see starting salaries climb 6.7 percent, 6.1 percent, and 4.9 percent, respectively. But software development product managers, MIS managers, and desktop support analysts can expect starting salaries to drop 3.4 percent, 4.0 percent, and 4.7 percent, respectively.

xSP Market Grows
Over the past 2 years, so many companies have scrambled to provide some form of IT "service" that pundits now just say xSP. But despite the alphabet-soup confusion, as well as concerns about the levels of service provided and the long-term prospects of many of the new companies in this sector, market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that worldwide revenues in the xSP market will grow from $106 billion in 2000 to $396 billion in 2005. Graph 2 shows this compound annual growth rate of 30.16 percent. IDC defines xSPs as companies that offer a service over a network from an externally managed facility by using a one-to-many, service-for-fee business model.

Remote Access Is Top Priority
The pressure on organizations of all sizes to provide remote access to business applications continues, according to a study by Cahners In-Stat/MDR. The market researcher found that 55 percent of the workforce in large and midsized companies and 63 percent of employees in small companies will work remotely or be mobile at some point this year.

Despite that mobility, many remote and mobile (RAM) workers don't have offsite access to business applications, as Graph 3 shows. Although 77 percent of RAM workers in large enterprises can reach some business applications while away from the office, only 48 percent of small office/home office (SOHO) workers can do so. Not surprisingly, email was the application people in all companies most wanted to access remotely. After email, RAM workers in large and midsized companies wanted access to office-productivity programs such as word processing and spreadsheet applications, and RAM workers in small companies wanted access to industry-specific applications.