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Project Management

Handling Complex Change
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Project management budgets are now being released and demand for professionals in the field is very strong. The outlook across most industries is very good, as companies activate complex, strategic business-technology projects as confidence in the economy returns.

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Ongoing regulatory, legislative and compliance pressures within the financial services sector continue to create demand for high calibre project and change managers. Companies are obliged to respond to these frequent changes, in parallel with a drive to achieve efficiencies through better use of technology.

Since the start of 2014, there has been a tangible increase in the ‘feel good factor’ in some organisations, leading to release in technology budgets and large-scale IT projects being revived after some years of delay. Areas such as the cloud, SAAS, ERP, Big Data and mobile are all seeing higher levels of activity and therefore demand for skilled personnel. In the public sector technology-driven efficiency projects continue to be a focus, meaning that those with this expertise are in higher demand.

Where many IT contractors have looked for stability in recent years, renewed project activity will attract project managers back into contracting. On the other hand, many companies have developed in-house business-facing project management teams, which will grow in parallel with the demand for contractors. In some areas such as cloud technology and ecommerce project management, individuals can switch to contracting and command good rates. Contractor rates are certainly likely to rise this year, across the board.

Data in general is underpinning some of the growth of project management demand. Companies are determined to become more efficient, by tracking customer spending behaviour and how they use systems, to improve the overall customer ‘journey’. They are harnessing technology to put themselves ahead of the competition.

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We are expecting double-digit growth in demand for IT project managers during the remainder of 2014. Some of this increase will be countered by project managers being tempted back into the IT industry. Nevertheless, we expect to see salaries and rates increase during 2014 for experienced professionals with the right combination of technology and business-facing skills.

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