According to the Candle ICT Market Analysis Survey, organisations are becoming less selective in terms of local experience and are actively taking on contractors from interstate or overseas.
Demand across industries is particularly strong for contract business analysts, project managers and testers for implementations and roll outs, as well as C# / .Net and Java / J2EE developers.
According to the survey, during the financial year ended 30 June 2006, permanent demand across Australia increased by 13% compared to the previous financial year, whereas contract demand only increased 3% during the same period.
The report states that the swing towards hiring permanent staff is being driven by a long-term confidence in the Australian economy and the need for organisations to retain good people at a time of record employment in Australia.
According to the report, with many large ICT projects anticipated to take up to three or four years to complete, organisations are taking a more sustainable approach by hiring and investing in ICT professionals permanently in an attempt to secure skills for the future.
In addition, organisations are increasingly looking to convert contractors into permanent members of staff. While many are reluctant to give up more lucrative and flexible contracts, many are being tempted by attractive permanent salary packages.
According to Candle, in general, salary levels and contract rates have remained relatively stable in the past 12 months. However, basic rules increasing pressure on rates is being felt due to supply limitations in particular skill sets, including project management, business analysis, programming and testing.
The survey found that the top five jobs in demand nationally were: project managers and administrators, business analysts, application developers (C# / .Net, Java / J2EE in particular), enterprise architects and test engineers.
Technology skills in demand included C# / .Net , Java / J2EE , VoIP, SA P, Oracle, Siebel, security, compliance (SOX), ITIL, and storage.
For 2007, the Candle report states that anecdotal evidence collected through informal interviews with CIOs suggests many are looking to replace or upgrade ERP, accounting packages, and CRM systems in line with their objective to consolidate and simplify architecture.