Archive for the 'Employers' Category
February 27th, 2013 by Procom News
In the past, many entrepreneurs packed their bags and traveled to the United States to build their businesses, but according to the Financial Post, many of them are coming home to Canada, and this may translate into the creation of new IT jobs.
Several entrepreneurs interviewed by the Financial Post praised Canada's business environment for a variety of reasons. Benefits of working in Canada in their estimation included a more stable economy, less cutthroat competition and lower costs when it comes to considerations such as healthcare. Finding higher-quality workers, including for IT jobs, was also a motivation for heading back north.
"I found recruiting the appropriate talent and giving them the incentive to stay and be dedicated to the company in Silicon Valley was a fool's errand," Brian Shuster, founder of Utherverse, told the Financial Post. "Everyone is looking for stock options and an IPO, and no one cared what they did as long as they got the title they wanted."
But in Canada, Shuster found technology workers to be less jaded and more creative. When he came back, he was able to employ 60 workers who met his needs for innovative and committed professionals.
According to University of Toronto Magazine, Canadian researchers may also be part of the "reverse brain drain" happening in Canada right now. The magazine noted that of the university's 257 Canada Research Chairs, 34 are experts who were recruited back to Canada and 40 are immigrants. One of the major draws for professors who had previously defected may be foundation grants, totaling $36.5 million, that allow the institution to employ academics at highly competitive salaries.
As more business owners find themselves staying in or returning to Canada to work on their careers, it is possible that this will translate to more IT jobs. Where there are entrepreneurs, there is a need for technologically-savvy workers to take care of the more behind-the-scenes details. Many of these companies may also be vendors of IT solutions, and it isn't too difficult to see how those businesses would be able to boost the job market for IT workers.
Companies returning to Canada and in need of a strong information technology department may also wish to look to an IT staffing firm to fill their needs. Bringing in a third party can help lessen some of the burdens of searching for employees, including giving business leaders access to a wide network of experts that may not have access to otherwise.
February 27th, 2013 by Procom News
The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) recently released the results of an information technology survey, conducted by Frost & Sullivan, which revealed that many IT jobs related to cybersecurity are not adequately filled.
In the ISC2 survey polled 12,000 IT security professionals, and 56 percent of respondents reported that their organizations are short-staffed, indicating the need for more IT jobs. Fifteen percent of these individuals indicated that they were not able to estimate the amount of downtime their company would experience in the wake of a cyberattack, even though hacktivism, cyberterrorism and hacking were among their top three concerns.
There may also be differences in how higher-ranking executives see staffing issues versus how those working more closely with security issues perceive them.
"[CIOs are] a little bit more optimistic than those working in the field [on security]," Michael Suby, vice-president of security research at Frost & Sullivan, told IT World Canada. "That's a sign there's a bit of a gap between what the executive suite knows of the problem, or perceives of the challenges, and what their rank and file does."
In order for IT departments to be effective, it may be beneficial for C-suite executives and workers farther down the chain to reach consensus when it comes to what constitutes adequate staffing.
The ISC2's research also found that 74 percent of IT workers see BYOD as a challenge to security, and 68 percent of respondents ranked social media as a safety concern. Considering that both of these items are still relatively new in the IT world, professionals who are highly knowledgeable about up-to-date cybersecurity strategies may be more necessary than ever.
According to the ISC2, IT may be a stable career for tech experts. More than 80 percent of IT professionals reported no changed in their employment status in the past year, while nearly 60 percent of these individuals also report receiving a raise during that time. Research suggested that stability will continue to be the trend, with 11 percent growth in the industry projected over the next five years.
One way that hiring-level executives can take care of this need for cybersecurity experts is through an IT staffing agency. These firms tend to be abreast of the most current needs of today's IT departments, and can help find professionals that fit CIOs' specific needs.
February 25th, 2013 by Procom News
Professionals with IT jobs know that the notion of Internet security is constantly changing. Cybersecurity leader McAfee recently released its 2012 Q4 report, and the study reflects some disturbing trends that experts may need to watch for in 2013.
In its report, McAfee found that the number of password-stealing trojans is up 72 percent, showing that many hackers are targeting authentication credentials, possibly in order to steal sensitive data for use in criminal activities. Many of these threats are becoming highly-targeted and customized, hiding convincingly among more benign notifications. This may make it more important than ever for experts in IT jobs to stay abreast of developments with cyber risk management strategies.
Master Boot Record-related malware was also found to be up by 27 percent, especially concerning because these cyberattack tools conceal themselves inside PCs so effectively that most antivirus software cannot detect and eliminate them.
"We are seeing attacks shifting into a variety of new areas, from factories, to corporations, to government agencies, to the infrastructure that connects them together," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice-president of McAfee Labs. "This represents a new chapter in cybersecurity in that threat-development, driven by the lure of financial industry profits, has created a growing underground market for these cybercrime weapons, as well as creative new approaches to thwarting security measures common across industries."
One of the biggest areas of concern uncovered by the study is the vulnerability of Android devices. When it came to mobile malware attacks, nearly all were targeted to the platform, with Symbian coming in a very distant second. McAfee reported that mobile malware attacks are likely to be increasingly common in the coming year.
According to the study, one of the more pressing issues for both personal users and businesses in Canada may be botnet infections. The researchers found that Canada, Poland and Indonesia experienced growth between 11 and 19 percent in these attacks. While this is a significant increase in security risk, these figures were dwarfed by Russia and China, where growth was pegged at 43 and 41 percent, respectively.
McAfee's report shows that Internet security will continue to be a major issue in 2013 for businesses, but this could possibly have positive effects on IT jobs in Canada. With companies becoming even more aware of risks to their information, they may focus heavily on recruiting highly-qualified professionals to help them bring they systems under control and into compliance. IT staffing agencies may also be able to help address these increasing needs.
February 13th, 2013 by Procom News
When Canadian companies are looking to hire people for IT jobs, often some of the first candidates to get a call come from Generation Y. Being the first generation to really grow up with computers in their lives, plenty of people assume that millennials must be well-versed in the basics of not only computer operation, but also data security.
It turns out that might be giving some people a bit too much credit. A new survey from IT giant Cisco points to millennials as a big emerging threat to company data security.
While this generation has grown up alongside the internet and computers, they have also come to expect a certain level of privacy (at least in certain contexts), freedom and personal choice. All of these concepts might be fine in the broader scheme of things, but for businesses they can introduce a greater degree of risk if employees are careless about the sites the visit, the apps they use or even what emails they open.
The report found that the problem is increasingly difficult as the nature of online threats changes from the traditional perception. While the assumption used to be that most viruses came from visiting inappropriate sites, increasingly these problems stem from legitimate sites such as search engines, shopping sites and, in particular, advertisements.
“Although most Gen Y respondents do not trust websites to protect personal information (75 percent), such as credit card and personal contact details, their lack of confidence does not deter their online behavior, gambling that they will not be compromised,” the company wrote in a release. “This puts a large amount of pressure on companies when these individuals take risks online with work devices on corporate networks.”
This backs up a report released last year by ZoneAlarm, which found that security was a far lower priority for Generation Y, according to ZDNet.
This makes two distinct pressures for IT jobs in Canada. First, companies cannot assume too much about qualifications based solely on age. But more importantly, it means that businesses must put a great deal of emphasis on creating strong, effective security policies without completely alienating the latest generation of workers.
As much as new skills are filtering into the workplace with time, data security is not really one of them, and it needs to be a key focus of any hiring strategy.
February 12th, 2013 by Procom News
Small businesses have risen and fallen with the rise of the internet. Plenty of businesses quickly found themselves irrelevant once their customers realized they could get the same services online for less, while many others were able to use the web to capture a much broader market.
Just as businesses were starting to adjust to ever-present online competition, however, another big shift has come as more and more customers are coming to rely on mobile devices to find the goods and services they need, according to ITBusiness.ca.
The news source notes a report from online computer company McAfee showing that 85 percent of all Canadians use some kind of mobile device – either smartphone or tablet – a number that has shot up rapidly in just the past few years.
In turn, the number of customers coming across small businesses through mobile devices has gone up as well. Data from one web services firm, Rogers Communications Inc.’s OutRank, found that the percent of web traffic coming from mobile devices rose by more than half in one year, growing from 18 percent at the start of 2012 to 29 percent at the end.
The biggest issue with this switch is that websites generally must be specifically tailored to accommodate mobile devices, given the much smaller screen and the different ways in which users interact with the site.
But, of course, not everyone does as much surfing on their mobile devices. Many people instead rely on the growing pool of phone and tablet apps to get them through the day.
PCWorld considered whether small businesses need to invest in creating apps for themselves, or if perhaps investing in optimized mobile sites would be enough.
It may seem like a strange idea for many small businesses, but well-designed apps can help bring attention to even some of the smallest companies if they provide some value to the customer. In the meantime, mobile websites should never actually be providing any add benefits beyond what the regular site would offer.
As more businesses try to work their way into this growing market, it should create a variety of new IT jobs with a number of different profiles. Some companies will want to retain full-time developers to keep them abreast of the constantly shifting markets, but an increasing number of businesses will be looking for short-term work helping to develop websites, or even apps, that meet their needs for the time being.
February 12th, 2013 by Procom News
For many entrepreneurs in the early stages of starting a business, IT security can seem like more of a hassle and a burden than any kind of help. And, more importantly, for many of them it seems largely unnecessary.
ITBusiness.ca spoke with Matt Goulet, the vice president of small and medium-sized enterprise sales and operations at internet security firm Kaspersky Lab, who suggested that even the smallest businesses can benefit from adopting a more sophisticated approach to data security.
That is not necessarily to say that every new shop and store has to make space in the budget for IT jobs, but they should quickly consider adopting commercial security products.
Kasperky itself has started strongly marketing packages that provide tools that are flexible enough to cover the needs of a fairly wide range of small businesses. These programs, explains Goulet, offer a greater level of protection even if they are used with only the most basic input. But they can also provide a much higher level of control down the line, if the business grows enough to justify a greater emphasis on data security.
“It’s really an out of the box experience where we give you security and the controls to make it as granular or as simple as you like,” Goulet told the news outlet. “Any small business can be targeted, and we’ve seen that. There’s wide adoption among the smaller companies now that understand they need robust protection, because they’re the target of the same robust attacks, but are further constrained by budget and IT resources. Smaller businesses are getting more sophisticated because they have to.”
Of course, all too often this is not the case and small businesses do not realize how important a sophisticated approach to data security really can be.
ZDNet reported last year that the Ponemon Institute released a report on the state of cyber security readiness that found small businesses tend to drastically underestimate the impact that data security breaches have on their reputations, and the effect that can have on future business. Still, the report did find that the majority of small businesses are taking some measures to protect themselves, at least in the UK and U.S.
Hopefully the importance of IT jobs in Canada will become equally apparent as businesses become increasingly interconnected and reliant upon online payment and other potentially vulnerable internet technologies.
January 4th, 2013 by Procom News
The IT field is one in which failure is expected. Applications are released with glitches or off schedule so often that agile development has emerged to make regular updates easier and more responsive. Hardware failure, on the other hand, is inevitable either because a device will eventually wear down or be affected by a natural disaster or similar problem. The end result is an industry in which IT workers are going to fall short, even on some of the most important projects they face. How CIOs and business leaders handle this situation can be key to improving their IT staffing situation and building a better team of employees.
Building up staff instead of breaking them down
According to a recent report from an IT staffing firm, IT leaders can take the weaknesses and shortcoming of their staff members and turn them into strengths if they respond to failure properly. To a great extent, this comes down to handling the review process effectively. Though it is important that IT staff members have the ability to respond well to their mistakes, learn their lesson and not let one problem lead to a string of errors, it is also important that managers position their workers to make the most of these learning opportunities to help staff members reach their full potential.
The news source explained that handling employee reviews effectively is key to effectively managing staff and a few general guidelines can help managers accomplish this goal. One simple thing to do is to make sure the communication comes from both directions. Avoiding a one-sided conversation makes the meeting one of two colleagues, not a confrontation. This prevents people from getting defensive and enables a meaningful discussion to emerge. Other ways to improve review meetings is to provide balanced feedback, clarifying expectations, taking uncontrollable factors into account and considering the worker's experience.
Handling IT staff needs effectively
There are two sides of the IT jobs market for employers. The first is finding the right candidates for open positions. This is a critical process because the wrong hire can push a company back months from an operational standpoint. However, building the staff that is present in the right way is just as important. No worker is perfect and finding the right balance in motivating employees through constructive criticism and positive feedback is key to developing an effective staff and making the most of each hire.
January 4th, 2013 by Procom News
There are a number of technological innovations that businesses can utilize in order to improve their current standings, and the more of these they utilize, the better their chances of success. Putting more technology resources into play requires more IT hiring, however, for firms looking to increase their reach, it's important to be mindful of the necessary resources before adding this kind of undertaking.
It may seem like a major roadblock in the process, but Canadian firms need to be stalwart in their resolution to adopt these kinds of technology assets. Failing to do so could result in stagnation, which is deadly to any business. One of the biggest resources these companies need to focus on in the coming year should be the cloud, Telecom Tiger wrote.
The source stated that the need to increase performance through faster, more flexible communications will be one of the biggest requirements of companies moving forward. A study by IDC showed that cloud reliance will grow by more than one-fourth over the next few years. This will create a surge in IT jobs in Canada, upward of 7 million positions throughout the global market, the study projected, on top of the almost 2 million placements seen in the last 12 months.
"Cloud-ready jobs are increasing as we head into 2013," said IDC vice president Cushing Anderson. "Unlike IT skill shortages of the past, solving this kind of skills gap is extremely challenging, given that cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven't been needed in the past."
Specialized new professions
Some firms are taking advantage of this growing need by establishing firms that specialize in cloud vending. Inside Toronto reported that One Sparks Avenue in Toronto will play host to a number of growing IT recruitment businesses, among them QA Consultants. That company is dedicated to data monitoring and analytics testing, the source stated, making it ideal for businesses just trying out the cloud, or those making certain that their existing deployments are compliant and running on best practices.
The business is a testament to the number of specialized fields that exist within the broader IT skills set, proving that the cloud will be a vital part of ongoing business motivations, but it too is made up of myriad different parts in need of supervision. Without the right IT staffing to keep tabs on all these aspects, it's possible that firms won't make the best use of these resources, but in turn won't be able to survive without them.
January 1st, 2013 by Procom News
Picking regions to establish lucrative operations can often be a guessing game, so businesses tend to stick to sectors that have shown promise in the past. However, as the economic climate continues to roil, there is less dependability in these old strategies. Thinking outside the box is crucial to maintain IT recruitment figures, and technology companies know this is a vital aspect of bringing fresh ideas and innovation to a brand.
With that in mind, Canadian interests are looking to entice some industry leaders into looking to Canada next year instead of traditional locations in the United States. With the fiscal cliff looming and other market indicators showing that 2013 may not be a good year for U.S. IT interests, it may be time for a change in thinking for those in charge of leadership decisions.
Potential investor opportunity
The Ontario Technology Corridor announced it will be meeting with the Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication Companies, hoping to entire them to locate their initiatives in the new year north of where they usually consider. American interests have always been strong among Brazilian firms looking for international presence, but with economic concerns growing all around the world regarding market stability in the U.S., Ontario is hoping that Brazil's corporate leaders will look more favorably on Canadian businesses. The Technology Corridor already has a workforce of more than 250,000 people, but if these negotiations are successful, IT hiring in Canada could grow exponentially.
A review of existing Canadian employers showed that many are looking to expand their IT recruitment plans for the new year, planning on better revenue and anticipating higher reliance on technology assets. The Creative Group showed that business intelligence and mobile application development will be among some of the most highly sought and best paid positions in the new year. With overseas interests and improved governmental support, the likelihood that IT staffing will increase in 2013 seems quite likely. In order to keep up with these trends, other firms will need to move aggressively to pick up new staff as well to remain competitive with businesses that have already acquired additional personnel. This effect will incur even better hiring for IT personnel as time goes by.
December 24th, 2012 by Procom News
The Harper Government is making technology a priority, safeguarding the future IT jobs in North America and driving innovation to make sure the top talent in the technology sector is securely located in Canada for years to come.
Providing more access
According to an annual report released by the Treasury Board Secretariat, titled Access to Information and Privacy program (ATIP), the federal government is providing Canadians with more access to the government's extensive files than ever before. The Info Source: Statistical Reporting Bulletin noted that there were 43,664 information requests completed in the two years of 2011 and 2012. Compared to a decade ago, this figure is nearly double the amount of data distributed.
"Our Government is the most transparent government in Canadian history," said the Honourable Tony Clement, president of the treasury board. "There has never been a time when Canadians have had as much access to government information."
As digital technology progresses, Canadians will be better able to access information, and due to the impetus the Government is placing on secure, available data, the Office of the Information Commissioner has seen an improvement across the entire system.
Since the 2007 Federal Accountability Act, the ATIP program has been extended, encompassing close to 250 institutions and making roughly 273,000 government datasets open to the public. The Government of Canada is also training ATIP professionals to manage the $15 million investment into the expanding program to stay on top of the statistical output.
"Technology has revolutionized access to information. It is not uncommon for a request to encompass 20,000 pages of government information and half a dozen departments," said Minister Clement. "Our ability to keep abreast of these rapid-fire changes and improve our response times reflects our Government's commitment to Canadians' right to access."
Improving emergency services
According to The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CTRC), information technology is also making headway in how Canadians make emergency calls. Using Internet Protocol to enhance 911 services may potentially include video and social media to report emergencies, noted Techvibes. Though jobs may develop to handle the intake of information, it is not yet clear as to how the CTRC will incorporate these new technologies.