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2017 Healthcare IT Budget Expectations and IT Leader Confidence Near All-Time Highs
[February 14, 2017]

2017 Healthcare IT Budget Expectations and IT Leader Confidence Near All-Time Highs

Leading into HIMSS17, TEKsystems (News - Alert)®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today highlighted study findings that explore the current state of IT operations within healthcare organizations. The data is gleaned from information captured in TEKsystems' annual IT forecasts as reported by IT leaders (CIOs, IT VPs, IT directors, IT hiring managers) at healthcare organizations.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Budget Expectations and Confidence Point to Greater Optimism in Meeting Organizational Demands

Q: How do you expect your organization's IT budget to change this year compared to last year?     2015   2016   2017
Increase     51%   41%   63%
Stay the same     38%   45%   31%
Decrease     11%   14%   6%

Q: How confident are you in your IT department's ability to satisfy overall organizational demands this year?     2015   2016   2017
Confident     64%   68%   82%
Neutral     26%   24%   12%
Unconfident     10%   8%   6%
  • TEKsystems' Take: The percentage of healthcare IT leaders who expect budgets to increase surged to a three-year high. Additionally, confidence in their ability to satisfy overall organizational IT demands is at its highest level since TEKsystems' first annual IT forecast survey in 2013. Given the heavy investment in recent years in technology towards achieving ACA, ARRA, HITECH and EMR/EHR incentive targets, it should come as no surprise that many healthcare delivery organizations consider themselves as having reached a point of implementation maturity. However, the 22 percent growth in organizations expecting budget increases likely indicates a strong awareness regarding investment towards the next wave of provider challenges such as improved patient engagement and increased use of analytics.

Healthcare Organizations Investing in Technology to Increase Quality Care and Patient Engagement

Q: Which of the following will have the biggest impact on your organization in 2017?
Ranking   Area
1   Security
2   Business intelligence / big data
3   Virtualization / software-defined networks
4   Data center consolidation
5   Digital marketing / customer experience
Q: How do you expect spending to change in the following areas in 2017 versus 2016?
Ranking   Area   Percent of IT leaders expecting increases
1   Security   79%
2   Mobility   61%
3   Business intelligence / big data   60%
4   Cloud   58%
5   Data center consolidation   55%
6   Virtualization / software-defined networks   51%
7   Digital marketing / customer experience   47%
8   Legacy modernization   47%
9   Digital transformation   43%
10   Enterprise resource planning (ERP)   40%
  • TEKsystems' Take: Entering 2017, IT leaders' planned areas of investment closely align with those areas that are expected to have a large-scale impact on their organizations. Nearly 50 percent of IT leaders expect greater investment this year in technologies that affect the ability to share information (security), increase patient engagement and personalization (mobility, business intelligence / big data, digital marketing / customer experience) and optimize quality of care delivery (cloud, data center consolidation). A major healthcare priority in 2017 and beyond is improving how organizations engage patients. Healthcare technology leaders have begun investing heavily in interactive patient care systems, patient portals, integration of data from wearables and care coordination applications.

Critical Roles Also Most Difficult to Find; Healthcare Mergers and Acquisitions Squeezing Availability of Infrastructure Skills


Q: Which IT roles are the most critical for
enabling your organization to achieve
(Select all that apply)


Q: How difficult is it currently to find exceptional
talent to fill roles for the following types of
IT-related positions?
(Select all that apply)

1   Project managers (43%)   Programmers and developers (32%)

Architects (33%)
Programmers and developers (33%)

  Information security (31%)
3   Software engineers (31%)   Networking (30%)
4   Networking (29%)  

Architects (29%)
Project managers (29%)

  • TEKsystems' Take: There is significant overlap between critical roles and those skills that are most difficult to secure. In addition to ongoing information systems integration-critical to delivering greater patient engagement and higher quality of care-2016 also brought the most active year for healthcare mergers and acquisitions. These factors have combined to create a challenging talent acquisition environment where the most critical roles are also the hardest to secure. For example, project managers and architects with the experience and skill to successfully manage integrating healthcare systems will be difficult to find because of increased demand due to last year's merger and acquisitions activity.

Salaries Will Remain the Same for Majority; SkiIls Associated with Patient Engagement and Quality Care Can Expect Increases

Q: How do you expect your overall IT staff's salaries to change this year versus last year?   2015   2016   2017
Increase   73%   79%   43%
Stay the same   27%   20%   56%
Decrease   0%   1%   1%
Q: How do you expect your IT staff's salaries to change this year versus last year for the following skill sets and technologies?  

Percent of IT leaders expecting

Area   2015   2016   2017
Security   59%   62%   57%
Project managers   55%   58%   56%
Business intelligence / big data   50%   51%   50%
Business analysts   48%   44%   49%
Programmers and developers   52%   55%   47%
Help desk / technical support   34%   35%   43%
Database administrators   NA   40%   42%
Software engineers   53%   50%   42%
  • TEKsystems' Take: Entering 2017, there has been a significant shift where the majority (56 percent) of IT leaders expect salaries to remain the same. However, for key skills associated with information sharing (security) and patient engagement and personalization (business intelligence / big data), more than 50 percent of IT leaders expect to increase salaries. There is currently a thread of wage stagnation running through the IT world on the whole, but it is telling that the skill sets associated with key areas where healthcare organizations need progress-such as security and patient engagement-there is a willingness to increase salaries in order to remain competitive.

Healthcare Organizations Anticipate Across-the-Board Increases in Full-Time Staffing, Staff Augmentation and Managed Services

Q: How much do you expect hiring to change for the following this year versus last year?            
Full-time IT staff   2015   2016   2017
Increase   43%   48%   67%
Stay the same   52%   49%   25%
Decrease   5%   3%   8%
Contingent IT staff   2015   2016   2017
Increase   42%   44%   50%
Stay the same   52%   54%   32%
Decrease   6%   2%   18%
Q: How do you expect spending to change in the following areas?  

Percent of IT leaders expecting

Area   2015   2016   2017
Staff augmentation   41%   44%   53%
Managed, project-based or statement-of-work services   42%   39%   58%
  • TEKsystems' Take: There has been an increase in expected hiring of full-time (+19 percent) and contingent staff (+6 percent). And while it appears investment in contingent staff is decreasing, survey data indicates organizations are most likely changing their delivery model to incorporate new ways of leveraging their staffing and services partners. This is reflected in the marked increase in managed, project-based or statement-of-work (SOW) services (+19 percent) and in staff augmentation (+9 percent). As a result, the data reveals that while healthcare organizations are moving to have greater oversight of larger initiatives, they still need to lean on partners who can provide personnel with the expertise to plan, build and run these projects.

"What we're seeing here is the continued evolution of and investment in technology for key initiatives in quality care and patient engagement-with a focus on big data, business intelligence and security," said John Kurcis, regional director for TEKsystems Healthcare Services. "While the healthcare industry, and the Affordable Care Act specifically, may undergo changes, the long-term shift towards quality care and outcomes is inevitable and therefore will continue to drive investment priorities."

TEKsystems will be exhibiting at booth No. 2979 at HIMSS17, Feb. 20-22, at the Orange (News - Alert) County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

TEKsystems' John Kurcis is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals-while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.

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