US West Partners With Deloitte:
US West Communications, Englewood, Colo., formed an alliance with Deloitte Consulting, a part of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International, Wilton, Conn., to develop telecommuting solutions. Deloitte Consulting will provide professional services for US West's Telework and Mobility Solutions, which provides end-to-end telecommuting and virtual work solutions for business and government enterprises. US West began pursuing this market in November after research showed many large organizations fail at developing telecommuting programs because they don't take a long-term approach. Critical issues that must be addressed include change management, human resources, process changes, performance metrics and industry-specific requirements, the company said.
IT Worker Shortage Grows:
A study by the Information Technology Association of America and Virginia Tech shows that the shortage of IT workers in the United States continues to grow. The core IT work force - including programmers, systems analysts and computer engineers - is about 3.4 million. The study found that there are about 346,000 job openings for these types of positions.
Aggressive worker retraining and hiring practices appear to be making little headway on the shortage, according to the ITAA, an industry group based in Arlington, Va. "The pipeline for IT workers is running dangerously low," said ITAA President Harris Miller.
ITAA's first study of the IT worker shortage, released in February 1997 showed 190,000 IT vacancies. But the first study did not include small businesses (100 to 500 employees) or a focused definition of "core" IT workers. These factors influenced the increased number of vacancies, the association said.
Sun Launches Consulting Practice:
Sun Microsystems Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., began a new Security Consulting Practice to aid organizations in protecting and controlling access to information across networks. The new practice supports Sun's "secure business network" strategy by combining the company's network computing expertise, along with processes and technologies to help secure critical information on Internet, intranet, extranet and virtual private networks. The consulting service will be available globally through Sun Professional Services.
- Nick Wakeman