It’s no secret that IT contracting took a mauling in the financial sector during 2011 (permanent IT posts have also suffered) but, thankfully, the IT skills market is bigger than banking alone; jobbing PAYE umbrella techies will have plenty of opportunities in 2012 to move on to pastures new; perhaps especially in the burgeoning field of mobile platforms for e-commerce.
The Centre for Retail Research predicts that at least a quarter of all online purchases will be made using mobile devices by 2015. An indicator of the rise of mobile commerce was evidenced by the eBay subsidiary PayPal on ‘Cyber Monday’ in the US last year: three times as many people used their mobiles on this day in November 2011 as they did the previous year. One customer even used a mobile to purchase a Ferrari from an internet auction site for a cool £70,000.
‘Mobile wallets’ are gathering pace with more and more people treating them as a trusted method of payment. Mobile phones are also being used for payments and may ultimately overtake credit cards, and increasing numbers of people are using them to scan barcodes in order to make price comparisons before purchase. After its grand opening in the US last summer, Google Wallet will be launched in the UK in 2012, making it the first European country to use the technology.
IT contractors who can turn their hand to mobile-based e-commerce, it seems, are likely to be in for a very busy year in 2012: with trends like this taking off, you can bet that more companies in the UK will be scrambling to climb aboard the m-commerce bandwagon.