Here in North America, small and medium size companies also value the IT Generalist. They do not have a lot of staff and an IT resource able to multi-task between different technologies is very attractive and makes a lot of sense.
On the other hand, corporations do not seem to think the same. They do have a big workforce and know that an IT resource may only stay around for 2 years. Consequently, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are the ones that can start working on a specific problem right away with little or no training and therefore provide greater ROI in the short and maybe long term.
So, what is better: IT Generalist or SME? The perfect answer is "it depends"; but if I had to choose today, I would say SME.
Posted by Gabriel Maciel