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IT skills shortage “holding back” UK businesses

August 3, 2016

uk-mapMPS provider Annodata stated that cloud and managed services are “critical for easing” the “ongoing” shortages.

The company said that businesses will “need to accelerate their moves” to the two technological areas “if they are to weather the ongoing IT skills crisis and remain competitive” in Britain, especially once it has left the European Union. It cited research from a survey finding that “the proportion of IT leaders reporting a technology skills shortage has risen to the highest level since the last recession in 2008”.

Almost two-thirds, or 65 percent, of CIO (Chief Information Officers) surveyed said that the skills shortage in technology “was preventing them from keeping up with the pace of change”, an increase on a previous survey’s 59 percent last year. In turn, many within the industry believe “the skills shortage may yet get worse”, as UK firms “will find it more difficult to attract talent” after Brexit.

Rod Tonna-Barthet, CEO of Annodata, commented: “It is difficult to know precisely what impact Brexit will have on the UK’s technology talent market, though there’s a good chance the skills shortage will get worse before it gets better. Businesses will need to look at their hiring practices to make sure that they are as insulated as possible and prevent this uncertainty from holding them back.

“That means focusing their internal resources where they can add the most value. This has arguably always been the case, but ongoing changes in the market have thrown this into even sharper relief. Issues affecting talent need to remain at the forefront of CIOs’ minds to ensure that they are best prepared for the challenges ahead.

“Cloud in itself isn’t going to solve the skills shortage but it can free up time, energy and resources to focus on what really matters – running the business. CIOs should be focusing their efforts on skilled members of staff who can support their core business objectives, and outsourcing more mundane operational tasks, like infrastructure management, to trusted third parties. There is a fine line to be struck between acquiring in-house expertise and partnering for IT needs and specific expertise.

“The balancing act is the trade-off between long-term provision and short-term demand. It is clear that there are great gains to be had for businesses establishing partnerships with multi-skilled IT providers, whose services can flex and evolve in line with the changing needs of the organisation. The correct balance will allow businesses to react to the changing pace and business requirements of today’s market.”

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