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IT skills shortage makes innovation a challenge for financial services firms

Bill Goodwin

Financial services companies are facing shortages of IT professionals with the skills to innovate, research claims.

A survey of 50 CIOs in financial services found that almost 60% had lost key IT innovators over the past three years, leaving a gap in the IT department.

The research, carried out by management consultant Xantus, found that CIOs are struggling to recruit the skills they need.



The number of IT strategists and architects with the skills to implement innovative IT solutions has fallen over the past three to four years, says David Upton, associate director of Xantus.

This is partly because of the growth in outsourcing, and partly because skilled IT professionals left financial services when the industry went through financial difficulties two years ago.

"A lack of IT innovators will make balancing business-as-usual, regulatory and new initiatives even more of a challenge," he said.

"Without these people, organisations are likely to make more tactical investments - they will tend to do what is necessary, rather than looking at how they can anticipate change," Upton added.

A third of the CIOs said they expected to use external resources to fill the gap.

A further 38% said they would use a combination of internal and third-party expertise to drive innovation.



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