Is technical expertise undervalued by UK businesses?


Is technical expertise undervalued by UK businesses?

Computer Weekly Staff

67% Yes

33% No

The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.

While business alignment and communication skills are important ingredients in any IT department, IT professionals fear that this emphasis is undermining the importance of technical expertise.

Two-thirds of IT professionals answering this week's Big Question said such expertise was undervalued by UK business.

"In today's workplace, more IT roles do involve an element of customer and client-facing skills, which include the understanding of business needs and being able to communicate these to stakeholders. However, there is still a huge demand for purely technical individuals that are key to the IT industry," said one IT consultant.

"These characters are the unsung heroes of IT that no one knows exist, but without them there would be no technological advancement in business today," the consultant added.

Phil Carr of Computappoint said that there was still a place for the pure technologist, but business skills were increasingly necessary. "If two candidates have similar technical skills, you cannot escape the fact that it is always going to be the candidate with better people skills who gets the job."

Dereck Wilson, who works for hotel group LHS International, said technical expertise had not been undervalued, but said it inevitably helped to have communication or organisation skills.

Read article: Benefits of an IT skills framework

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