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CIOs warn of massive UK IT skills shortfall

Karl Flinders

Over 80% of CIOs say it is becoming increasingly difficult to find people with the right skills as over half of businesses plan to invest in the latest technologies this year, according to research.

The survey of 600 executives, from recruitment firm Robert Half, revealed most demand for skills related to big data initiatives as well as mobile technology.

IT professionals with technical skills in database management were in highest demand, according to 46% of CIOs.

Publicly listed businesses, large companies and those in London and the south-east of England are finding it the most difficult to get the right skills, said the survey.

Network administrators/engineers, Windows administrators, desktop support professionals and business intelligence experts are also in high demand.

Neil Hedges, senior manager at Robert Half Technology (UK), said IT departments across all sectors are facing a shortage of skilled professionals. 

“A shift in technological advancement means that businesses are unable to fill critical back-office roles that support organisational growth and flexibility. In particular, data management was highlighted as a top requirement by CIOs, as businesses prepare for changes in regulatory requirements such as Solvency II/Basel III, and the huge amount of unstructured data that is being hosted.”

Hedges said big data is becoming a significant issue for organisations. 

“Many are struggling to manage the vast amount of information passing through the business, and lack the tools required to analyse it in a reasonable timeframe, using conventional techniques. Unfortunately we are experiencing a situation where demand is outweighing supply in certain areas, and companies are struggling to attract the requisite talent to support this change.” 

Deloitte recently said in its report on technology trends for 2012 that as organisations from multiple sectors attempt to harness big data, there could be a shortage of people with the right skills to turn the concept into a valuable business tool.

A separate report commissioned by security firm McAfee and compiled by think-tank Security & Defence Agenda also highlighted the need to address the shortage of people working in cyber defence. A total of 56% of respondents said they foresee a skills shortage.


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