Triumph of the super nerds

IT-phobic bosses are in danger of being superseded by their more computer-friendly staff, as technological advancements in the...

IT-phobic bosses are in danger of being superseded by their more computer-friendly staff, as technological advancements in the workplace turn "yesterday's IT geeks" into "today's business leaders", claims a report by recruitment consultancy, Hays IT.

The survey, which was carried out to determine the attitude of UK companies to the "technology take-over", reveals that five out of ten bosses feel threatened by the growing power of IT

directors.

This is linked to the fact that senior executives are perceived to be "out of touch" with, or even "afraid" of, technology by at least half of all staff questioned, while a further 31 per cent claim their bosses are unable to work a computer or communicate via e-mail.

As a result, 65 per cent of managers believe computer illiterate bosses are at risk of "losing out" to their more IT savvy junior colleagues, particularly as 77 per cent of staff rate middle management executives as possessing the best IT skills.

From a commercial point of view, technology is recognised by UK companies as a "strategic weapon to business success", says the report, with nine out of 10 people believing that an organisation that fails to invest in IT will be left behind.

Yet despite some 60 per cent of companies surveyed expecting to do business on-line within the next ten years, less than a quarter currently invests more than 15 per cent of their profits into IT.

Just one third have already started e-trading, according to the findings.

Nick Cox, managing director of Hays IT, says the results prove that UK companies recognise that e-commerce is the future of retailing, and that the digital office is "well and truly upon us." He argues however that many businesses still need to invest more in the future, in terms of technology, training and personnel. "The challenge for British employers is to grasp crucial new technological opportunities and to embrace IT, rather than be afraid of it," Cox adds.

This was last published in August 2000

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