Government must invest in IT innovation to remain competitive

The government needs to invest more in encouraging innovation in information technology if the UK is to remain competitive, claim...

The government needs to invest more in encouraging innovation in information technology if the UK is to remain competitive, claim IT directors and managers.

Nearly 70% of IT directors and managers questioned by the British Computer Society said that the government was either investing too little or too inefficiently in IT innovation.

The survey of 300 senior IT staff highlighted the need for strong skill sets, good technology and strong investment as the most important factors in securing the competitiveness of the UK.

David Clarke, chief executive of the BCS said the findings showed that it was important to recognise UK companies who "are setting standards in developing leading edge technology or encouraging the development of well honed technical and business skills".

Around 75% of IT directors and managers said that better security, and in the case of suppliers, incorporating security solutions in their products would be crucial to the competitiveness of businesses.

Over half identified investment in mobile computers, personal digital assistants and remote working as critical to the UK economy.

In a further confirmation that spending in IT is on an upturn, nearly half the managers questions said they expected their IT budgets to increase this year. A third felt it would stay the same and only one sixth thought it would decrease.

The majority of IT managers surveyed identified security as their priority technology investment over the next 12 months, followed by application software (20%) and mobile computing (11%).

Richard Lloyd, director of IT recruitment at recruitment firm Robert Walters, said that the survey highlighted the importance of investing in technology skills.

"Professional skills are the IT industry’s life-blood - it cannot exist without them and poor skills inhibit its performance,"

Sal Viveros, director for small and medium businesses at McAfee, said that in particularly businesses needed to educate staff about security. "Human vulnerability is still one of the major causes of network downtime," he said.

The BCS IT Professional Awards

The BCS IT Professional Awards celebrate excellence, professionalism and innovation among UK IT companies. The awards recognise the contribution of businesses and the individuals within them to Britain’s economic prosperity, business efficiency and public services.

The awards are comprised of four categories: Business Achievement, Technology, Individual Awards and Women in IT.

New this year, the Women in IT Award recognises UK companies that are promoting opportunities for women to take leadership roles within the IT industry.

The judging process is undertaken by panels of qualified, respected senior IT professionals. Winners will be announced at a black tie dinner to be held at London’s Hilton Park Lane at 6.30pm on Tuesday 19 October.

More information

Read more on IT legislation and regulation