89% of leaders: ‘The IT skills shortage is affecting my organisation’

89 percent of leaders The IT skills shortage is affecting my organisation
Will Astbury
by Will Astbury 29 April 2019

A poll at the Crimson Innovation Conference 2019 has revealed that the skills shortage in the IT jobs market continues to hinder many organisations.

89% of respondents, which were predominantly technology leaders, CIOs, and other C-suite executives of major UK organisations, reported that the IT skills shortage was negatively impacting their companies.

These results broke down to 63% of respondents stating that the issue was “somewhat” hindering them because it was stopping them from delivering tech as well as they could. 26% said their organisations were being “greatly” affected and, as a result, they were losing market share or missing key opportunities.

This poll was posed to the audience during the IT Jobs Market Panel session at the Conference. The session was chaired by Rob Grimsey, Group Director of Marketing for Harvey Nash, and the panel members included; Louise Clarke – Head of Crimson’s IT recruitment agency business, Martin Sadler – IT Director at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, and Zoe Larter – IT Projects Director at housing association whg. They discussed the changing role of the CIO, the impact of shadow IT, and the skills shortage.

During the session, the poll asked the conference attendees ‘What portion of IT jobs do you feel could be automated?’. 57% of respondents felt that 30-50% of jobs could be automated, and 18% felt 20% could, which might alleviate some of the skills shortage issues within the UK market.

The audience was also asked whether they felt the role of the CIO would become “extinct” within the next five years. A third of respondents (33%) reported they felt it would. This result contrasted greatly to a similar survey conducted at the Crimson Innovation Conference in 2018. At this event the panel and the audience were then asked the question ‘Compared to five years ago, is the CIO more or less important to your organisation?’ 73% of the audience responded that CIOs had become more important and only 9% said their CIO’s role had stayed the same. Click here to find out more about what was discussed at the conference in 2018.

Rob presented similar findings from Harvey Nash’s CIO Survey, which found that 65% of IT leaders had reported a skills shortage. This was due to an increased investment in IT and a need for more IT staff across many organisations. The survey found that the education, government and not-for-profit sectors were feeling the shortage most.

He revealed that another Harvey Nash survey of technologists found that the key motivating factor of IT staff was ‘purpose’ (60%), followed by ‘financial reward’ (35%), and ‘status’ (5%). He suggested that it was a paradox that the education and not-for-profit sectors, which were aligned to a strong purpose, seem to have experienced the greatest challenges when trying to attract people. He felt that pay had traditionally been an issue within these industries.

Ultimately, it was felt that IT leaders had to sell the story and vision for their organisation’s technology landscape to attract and retain the best candidates, which is why Crimson has helped many of its clients to elevate their employer brands through tools like candidate attraction videos. Click here to view these on YouTube.

If you need help finding IT candidates, click here to tackle the Skills shortage in your organisation.

Crimson is an IT consultancy, an IT solutions provider, an IT recruitment agency, and a Microsoft Gold Partner operating across the UK.

Topics: IT Recruitment, Skills