Skilled IT professionals in demand

IT departments face shortage of skilled professionals

Eighty-four per cent of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in a recent hiring survey say they are finding it increasingly challenging to find skilled IT professionals.

According to 46 per cent of CIOs surveyed in the latest Robert Half Professional Hiring Index, IT professionals with technical skills in database management are in most demand, closely followed by network administration/engineering (41 per cent), Windows administration (36 per cent), desktop support (33 per cent), and business intelligence/reporting services (28 per cent).

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.

“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 time frame, 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.” 

When asked about the main initiatives planned for the next 12 months, 38 per cent of CIOs said that mobile solutions were top of their agenda.  Virtualization and information risk and security shared the second spot, followed by application development and customer and partner collaboration.

CIOs plan to upgrade and introduce new technology in 2012, with over half confirming they planned to invest this year.

“During a period of rapid and often unanticipated change, businesses need to adapt to stay ahead of the curve. Mobile solutions have been a top priority for CIOs, particularly as companies look to provide remote working access for their employees. As new platforms such as cloud computing, tablet computers and smartphones continue to gain momentum, IT professionals skilled in these areas will be in high demand,” Hedges said.

The Index was based on the responses of 600 executives in the UK, including 100 CIOs.

Executives facing above-average IT recruitment challenges include those from publicly listed organisations (93 per cent), large companies (92 per cent) and London and Southern England-based enterprises (88 per cent).

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