'Big data', mobile solutions and new regulation creates shortage of IT professionals in the UK

31 January 2012

London, 31 January 2012 – A net four in five (84%) Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are finding it increasingly challenging to find skilled IT professionals, according to the latest Robert Half Professional Hiring IndexBased on responses from 600 executives across the UK, including 100 CIOs, the Index is the first bi-annual recruitment survey of its size and scope to focus exclusively on professional-level hiring in the UK. Executives facing above-average IT recruitment challenges include those from publicly listed organisations (93%), large companies (92%) and London and Southern England-based enterprises (88% respectively).

According to nearly half (46%) of CIOs surveyed, IT professionals with technical skills in ‘database management’ are in most demand. This was closely followed by network administration/engineering (41%), Windows administration (36%), desktop support (33%) and business intelligence/reporting services (28%).

Neil Hedges, Senior Manager, 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, four in 10 (38%) CIOs said that mobile solutions were top of their agenda.  Virtualization and information risk and security shared the second spot, each favoured by 35% of respondents, and application development and customer and partner collaboration followed, with 34% of 28% of the response, respectively. 

CIOs plan to upgrade and introduce new technology in 2012, with over half (53%) confirming that they planned to invest this year.

Neil Hedges continues,“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 prioritity 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.”