But 62 per cent of UK execs expect 2015 business conditions to improve, CompTIA report shows

Half of UK IT businesses say skills gap is negatively affecting staff productivity

The IT skills gap is still impacting businesses, according to a new report from IT trade association CompTIA.

When asked what the consequences of the skills gap are for their businesses, 44 per cent of UK respondents said staff productivity was negatively affected, and 30 per cent said that customer services suffered from insufficient skills.

A further 27 per cent said that it slowed speed to market, and 26 per cent reported a detriment to innovation and new product development.

However, the gap – between current IT workplace knowledge and the expertise actually required for new technologies and trends – is closing. 55 per cent said they are exactly or close to where they want to be, compared to 48 per cent of firms two years ago.

Also, despite the skills gap, 62 per cent of UK executives expect 2015 business conditions to be better than last year. More UK firms plan to hire staff this year.

CompTIA’s International Technology Adoption and Workforce Trends Study, which surveyed 1,507 IT executives across the world, found that more than three quarters of UK firms plan to increase IT spending this year by an average of 4.2 per cent.

Cybersecurity remains the top priority for UK businesses, with 63 per cent of executives believing that the threat is increasing. At the same time, 48 per cent of UK respondents believe that human error is the top reason for breaches, including increased use of social media by staff and gross negligence, which can lead to falling victim to spear phishing attacks and other social engineering techniques. 

Beyond IT security, key IT priorities include data storage and backup, updating aging hardware and software investing in collaboration tools and improving online presence.

Last month CompTIA’s new UK channel community director Estelle Johannes told PCR she wants to close the IT skills gap.

“Businesses of all types and sizes recongise that IT is a critically important factor to success. Despite this, the skills gap remains an ongoing challenge, and the results of our report demonstrate the need for more attention to this issue,” she commented, regarding the report.

“The impact of the skills gap threatens the livelihood of businesses across the country, from information security to customer service and more needs to be done to tackle this growing problem. But building and managing talent requires a concerted effort, resources and time. There is rarely a quick fix to addressing skills gaps.” 

You can see the report in full at https://www.comptia.org/resources/international-technology-adoption-workforce-trends

Image source: Shutterstock

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