Three-quar­ters of firms strug­gling to hire IT staff

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Technology - ADRIAN WECK­LER

THREE-QUAR­TERS of Ir­ish or­gan­i­sa­tions now find it dif­fi­cult to source IT staff, a new study has found.

The sur­vey – con­ducted among 102 IT man­agers rep­re­sent­ing IT de­part­ments with 12,000 staff by the Dublin-based ser­vices com­pany Aux­il­ion – found that a quar­ter of Ir­ish firms now de­scribe as “very dif­fi­cult” at­tempts to find and re­tain IT staff. Half say that it is “quite dif­fi­cult”.

Only 20pc say that they do not en­counter prob­lems sourc­ing the right IT peo­ple.

The sur­vey found sim­i­lar re­sults re­lat­ing to project man­age­ment staff with 25pc re­port­ing it “very dif­fi­cult” to find project man­agers and 46pc de­scrib­ing it as “dif­fi­cult”.

“The short­age is ex­ac­er­bated by con­cerns over Brexit with more than a third of IT de­part­ments ex­pect­ing this to in­crease de­mand for both IT and project re­sources over the next 18 months,” said Colina Mo­ran, head of project man­age­ment for Aux­il­ion, which is owned by the IT Al­liance Group.

“In ad­di­tion, IT staff pres­sures are hap­pen­ing at a time when many or­gan­i­sa­tions are plan­ning to in­crease their in­vest­ment in IT over the next 18 months, par­tic­u­larly across IT projects such as cy­ber­se­cu­rity, pri­vacy and data pro­tec­tion.”

Just over a third (35pc) be­lieve that Brexit will in­crease de­mand for IT ser­vices.

How­ever, the sur­vey sug­gests some un­cer­tainty – with 38pc of IT man­agers re­port­ing that “they don’t know” what will hap­pen.

Just over a quar­ter (26pc) be­lieve that Brexit will have no ef­fect.

The re­port by Aux­il­ion found that cy­ber­se­cu­rity is a ma­jor pri­or­ity with 88pc ex­pect­ing to in­vest in this area, while 84pc are look­ing to in­crease spend in pri­vacy and data pro­tec­tion.

A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber (39pc) in­tend to in­vest more in au­to­ma­tion and robotics while the In­ter­net of Things (IoT) is now also firmly on the agenda, with 40pc plan­ning to in­crease spend in this area.

“While there has been a lot of talk about IoT and robotics, it is in­ter­est­ing to find that so many Ir­ish or­gan­i­sa­tions are ac­tively look­ing to in­vest in th­ese ar­eas,” said Mo­ran.

The sur­vey found that 44pc of IT projects are not be­ing de­liv­ered on time and that 32pc end up “go­ing over bud­get”.

“This may be due to a short- age of project man­agers,” said Mo­ran. “Our sur­vey sug­gests that 71pc of or­gan­i­sa­tions are find­ing it very or quite dif­fi­cult to source and re­tain the right project man­agers.

“An­other fac­tor may be ac­count­abil­ity, with 44pc of re­spon­dents re­port­ing that they rarely have up-to-date vis­i­bil­ity and sta­tus of IT projects through their life cy­cle.”

How­ever, GDPR com­pli­ance is high, with four out of five (79pc) say­ing that they are well pre­pared for it, while 18pc say that they are not ready or don’t know.

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