POINT OF VIEW
We help organisations navigate the UK IT skills shortage, by offering your business access to highly skilled IT talent to meet your ever-changing business needs.
The UK is facing a serious shortage of IT professionals. According to recent research conducted by Harvey Nash, nearly 70% of UK companies have reported problems with finding skilled IT professionals to fill available vacancies. New technology continues to develop at an incredible rate, and the number of skilled IT workers is simply not keeping pace. The result? Small, medium and large businesses are all feeling the hiring and retention pinch.
The most successful companies are those that can find and retain access to these IT skillsets and focus on new opportunities and innovation. This means finding ways to work smarter.
Many companies are turning to outsourced IT providers, like Responsiv, to meet their IT needs. Outsourcing allows companies to hire highly trained professionals in particular skillsets who can help them keep up with the latest technology trends, while also saving money by reducing their overall staffing costs.
In this post, we will explore what is causing the current IT shortages, how organizations in the UK stay competitive in a world of IT skill shortages and the many benefits of outsourcing to meet the needs and opportunities of the present hour.
What is causing the UK’s IT shortages?
The problem is not an easy one to explain—let alone tackle! There are several complicated factors that have contributed to the shortages, including:
Workforce lacks essential digital skills
As technology becomes more and more a part of daily life and work, it is more important than ever that everyone has the basic skills necessary to interact in a digital world. According to FutureDotNow, 11.8 million working-age people in the UK lack the Essential Digital Skills (EDS) for life and work. This represents a staggering 36% of the UK’s available workforce. These numbers make it clear that despite technology reaching into every area of life and work, not everyone is picking up on the digital basics. And when you consider more advanced IT skillsets that are in demand, the pool shrinks even more dramatically.
New talent has been steadily declining
The pool of talent that businesses are drawing from is small, and it is beginning to run dry. This problem is further compounded when you consider the streams of new talent feeding into this pool. For example, the number of GCSE entries in computing or information and communication technology has declined every year since 2015. In fact, the number of GCSE entries in ICT declined from 147,000 in 2015 to 88,000 in 2020. This means that there are fewer and fewer qualified people entering the workforce to fill jobs in this field. All the while vacancies continue to come available at a record pace.
This is resulting in a spike in IT salaries to lure new talent, which results in constant poaching of talent from one organisation to another. All of this is costly, creates instability, and can even jeopardize your ability to deliver on your business promises, meet important deadlines, and keep your services up and running.
Businesses don’t leverage existing talent to grow their business
Another problem in the mix relates to how businesses are leveraging their existing teams. As more people use a product or service, a business must maintain talent to focus on the day-to-day operation and management of the current solutions. Businesses simply cannot pull resources off of their current projects and tasks to focus on innovation and new growth.
This means that existing talent is often too busy working on present problems and opportunities to focus on developing their skills and implementing future technologies. It also results in a lack of internal mentorship that can hinder your team’s personal and professional growth. The results of this may be devastating for some businesses in the future as their technologies and teams fall out of pace with the current technology trends and the demands of the market.
How do businesses compete amid IT shortages?
To remain agile and competitive, it’s vital that businesses have access to skilled workers who can meet their needs for flexibility and innovation. With so many businesses already struggling to find staff who have the right skills, many companies are turning to outsource as a solution—and for good reason: outsourcing allows them to focus on their core business while still ensuring they have access to the people they need when they need them.
Outsourced IT services allow companies of all sizes to access modern skillsets, insights, and expertise without having to commit to developing these skills in-house.
There are also a variety of approaches that businesses can take in how they leverage these resources. You can either outsource the management and support of some or all of your current IT operations to free up your internal teams to innovate, or you can keep your teams focused on these tasks while tapping into an outsourced talent to fuel future innovation. Some businesses choose to do a mix of both.
The Benefits of Outsourcing IT Skills
The benefits of outsourcing IT skills are numerous and include the following:
Access to a wider range of skills
There are many different roles in Information Technology, including front-end developers, back-end developers, network engineers, dev ops, and solution architects to name a few. With outsourced IT services, you get access to a wide range of skills, which can problem solve more efficiently.
Tap into deep expertise and mentorship
You also get access to technical resources and consultants who have expertise in new technologies, best practices, and insight into where the market is heading. If there is a new technology that is going to be important for your business in the future, it may not be something that most of your employees are familiar with yet. By hiring an outside firm, you gain a fresh perspective on your current business and access to what your future may look like. It also benefits your internal teams, as outsourced experts can inspire and mentor them in what is possible with new technologies and skillsets.
Reduce onboarding and ramp up time
It can take time, energy, and resources to find and ramp up internal resources to deal with issues like network security and data backup solutions. Outsourced resources give you immediate access to these developed skillsets without having to ramp up.
Achieve faster resolution on tasks and projects
In addition, you get quicker resolution on your tasks and projects. Highly skilled developers and technical resources can often deliver work much faster and at a higher quality than lesser-skilled resources. This speed of resolution often outweighs the consultancy costs incurred by outsourcing, and it makes other downstream activities, like Quality Assurance and deployments, go much smoother. All of this translates into cost savings in the long run.
How Responsiv is helping UK businesses find IT talent
Our team of IT experts can help your business achieve business efficiency and productivity by tapping into the technical expertise you need to grow and maintain competitive advantage. We can widen your perspective on new technologies and trends, and we can help you solve some of the most pressing IT challenges facing your business today, whether this is cloud computing, integration connectivity, data synchronisation or automation.
Our extensive experience goes back over 30 years and includes working with multi-vendor technology (Opensource, Microsoft, IBM, HP) to connect the enterprise, and with SCADA and IoT as well as manufacturing protocols to integrate devices and machinery.
Want to learn more? Let’s talk! Click here to find out how our IT professionals can help your business evolve, even amidst the UK’s current IT skills shortages.