Companies are struggling to find IT staff and Brexit is making things harder

23 Aug 2018

Colina Moran, head of project management at Auxilion. Image: Susan Jefferies

According to an Auxilion survey, companies are finding IT staff sourcing and retention pretty tough.

Brexit is having a massive impact on the ability of Irish companies to find and keep the right technology staff, according to a survey from Irish-owned services firm Auxilion.

Heads of IT departments around the country took part and the results show that 75pc of departments are finding the process difficult.

Brexit concerns having an effect

The survey found that 25pc were finding it very difficult to source and retain staff, while 50pc described the landscape as “quite difficult”.

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

More than a third (35pc) of respondents believe that Brexit will boost demand for IT services, but 38pc of participants were less certain that the political upheaval would have an effect on demand.

Moran said: “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.”

Prioritising cybersecurity

Companies are prioritising cybersecurity, with 88pc of people saying their firms would be investing in the area. 84pc of respondents will be investing in privacy and data protection tools and strategies.

As well as cyber safety measures, a significant number of companies (39pc) are looking to invest more in automation and robotics. The internet of things (IoT) is also firmly on the agenda, with 40pc of the respondents earmarking some of their budget for 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,” added Moran.

Over budget and over deadline

Unfortunately, the survey found that 44pc of IT projects are not being delivered on deadline and 32pc are going over budget. Moran suggests that this could be down to a shortage of project managers, adding that accountability could be another factor. 44pc of respondents said they only sometimes or rarely have up-to-date visibility and status information on IT projects.

GDPR compliance is looking positive though, with 79pc of companies saying they are ready to face the challenges the regulation may bring.

The survey represented IT departments employing approximately 12,000 IT staff. 102 senior IT managers responded to the survey during June and July 2018.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects