Skill uncertainty a huge problem in the IT industry

Shortage of qualified IT experts is a burning problem for Europe, many experts have agreed, but some believe the core problem lies in the skills uncertainty.

According to research by Claranet, this can only be addressed by establishing trusted partnerships with third party suppliers.

The research, which surveyed 900 IT decision-makers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux, from a range of mid-market organisations, found that concerns about skills shortages across Europe are rife and are likely to worsen. Today, 21 per cent of European businesses cite skills shortages as one of their biggest IT challenges, and this is expected to increase to 25 per cent by 2020.

Commenting on the research, Andy Wilton, Claranet’s Group CIO, said: “It’s clear that the labour market is in flux and, in truth, it’s difficult to know with certainty what skills will be needed in five years’ time or where those skilled professionals will be – particularly as free movement in the European labour market continues to take hold and IT skills become more specialised.

“For a long time businesses, particularly those in the mid-market, have tried to be masters of everything, and manage everything internally. But that kind of approach doesn’t make sense any more – nor is it possible as certain skills shortages start to bite. The key for European businesses wishing to move away from deepening uncertainty over skills is to develop beneficial partnerships, which will help to insulate against any skills shortages and allow them to up-skill staff to directly add value to their businesses,” Andy continued.

“Through our work as an MSP in the UK and Europe, we’ve helped our clients manage their IT, allowing them to add better value to their businesses rather then struggle with technical issues. Strong use and implementation of MSPs is key to reducing the uncertainty around the skills crisis. Ultimately, this will increase the confidence of mid-sized businesses through shouldering their IT skills risk, allowing for better focus on business growth in the modern world,” he concluded.