The strong continued growth and success of the IT industry is something that has caught our eye here at PayStream. Therefore, in a bid to gain a deeper insight, we had a discussion with our IT Director Alex Victoratos in order to get his opinion on the hot topic.
It is becoming ever more apparent that there is a growing gap in skilled labour within the IT industry. The shortage of highly skilled labour within this sector has seen company rivalry in a bid to poach the most in-demand talent which has created a dramatic rise in pay rates. According to the Robert Half Salary Guide for 2014, IT salaries are predicted to increase by at least 4%, which is a significant difference compared to the national average of 2.5%
So, what has been the driver for the war on talent in the IT industry? Technology is becoming a key driver and priority for UK businesses, with companies increasing IT spend by 9% in 2013. Recent figures from Syscap indicated that the previous 12 months has seen IT investment amount to £1.5 billion, a vast difference to the £1.37 billion it invested during 2012.
With all this in mind, here at PayStream, we were keen to obtain an insight into what our IT Director Alex Victoratos has to say on the subject, and here are his thoughts;
- Have you noticed an increase in demand for skilled professionals in the IT industry?
"Yes very much so, especially when it comes to developers, I’ve found it really hard to source quality candidates. Demand is far outstripping supply and talented candidates with relatively little commercial experience can command excellent salaries. Of course it varies with specific skillsets but .NET and iOS / Android experience seem to come at a particular premium".
- So what skills do you forecast to be the greatest in-demand in the future?
"There are two that come to mind, the first being SQL / data warehousing / etc, so skilled individuals that can manage 'big data' type projects. Secondly, developers again, I can only see more demand. I think more businesses are coming to realise that their customers want bespoke services, not only with main online platforms but for phone apps. Thus, companies need to have internal systems with the flexibility to support them. Being able to code is so useful and I can only see it becoming more important, ubiquitous even".
- According to Robert Half 90% of executives are confident about their company’s growth. What do you think are the main drivers for growth in the IT industry?
"I think perhaps it's simply the UK economy and it feels like we're becoming more innovative and entrepreneurial".
- It has been mentioned that Cloud Computing is playing a major role in the growth of the IT industry. Do you believe this is true?
"I wouldn't necessarily say it is driving growth but it is definitely changing the way in which UK businesses source their IT provision. I'd be concerned however about relying entirely on an external source for your IT functionality and having no in-house team to fall back on - cloud providers have outages too, we've seen plenty of evidence of that this year even with the big players."
- Are we at PayStream, involved in Cloud Computing?
"Alongside our in-house IT team we do outsource via cloud computing for certain applications including Google Apps / Postini for continuity services and our hosted communication service".
- Do you believe there will be growth in the Financial Services IT sector?
"There is always the potential. As the business grows so will our sector. We already have a large in-house IT team to ensure our systems are innovative and ahead of the curve".
- Finally, do we have any exciting IT features due for release in the near future for PayStream?
"As always, we are constantly developing our services and systems so that they remain innovative. At the moment we are working on our web accounting platform, there’s some exciting stuff happening in this area".
It is clear that the IT industries staffing spree, which began in late 2009 when the UK began to emerge out of the recession, will continue to see a sustained growth. Our IT Director Alex Victoratos has supported the optimistic forecast for the expansion of the industry. He has pinpointed that strong developer skills along will big database management will be the most sought after skills. Therefore, limited company contractors and umbrella contractors can foresee a comfortable year ahead.