And what you can do to manage this…
It has been well documented that there is a tech talent shortage which has been building in recent years, not just in the UK but globally. Right now, the requirement for tech talent is higher than ever due to pent-up demand as we exit from the pandemic and as late adopters of digital technologies look to catch up. But it’s not just about hiring talent, it’s also about building the right culture to develop highly effective teams. Organisations also need to consider making deliberate investments in attracting people from much wider pools of talent.
The tech talent gap
A recent KPMG CIO survey found that over half (54%) of organisations believe a tech skills shortage is holding them back and three-quarters of respondents reported additional technology expenditure due to the pandemic. The top five most in-demand skills were reported as:
Cyber security – 35%
Change management – 26%
Enterprise architecture – 22%
Technical architecture – 22%
Advanced analytics – 22%
As a result, it’s one of the few industries which increased their headcount during the pandemic while many others significantly reduced their hiring. By 2030, there could be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech workers, representing $8.5 trillion in lost annual revenue, according to management consulting firm Korn Ferry.
One of the reasons for the latest surge in demand is that late adopters of digital technologies have realised they can’t afford to delay any longer and are now investing heavily to catch-up, in response to the pandemic. But businesses are struggling to find people with the right tech skills to deliver their digital programmes.
So, what can organisations do to mitigate this clear risk to their business? First and foremost, ensure that you develop a working culture that gets the most out of your tech teams. Establishing a culture for highly effective tech teams isn’t easy and it’s even harder for businesses where digital isn’t its core business. It requires strong inspiring team leadership, open communication, clear prioritisation and a joint collective vision as a starter for ten. It’s also about building an environment designed to retain your team as much as possible. To do this you must challenge them, let them be creative and work on projects they have an interest in. We highly recommend reading “Galvanising the Geeks” by Zoe Cunningham for actionable tips and insights on how to get the most out of your tech talent.
Clearly, the tech talent shortage is an issue which is going to impact the majority of businesses in this increasingly digital age. Tech Talent Charter’s ‘Diversity in Tech Report 2020’ highlights that the increasing prevalence of training and retraining programmes may provide a way to overcome such obstacles and support people entering the tech sector. It’s now up to the tech sector to ensure that training, skills and support programmes are in place to attract and retain diverse talent.
At TechSwitch, we’ve seen increased demand for our TechSwitch programme which looks to retrain people from all walks of life to become software developers, regardless of their background.