IT staff say employers ‘fail to offer support’

EMC ITBusinesses are failing to prioritise technology and risk losing talented IT staff in the search for better prospects, according to a new study.

The failure to invest in IT means as many as 60% are looking for jobs elsewhere to pursue their career ambitions.

A prevailing culture that nothing is likely to change is seen as a major obstacle to progressing with their current employer.

The Great Skills Exodus report by EMC is based on research of 500 IT and cybersecurity workers in the UK and Ireland.

It reveals that 63% have looked for a job elsewhere, with over half (51%) highlighting restrictions on career progression as a key driver.

Across many industries a lack of career progression outweighed poor pay as the priority for considering alternative roles. This potential staff churn significantly threatens the growth of Scottish firms as they increasingly focus on technology to compete.

The study reveals the wide range of factors driving IT workers to actively look outside of their current employer for a new role. Company culture is highlighted as a barrier for many, with 11% saying their organisation was unwilling to change the way that ‘things have always been done’.

There was a view among 14% that a lack of understanding of IT’s role in achieving company goals was causing them to look for new roles, and a quarter (26%) said  there are few opportunities to demonstrate their ability.

The study also revealed that people managers in the industry are fully aware of the factors driving their team members to leave yet seem unable or unwilling to negotiate changes needed to address the growing problem.

Scottish businesses risk falling behind in the innovation race, resulting in loss of market share to more agile and disruptive firms, if they fail to provide fulfilling careers for their IT teams and incorporate them into the wider business team and strategy.

Martin Brown, Scottish country manager at EMC, said: “Organisations across Scotland of all sizes are focused on tackling the opportunities and threats in their markets, brought on by new technologies.

“The expectations of the information generation in our workforce that tools in the workplace reflect the ease of use, availability and innovation experienced in our personal lives create further challenges for businesses in delivering the right opportunities for employees.

“The good news is that, through working closely together, both the business and employee objectives can be achieved.”

Key findings: 

·         68% of Scottish IT workers state that the growth and success of their organisation is fundamentally reliant on themselves or their team

·         Nearly a fifth (18%) state that their organisation focuses to a great extent on innovation

·         Respondents in the professional services (84%) and manufacturing (83%) sectors are the most likely to consider new roles

·         IT roles in the manufacturing (47%) sector are more likely to lack career progression opportunities and it is driving people to leave – above pay. Interestingly, this sector also rated the highest in terms of growth and success being fundamentally reliant on technology

·         Almost a quarter (24%) of managers in the IT and telecoms sector say their employees will leave a company due to restrictions on implementing new technologies

About the research

Research was conducted by Opinion Research on behalf of EMC, amongst 500 IT and cybersecurity workers. The sample was drawn from organisations of over 250 employees in the UK and 109 ITDMs in any organisation size in Ireland (excluding sole traders), between 23 December to 7 January 2016. There were 56 respondents from Scotland.

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