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May 21, 2014

Skill shortage adds to worries despite increase IT spending

60% of the technology leaders surveyed said they were struggling to find talent.

By CBR Staff Writer

Technology is suffering a skills shortage despite spending of more than $160bn, the highest since 2006, according to the Harvey Nash CIO survey.

Just under half of the technology decision-makers said that they had witnessed growth in IT budgets, up several points from the previous year.

Jonathan Mitchell, global CIO practice chairman of Harvey Nash, said: "CIOs and Technology leaders are seeing growing budgets and growing prominence in their organisation as CEOs are turning to technology to drive growth."

He added that after six years of sluggish activity, the report clearly shows that 2014 is a watershed year.

Among those surveyed about two-thirds of CEOs said that they want to prioritise projects that can generate revenue, including digital marketing, customer oriented systems and innovation led projects, instead of focusing on projects targeted at cost cutting or streamlining operations.

CEOs this year are stressing the use technology to improve the effectiveness of their operations, shifting their focus from the cost saving strategies used during the financial crisis. About 16% of the CIOs surveyed now have technology budgets of $100m or more.

The survey found that the CIOs are now less likely to shape the digital strategy of the organisations, with half playing an active role in 2014, slightly less than last year.

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Despite an increase in IT budget and shifting priorities, more than half of the technology leaders surveyed said that they are facing a skill shortage which is leaving them at disadvantage against their competitors.

"This year has seen a worrying increase in the number of leaders citing concerns about skills shortages. To be successful, organisations will not only need a clear technology strategy, but they will also need the right people to deliver it," Mitchell said.

The survey interviewed more than 3,200 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and technology leaders from across more than 30 countries between January and April of this year.

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