Web 2.0 Overtakes IT Skills!

Thursday, April 09, 2009: IT recruitment within large organisations, clearly shows a lack of core IT skills which could prove disastrous for the companies concerned, reveals Micro Focus. Although organisations believe core systems are the most valuable to business operations during a recession, the majority continue to focus instead on the recruitment of IT skills for newer Web 2.0 technologies.

According to the report, such recruitment policies not only waste valuable resources, but also fail to safeguard the future of one of the most valuable assets an organisation has at its disposal: its core IT.

In September 2008, Micro Focus polled 450 respondents across France, Germany, Italy, UK and US – 33 per cent CFOs, 33 per cent CIOs, and 33 per cent HR directors – to discover what their organisations were doing to maintain and develop their IT systems. All companies had annual revenues of at least $100 million, with 61 per cent reporting a turnover of over $1 billion. The results should serve as a wake-up call to business and government alike that, even in tougher times, they must remain focused on recruiting professionals with the right skills to develop core IT assets in the future.

Nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of CFOs, CIOs and HR directors from organisations across the globe stated that core systems and databases are business-critical, compared with only just over a third (38 per cent) who felt the same about systems using new technologies.

Despite newer Web 2.0 social technologies being the least business-critical, it is in this area that organisations are spending the bulk of their recruitment budgets. The report reveals that both the IT and HR department confirm that it is skills in these technologies that their organisations are looking for most when recruiting. So they are not recruiting people with skills in the area which they believe delivers the most value.

Less than one in seven (13 per cent) CFOs are very confident that the knowledge and skills exist within their organisations to maintain core IT assets into the future. In Germany, there is very little confidence among CFOs that resource is being allocated to recruitment for maintaining and developing core IT assets – only 17 per cent are confident or very confident.

In the ‘Safeguarding the Corporate IT Assets’ report, Soumitra Dutta of INSEAD states, “This research report points to the fact that, despite business leaders stating that skills to modernise core IT assets are the most valuable in a recession, global organisations are failing to plan for the essential skills required to manage and maintain these systems, which have withstood the test of time and still deliver value to the business each day.”

“While this report shows that some countries are more aware of the need to recruit core IT skills than others, overall, everyone is failing to recruit the skills needed to maintain the very heart of their business operations,” states Stephen Kelly, chief executive officer, Micro Focus. “Core systems will provide the most value to businesses during this recession, so it is essential for decision-makers not to be distracted by newer, less critical technologies. Web 2.0 solutions have huge potential to transform the way businesses operate, but these ‘shiny new toys’ should not be pursued at the expense of protecting and developing the IT assets at the heart of the business.”


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