Skills shortage crippling IT uptake

Almost 90 per cent of Australia's banking and finance industry is suffering directly from the worldwide IT skills shortage, according to an IDC report.

In a statement issued today, the research firm said 87 per cent of Australian banking and financial services companies complained that implementation of new technologies was hindered as a direct result of the IT skills shortage.

The statement said that 75 per cent of Australian companies overall claimed to be adversely affected by the drought.

The figures were based on a survey of 400 Australian organisations, IDC qualified.

The IDC report said that recruitment in IT and IS (information systems) departments planned over the next year was conservative as a result of the skills shortage. Companies expected to expand their IT departments by only 6 per cent over the next year, the report said.

IDC believes the factors preventing companies from maintaining their "desired" pool of IT labour resources are the rapid rate of change within businesses, the low level of available skilled employees, and the rapidly evolving relevance of technologies.

Businesses most affected by these factors are larger enterprises, IDC said.

The researcher advises businesses affected by the skills shortage to place a greater emphasis on internal staff IT training. Currently, companies spend an average of just 4 per cent of IT staff costs on training, IDC said.

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