UK firms feel they are paying through the nose for IT contractors and it is hindering their own staff development, according to research released by integrator Morse.
Morse commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 200 IT directors in the UK about how they view IT contractors, and 71 per cent of respondents revealed they had traditionally used contractors to deal with skills shortages.
A total of 46 per cent of firms surveyed said they would prefer additional in-house resource but could not afford to do so because they had financial commitments to contractors. In addition 52.5 per cent believed they were paying too much for contractors to access the specific skills and experience they required.
Mike Devlin, director at Morse, said: “Employing contractors can enable organisations to fill skills gaps quickly, but on the other hand it can make the IT department less flexible and unable to respond to the changing needs of the business.
“There are still traditional skills shortages when looking for people to implement new systems or replace people with legacy skills. However there is also now a demand for greater multi-discipline expertise and a need for staff to understand the wider business impact of IT. Organisations now have to pay a premium for their skills and experience.
“Unfortunately this expense comes at a time when many businesses need to make the most of every penny.”
However a large number of respondents – 71 per cent – reported that they found it difficult to hire people with the right skills and experience. IT departments are also finding it difficult to transform the skills sets of their staff, as they don’t have the time or capacity to provide them with training, with 72 per cent of respondents believing a skills shortage was holding back their IT department and preventing it from taking on projects which would improve the company’s bottom line.
Devlin added: “The research has shown the difficulties many UK organisations have balancing their IT and business needs. Matching skills availability against cost is a significant challenge, so flexible resourcing can be an attractive proposition for many businesses as they can turn on and off resources when required rather than committing to a costly contractor for a set amount of time.
“There is now a strong argument suggesting that organisations should have an annually assigned flexible resourcing budget, so that they can still retain control of their IT, but also can reap the benefits of a dedicated and cost-effective skills resource,” he said.
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