By Jason Theodorou

Only 3% of UK businesses plan to replace IT staff to fill the
skills gap left by the recession, according to a recent survey of UK IT
managers commissioned by Esteem Systems.

As the UK starts to see signs of recovery, 64 per cent of businesses and
organisations admitted they will be investing in IT to help drive business
forward. Just six per cent said they would take a ‘wait and see’
approach to the recovery.

The research also revealed that due to the demand for more flexible
solutions to solve the skills shortage resulting from the recession, IT
managed services are becoming a growth area.

Alastair Kitching, Chief Operating Officer at Esteem Systems, said: “Our
survey showed that businesses are understandably being cautious with regards to investing in recruitment, despite the fact that we’re coming out of

"However, 95 per cent of the businesses we questioned believe
it’s vitally important to continue to invest in IT solutions, with 61 per
cent identifying managed services as a preferred approach".

“Businesses are clearly putting IT at the heart of their plan for
recovery, and managed systems are increasingly being seen as the best
vehicle to deliver that recovery in IT".

Mr. Kitching argued that this was because the current climate remains too unstable to commit to recruiting more staff, and there is also a real need to relieve the pressure on overstretched IT departments.

DC Thomson, the Scottish-based publisher, prefers to use managed services
for non-core business applications and systems enabling it to focus IT
resources on delivering value-added services to the company.

A spokesman said: “We outsourced those areas for which we had no real
depth of experience, as we wanted to concentrate on core competencies.”

Mr. Kitching said: “ It may be that businesses still fear a double dip recession could be around the corner and feel that a managed service is a more flexible solution at this time.”

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