UK tech spend to grow at its fastest rate in 15 years
Tech spend in the UK this year is set to grow at its third fastest rate in 15 years, according to a recent digital leadership survey.
Despite 90% of the UK tech leaders expecting an economic downturn, a digital leadership report published by tech and talent provider Nash Squared- has found that most understood investment in technology was crucial to maximise efficiency and become more agile in response to unpredictable conditions.
Over half (52%) of the tech leaders surveyed now expect their technology budgets to rise – with only 1 in 7 expecting the reverse to happen.
According to the global report – previously called the CIO Survey and based on the responses of over 1,800 leaders (including 700 in the UK), one of the prime motivators for spend in tech has been the increasing number of companies that have fallen victim to cybercrime.
Almost half of all UK respondents (44%) surveyed over the last two years claim to have been affected by cyber attacks.
And, while cloud is another key investment area – with 67% reporting large-scale usage in the UK, over 40% of businesses added that it had also created “security headaches” due to its complexities, especially for large, distributed organisations.
A shortage of cyber talent continues to be a significant issue for digital leaders, with only one third confident they have all risks covered should an attack occur. The report also found that almost 70% of UK tech leaders blamed skills shortages in general for preventing them from keeping up with the pace of change.
“Businesses run on people – but the UK’s technology sector simply can’t find enough of them,” noted Nash Squared CEO Bev White.
However, robots may go some way to “plug the gap” in the tech market, the report found, as digital leaders plan to automate 14% of their workforce over the next five years.
Besides the war on talent, the other main challenges for digital leaders over the next year include sustainability in tech – with surprisingly few companies (22%) electing to use tech to measure their carbon footprint.
The report questioned whether leaders were burying their heads in the sand when it came to green issues or whether it was something that most boards were simply not focussed on.
It also speculated whether the move to cloud meant that organisations viewed energy usage in running tech as somebody else’s (ie the cloud provider’s) problem.
Elsewhere, the report found that remote and hybrid working was beginning to have a positive impact on the number of women being recruited onto the UK’s tech sector. The report found that female leaders are up to 15% in the UK (from 12% in 2021).
It added that almost a quarter (23%) of the tech team is now female and 27% of new hires in the last two years have been women. While these were incremental increases, the report notes that “the pipeline is slowly but surely improving”.
TechInformed has also published an in-depth report looking into the impact of hybrid and remote work on women in the tech sector. We’ve also reported on the problem of perception of remote working leading to ‘productivity paranoia’ for business leaders.
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