IT leaders nervous about 2009

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IT leaders nervous about 2009

The IT industry has reached a new confidence low as business leaders in the sector worry about rising costs and low levels of credit, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Some 56 per cent of those surveyed said that rising energy costs will have a negative effect on their business in 2009, while 42 per cent said the availability of credit will create problems.

Staff-related issues were also cited, with managers expressing concerns over employment disputes following redundancies (27 per cent) and the impact of labour shortages (36 per cent).

The possibility that efforts to kick-start the economy may stall were mentioned by 81 per cent of the respondents, which suggests that consumer spending will plummet despite the recent drop in interest rates, according to the CMI.

Despite the gloomy predictions, some 17 per cent of professionals in the sector are intending to change jobs in 2009, with 30 per cent claiming they plan to take up extra qualifications in the coming year and 22 per cent intending to "build transferable skills".

But three out of 10 employers in the IT sector suggested that gaps at the higher end of the skills spectrum will have a negative impact on their performance in 2009, worsened by predictions of a decrease in training and development (69 per cent).

“No one should be surprised at this level of uncertainty. However, the drop in the number of organisations developing their senior teams is disappointing, particularly given fears over staff available with the ability to lead their way out of the downturn,” said Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at CMI.

“Now, more than ever, is the time to invest wisely because if organisations think that developing competence is expensive, they should also consider the cost of failure and mistakes.”

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