More than a third (38%) of IT decision-makers across the UK financial sector believe it has become more difficult over the past five years to find staff with the right skills and experience. Over a third (34%) believe the problem is going to worsen in the coming five years. This is according to a survey across a range of financial and banking sector organisations, including retail and investment banking, asset management, hedge funds and clearing houses.

The survey, commissioned by software vendor InterSystems found a shortage across a variety of roles. Almost a fifth (18%) of respondents cited a lack of data scientists followed by 17% who revealed a shortage in security consultant/specialists, while 16% referenced application developers and 12% mentioned financial analysts.

“IT skills shortages are clearly a major concern for banking and financial services firms across the UK and this is only likely to escalate in the future,” says Graeme Dillane, financial services manager, InterSystems. “Skills shortages are a barrier to innovation in the banking and financial services sector. And as firms upgrade their legacy systems and look to innovate to meet the latest wave of regulations, that represents an increasingly serious concern.”

When survey recipients were asked to name the key qualities that technology can bring to help mitigate the negative affect of skills shortages within businesses today, 44% of respondents said: ‘simplicity of use’, 42% cited ‘ease of implementation’ and 36% ‘high-performance’.   

The study also found that skills shortages are one of the biggest barriers preventing innovation as cited by 35% of the study, behind only cost (41%) while compliance was referenced by 31%.

“These findings match with our experience in talking to customers and prospects across the sector,” added Dillane. “IT employees with the skills that banks and financial services companies are looking for are in short supply. Knowledge transfer is therefore increasingly key alongside solutions which combine ease of development; simplicity of use; high-performance and intuitive workflow transfer.”

(Source: InterSystems)