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IT professionals know they need to adjust their thinking

UK’s medium sized businesses at risk from poor IT management

LONDON Medium sized businesses (MSBs) in the UK lack the IT management talent needed for growth according to a new survey from Star, a provider of on-demand computing and communication services to UK businesses.

IT management skills are expected to be increasingly important for IT professionals. 23 per cent of IT professionals said they consider strategy to be the most important skill and 19 per cent said analysis. Yet most IT professionals surveyed have no management qualifications and few are looking to improve their management skills.

Paul Watson, interim CEO of Star said, “IT professionals have an important role to play in enabling the innovation that has been identified as critical to the success of the UK’s medium sized businesses. Managed cloud services could provide the support needed to liberate more of their resources to focus on the key activities that differentiate them or make them unique against their competition. This focus helps ensure that the appropriate technologies are available to underpin the business transformation required to drive change and stimulate growth in line with their business objectives. Doing this helps to reduce the view that IT is just another cost centre to be managed that adds little value and instead turns it back into an ideas, knowledge and innovation department.”

The Star research indicated that even having secured the necessary management talent companies may need to work hard to retain it. New ways of working have resulted in only half of all IT professionals being employed full-time by the company for which they work. 22 per cent of respondents said that they believe their current position to be secure for no more than 12 months – making it likely that at least one in five is looking for a job at any given time, with disruptive consequences. Job insecurity could arise from the fact that IT professionals find it challenging to support the needs of both employees and the boardroom, with challenges in traditional thinking caused by IT consumerisation and the expansion of cloud computing services.

Paul Watson continued, “IT professionals know they need to adjust their thinking, attitudes and strategies but they don’t always have the luxury of time to step back away from their day-to-day responsibilities, reflect on what’s possible and make new transformational plans. Unfortunately for them, this is exactly what their CEOs want to see from IT and often get frustrated that the business does not get anywhere near the commercial benefits and financial returns on IT spend that it would like.”

Almost a third (32 per cent) said that user demand for innovation is the biggest challenge they face in performing their roles. A quarter (25 per cent) said the biggest challenge they face is a lack of alignment between IT and the business it serves.

For more information on transforming your IT operation to better serve your business, download the free Quocirca paper on: “Taking IT to Task” from: under the ‘Strategy’ section.

About Star
Star provides on-demand computing and communication services to UK businesses. Utilising an advanced cloud computing platform, the company has redefined how business people use and pay for the technology that supports them. Star’s On-demand Business Services are easy to use and pay for and are available any time and from anywhere, removing unnecessary costs for hardware, software and on-going maintenance. Since 1995, when Star was founded, the company has been an Internet technology innovator and pioneered the system for cloud based spam and virus scanning for business email that became MessageLabs.

In the last 14 years Star has established itself as a leading IT and communications service provider of the highest pedigree looking after 3,000 UK business customers and their 500,000 users. Star has UK based data centres that sit within a network and communications capability that forms the basis of the Star Platform, from which a wide range of computing and communication services are delivered to customers. Star has over 230 employees working from offices throughout the UK, providing the highest levels of customer service and support. Star’s technology roadmap will deliver on-demand, cloud computing services to UK businesses who want immediate access to the latest enterprise technologies.

Paul Maher/Jane Harris
0208 237 1104/1108

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