Offshoring is bad for IT skills, say UK tech chiefs

CIO Jury: "It is time for us all to take a stand and reverse this short-sighted trend"

...sufficiently interested and qualified people out of our universities to fill roles," said Alan Bawden, IT & operations director at The JM Group, adding: "They will be further put off a career in IT by the prospect of not having any job or the threat that their job will be outsourced in the next round of cost cuts."

Mike Roberts, IT director at The London Clinic, added: "I have been trying to recruit infrastructure skills and there is a lack of staff available at all levels."

But not all IT chiefs are of the opinion that offshoring is bad for UK tech skills.

Matthew Oakeley, CIO of Schroders, dismissed the notion that skills have been compromised. "I can see the potential threat but we have not noticed a skills shortage of quality development and IT staff in the UK," he said.

While Dr Ben Booth, global chief technology officer at Ipsos, said offshoring merely reflects an inevitable shift in skillsets across all industries.

"The balance of work is changing so that the high value management and strategy remains in the UK but the lower skilled commoditised jobs are moving offshore or near shore. This is the same for all industries and I would not expect IT to be different. We must of course ensure that we maintain the management skills," he said.

This CIO Jury was:

  • Ben Acheson, IT manager, PADS Printing and Commercial Stationery
  • Alan Bawden, IT & operations director, The JM Group
  • Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
  • Graham Benson, IT director, M and M Direct
  • Peter Birley, IT director, Browne Jacobson
  • Dr Ben Booth, global chief technology officer, Ipsos
  • Pete Crowe, IT director, Fat Face
  • Madhushan Gokool, IT manager, Storm Model Management
  • Peter Pedersen, chief technology officer,
  • Matthew Oakeley, CIO, Schroders
  • Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
  • Richard Storey, head of IT, Guys & St Thomas Hospital

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