Confidence in tech industry still high despite Covid-19 concerns

Confidence in the state of the tech industry among UK-based IT professionals has dropped by just 8%, from 89% to 81% amidst Covid-19, according to CWJobs‘ annual Confidence Index, while 85% envisage a brighter long-term future for the sector in five years’ time.

In addition, 49% of decision makers expressed belief that companies will increase their tech budget in the future in response to learnings from the pandemic.

When asked why they were confident in the state of the tech industry, having the right skills in place to keep systems running was cited as the top reason, with 37% of IT professionals identifying this aspect.

However, 52% said that Covid-19 dominates their concerns, replacing Brexit as their most prominent obstacle, and 44% have revealed that the virus has detrimentally impacted business.

When asked about concerning aspects of the tech industry, losing talent abroad saw a drop from 26% to 19%.

Another concern that has been frequently identified is security, with over a third (36%) stating that cyber security is a needed specialism right now.

AI, meanwhile, was the area most identified (37%) as a desired specialism for success within the next two to five years.

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Dominic Harvey, director at CWJobs said: “It’s not a huge surprise to see that Covid-19 has had an impact on the tech industry, much like the rest of the business world. However, it is good to see overall confidence in the sector remains high and that is justified by the vital role the industry has played in keeping UK businesses running and providing integral support to those operating on the front line.

“Despite this being a tough time at the moment, the UK’s tech scene is being recognised for the role it’s playing, and could be set to be in a good enough place to kick on once the pandemic subsides if IT budgets are increased. Until then, it’s clear IT professionals are focused on providing the support they can and ensuring they have the right skills in place to keep things running now, before expanding in the future as everything gets back on track.”

Julian David, CEO of techUK, added: “The UK has always had a historically strong technology industry. However, like any other sector it is affected by the economic uncertainty we are currently experiencing.

“The data published today showing that confidence remains high provides some reassurance but our approach to the next phase in our response to this crisis will be crucial.”

CWJobs surveyed over 500 IT decision makers and over 1000 IT professionals in the UK for the study.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.