Retention and morale are top priorities for IT

Retaining the best staff and boosting flagging morale will be the biggest challenges facing the UK’s leading IT directors during 2005, research shows.

A survey of more than 100 senior IT directors, by Personnel Today’s sister magazine Computer Weekly, reveals that 50 per cent are worried about keeping staff who are central to the success of their business in the year ahead.

As IT departments battle with the pressure to do more with less on tight budgets, maintaining staff morale is of equal concern.

Denise Plumpton, chairwoman of IT user group the Corporate IT Forum, said the lack of training and the prospect of outsourcing and offshoring was causing fear and uncertainty among IT staff.

“Cost pressures affect training budgets, so staff can see their opportunity to [adapt] to the technology is diminishing,” she said.

“Couple this with the ever-present trend in many firms and sectors to bring in external consultancies for the ‘juicy bits’ -probably more so in financial services and FTSE 100 companies – and you reinforce desperation among your staff.”

The results highlight an interesting contrast with business managers. While IT directors are worried about people, a recent CBI survey showed that senior executives were more concerned about security issues, such as breaches of IT systems, than their employees.

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