Staff retention and morale top IT directors’ concerns for 2005

Retaining the best staff and boosting flagging morale will be the biggest challenges for 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 and struggle to cope with tight budgets, maintaining staff morale is an equal concern.

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

“Cost pressures affect training budgets, so staff can see their opportunity to respond to the technology change is diminishing,î she said.

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

The results of the research 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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