Irish firms plan to cut IT teams

One in seven businesses in Ireland plan to reduce their IT teams, yet still bemoan a skills crisis.

15% of businesses in Ireland are planning on making cuts to their IT teams in the next 12 months. This is in contrast to the majority (67%) who will be expanding their IT teams in the next year.

Close to two thirds (59%) of IT leaders in Ireland say they are uncomfortable with their existing team’s ability to accommodate the growth in use of AI.

“To reduce IT teams at a time when technology and data are so central to success is likely to prove short-sighted”

That’s according to the latest survey of Irish IT leaders by data centre giant Equinix as part of its Global Tech Trends Survey 2023.

The research also found that IT leaders in Ireland are continuing to grapple with skills shortages. And, in the last two years, while 57% of global enterprises expanded their IT teams, just 49% of those in Ireland did so.

Every business is now a digital business

49% of IT decision makers in Ireland reported that their team size grew in the last two years – versus the global average of 57%

Despite this, more than two-thirds (67%) of IT leaders in Ireland are expecting to grow their tech teams in the next 12 months.

15% of IT leaders in Ireland anticipate their teams shrinking in the next 12 months.

The top areas for IT team growth, cited by IT leaders in Ireland, are: cloud computing (39%), IT technician (38%), and AI/machine learning (34%)

71% cite a shortage of IT talent as a threat to business success. Other threats include a lack of diversity and inclusion in the industry (cited by 55%) and challenges posed by moving to a hybrid workplace (52%)

The biggest skills challenge facing the IT teams in Ireland is talent retention (cited by 43% of IT leaders). Wrong skill sets (39%), changing workforce expectations (33%), along with the speed at which the tech industry is transforming and a lack of available talent (both 32%) were also cited.

81% of IT decision-makers see improving cybersecurity as the top priority for their organisation’s technology strategy. On that front, 34% of IT leaders have, or will, increase headcount in security software developer roles (34%), as well as security analyst (30%) and security architect (26%) positions.

“As businesses plan for the future, they must ensure that their IT departments have the budget and means to expand in line with the overall business’s expansion plans,” said Peter Lantry, managing director of Equinix in Ireland.

“To reduce IT teams at a time when technology and data are so central to success is likely to prove short-sighted.

“However, those who are looking to grow their IT teams are also facing challenges as demand continues to outweigh supply. The current pace of change will not wait or be sympathetic to those encountering talent shortages. IT leaders must therefore confront this head-on and ensure that if they cannot find the talent they need, they need to nurture it themselves.”

Main image at top: Peter Lantry, manging director for Ireland, Equinix

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