Big businesses losing tech talent to innovative start-ups

Seven out of ten workers employed in IT and related tech fields have looked for a new job over the past year, according to a recent study. The majority feel that their employers do not focus enough on tech and innovation and many would like to move to a more dynamic tech-driven start-up.

The study, titled The Great Skills Exodus by data storage provider EMC, surveyed 500 IT and cybersecurity employees working at UK-based organisations with 250-plus employees and a further 109 IT decision-makers from businesses based in Ireland.

It found that fewer than one in five respondents believed their current company is focusing sufficient attention and resources on innovation. According to the report, many start-ups recognise the fact that technology can drive innovation and play a key role in the way they operate.

By contrast, large companies often fail to prioritise this side of their business. More than a quarter (26%) of respondents said their current employers are willing to consider changing the way things had always been done. A further 23% said there was an overall lack of understanding when it came to the role of IT within the business and almost a third (30%) said they were hampered by a lack of opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.

It might not be the sort of problem that could leave a company facing imminent insolvency but a talent drain can certainly cause difficulties in the long term, with recruitment and retention in key IT roles being a serious issue for many businesses. Recruitment processes can be expensive, especially if funds are not readily available. A turnaround rate of 70% within a reasonably short timescale could have a detrimental effect on any organisation.

Around half of the IT workers surveyed said they would consider moving to another large corporation if it had a strong IT leaning such as IBM or Microsoft. Some 41% said they would like to work at a digital company such as Facebook while just under a third (32%) expressed a preference for working at an innovative tech-based start-up such as Uber.

By Phil Smith

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