Written by Peter Harrison

The skills shortage issue is the top priority for technology businesses, with 46% of tech respondents to the Moore Stephens annual survey of owner-managed businesses reporting it as their number one concern.  Companies are reacting to this shortage by investing in training (48%, more than in other sectors) and by investing in new technology (37% again higher than other sectors).

This insight comes from a recent white paper, published by Moore Stephens on the tech sector, and the UK wide survey is reflective of similar sentiment in the Channel Islands where the difficulties of recruiting specific skills can be acuter than in the comparatively more accessible UK.

However, while it is true that this concern about skills is shared across most sectors the report has highlighted one area where tech companies diverge from other businesses. This is in the perception of cybersecurity. More than 40% of tech firms say they are focused on combating cyber-attacks and maintaining data privacy. In contrast, only 24% of all businesses give this issue the same priority.

“Being immersed in technology it is clear that tech businesses should have no misconceptions about the damage to business reputations and brands that cyber-attacks and security breaches can cause,” said Phillip Callow, director of audit and assurance at Moore Stephens in Jersey.

“Given that tech businesses are putting so much emphasis on this area it is clearly something that more businesses should be focusing on.”

The white paper report also highlighted other areas where businesses could learn from those in the tech sector.

“73% of tech firms plan to launch new products and services in the next year,” said Mr Callow. “This shows they are more customer focused than other business sectors, and translates into a greater sense of optimism about the future.