CIF finds 40% of UK public sector organisations are lacking digital skills

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 21 November 2017
CIF finds 40% of UK public sector organisations are lacking digital skills

New research from the Cloud Industry Forum and its Public Sector Specialist Interest Group has found that 40% of UK public sector organisations do not have the right skills to drive digital transformation.

According to CIF’s report, 41% of public sector organisations have also been hampered by a lack of internal skills and/or knowledge when attempting to migrate to a cloud solution. Such skills shortages are inhibiting the UK government’s capacity to adapt cloud computing and its plans to digitise the services it delivers to citizens.

“Working with the technology that underpins digital transformation, such as on-demand cloud computing services, requires a different skill set from the traditional, proprietary IT technology of the past,” said Alex Hilton, chief executive of CIF. “Historically, many government departments and agencies have outsourced their ICT services to system integrators (SIs), in some instances believing they had also outsourced the risk by doing so. This reliance on SIs, combined with the cutbacks imposed by years of austerity, has left many public sector organisations without the necessary skills and staff in-house to confidently adapt to new approaches to IT such as the cloud.”

CIF’s research also identified a difference in the impact of skills shortages on public sector organisations compared with private sector organisations. Around 24% of public sector organisations said that the lack of in-house skills was a pressure point during the migration process and a cause of dissatisfaction, compared to 12% of private sector companies.

“This widening skills gap between the public and private sector is worrying within the context of the general IT skills shortage, suggesting that the private sector is doing a better job of drawing from the already-scarce digital talent base, leaving government organisations with a smaller pool to draw from,” said Hilton. “In order to alleviate this issue, public sector organisations can take two approaches. They can seek to boost their in-house skillset by investing in training and guidance that enables them to more effectively and smoothly adopt core digital transformation technologies.”

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