Tech Skills a worry despite the optimism

SENIOR MARKET UNDERWRITER, TECHMEDIA, ZURICH INSURANCE

THE technology sector is under continual pressure to adapt, develop and deliver with a high expectation for innovation. The UK economy thrives in the technology arena as we have a rich vein of creativity and entrepreneurialism, especially emanating from universities and other further education facilities. Arguably the greatest invention of the last 35 years came from an English computer scientist and professor at MIT, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee; his invention being the World Wide Web.

Zurich recently released the second of our Hazard Warning Reports, this time looking in-depth at the views of the technology industry – especially the risks associated with data in the internet age, the opportunities for the technology sector both in the UK and overseas, and the future of this industry over the next decade.

Worryingly, more than half of Britain’s mid-size technology companies feel they are at risk from losing skilled employees – a figure which, while it is concerning itself, rises to 70 per cent among UK companies with a larger annual turnover of £25-£100m. Our research also reveals that technology companies rank attracting staff with the right skills as their greatest area of risk.

One key area of concern is Technology Evolution Risk which underlines the reliance that many companies have on each other in the sector for the latest technological advances and stresses the importance of keeping abreast of developments to ensure their business model is up to date.

But the good news is that despite these challenges, more than three quarters of them (77 per cent) say they feel more optimistic about the future than they did last year.

Throughout the years we have seen many small technology companies grow into successful and thriving organisations and it’s encouraging to see the renewed focus that the government has put on the sector as it recognises the significant benefits it can bring to our economy. It’s essential that both businesses and government work together to overcome these issues in order to ensure British technology companies are able to survive and grow in this fast moving global technology market.

Amid a rapid technological evolution, these businesses carry the hopes of generations to come, as the UK seeks to stabilise and grow amid global economic uncertainty. It’s encouraging that technology companies remain optimistic about the future, even though they clearly have some real concerns, particularly, recruiting and retaining skilled employees. Are you ready for the future?

For more information contact your broker or visit www.zurich.co.uk/expertise. The Technology report can be found at www.zurich.co.uk/technologyhazards