Brexit could spur on software development talent shortage, say CIOs

Public and private sectors could lose vital talent, hindering organisations’ success 

Leaving the European Union could leave the UK with a shortage of software development talent – a core skill set necessary for organisations that are looking to digitally transform and gain an edge over their rivals. 

That’s according to a Pivotal Labs survey of 101 CIOs and 101 IT decision-makers in UK organisations with more than 2,000 employees. 

The survey, which was carried out by Opinion Matters, found that two thirds of respondents thought that the UK was in danger of losing vital software development talent, with 59% of CIOs stating they felt a lack of access to talent would hinder their organisation’s success. 

Compounding this potential exodus of talent is a drive from 77% of CIOs to move some of their software development operations overseas, suggesting that there is a fear that their organisation will not be able to compete with the resources available in the UK. The long-term effect on the UK could be disastrous – as more investment could be made on software development outside Britain and into European tech hubs. 

“With software innovation considered such a key ingredient to prosperity post-Brexit, the notion that operations will be moved overseas is concerning,” said Robbie Clutton, Senior Director at Pivotal Labs.

“Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, companies can choose to either shape themselves or be shaped by the circumstances.

“Organisations can pick the route of innovation over submitting to the status quo, but it requires technology, culture and the right people working together in ways that foster agility and create business value,” he added.
Analyst at technology research firm RedMonk, James Governor, said: “Brexit will be the biggest systemic shock to British business in more than 70 years.

“The scale of change will require an unprecedented investment in IT, with in-house application development becoming more important than ever to deal with complexity”. 

Despite the calls for more investment to be made in both private and public sector organisations in software development, only 44% of CIOs said they had invested in software development since the Brexit vote. 



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