When lockdown was officially announced last year on 23rd March 2020, the majority of the UK shifted to remote working. As a result, reliance on technology became more important than ever and businesses across the UK had to prioritise and accelerate their digital transformation strategies.
In response to the increased demand due to Covid-19, research from CWJobs found three quarters (72%) of businesses increased their overall investment in tech tools, talent and training by an average of £1.48 million in 2020, as tech enabled them to maintain business continuity throughout the pandemic.
Companies invested in new technologies, such as remote working tools and increased cyber security and cloud solutions in order to continue operating. On average, over eight in 10 (83%) increased tech spend to facilitate the roll-out of hardware devices such as laptops, mobiles and monitor screens to set employees up to perform their jobs effectively from home.
This was followed by investment in communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack (81%) and increased company spend on collaboration tools including Dropbox or Adobe Document Cloud (72%), to meet the soaring demand and requirements for remote working. This was also the case for cloud storage and servers (71%) and cyber security tools (73%), as well as VPN capabilities to enable accessing confidential documents remotely (75%).
Despite this investment, less than one in 10 companies (9%) have trained staff in the tech tools they invested in last year. As a result, three in five businesses (63%) say they will be reviewing their tech training strategy this year. Businesses have much more to gain from technology training beyond realising the potential of their investments; training is an important employee incentive for two thirds of tech workers (65%), and almost all (94%) value training throughout their careers.
Additionally, nearly two-thirds (64%) of companies increased their spend on technology hiring in 2020, however there are still worries the tech talent gap is only expanding. Looking ahead, almost three in five organisations (57%) said Brexit will widen the tech skills gap in the UK, due to the impact on the flow of talent coming from the EU, with the same amount (58%) saying the pandemic has put greater pressure on hiring tech talent.
Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs, comments: “Demand for tech skills and online tools to facilitate working-from-home has sky-rocketed since this time last year, when millions across the country were told to stay at home in the first of several UK lockdowns. The past 12 months have been a stark reminder of the demand and importance of investment in technology tools, training and talent.
As we look towards brighter times post-pandemic, we expect this demand to remain, reinforcing the need for effective technology training in order to continue addressing the tech talent gap. It is imperative that employers find creative ways to navigate the challenges of remote training and engage their workers to make their investments go further. A fully-trained, empowered workforce will ensure these digital investments deliver great results for years to come.”
The findings come from CWJobs’ Tackling Tech Training report, which surveyed 1,000 tech workers and 500 IT decision makers in the UK, to understand tech investment trends, as a result of increased demand since the start of the pandemic. To read the full report, please visit: www.cwjobs.co.uk/recruiters/tackling-tech-training/