The latest Harvey Nash CIO survey suggests that Umbrella Company techies specialising in the field of IT contracting are facing enormous new demand, especially if they can integrate revenue-driving know-how into their skills set.

The annual survey polls over 3,200 CIOs and other technology leaders from over 30 countries. Technology spending this year has hit its highest level since 2006; however, there is growing concern that a skills shortage may hamper growth.

While technology budgets are growing at a rate unseen in post-downturn times, the money is now being directed away from efficiencies and cost cutting and toward new growth strategies. 63% of CEOs polled said they were shifting their priorities to cash-generating projects such as customer-oriented systems, digital marketing and innovation-led initiatives.

Digital growth is also being promoted in many companies through the creation of completely new roles, such as ‘chief digital officer’. Chief marketing officers are also gaining much greater influence over technology-related spending, reflecting the switch to growth after years of austerity.

The chairman of Harvey Nash’s global CIO Practice, Dr Jonathan Mitchell, said that 2014 was proving a “watershed year” after six years of sluggish growth. He continued: “CIOs and technology leaders are seeing growing budgets and growing prominence in their organisation as CEOs are turning to technology to drive growth; however, significant challenges lie ahead. This year has seen a worrying increase in the number of leaders citing concerns about skills shortages. To be successful, organisations will not only need a clear technology strategy but they will also need the right people to deliver it.”

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