Where has all the tech talent gone…and how can finance firms fill the gaps?

Where has all the tech talent gone…and how can finance firms fill the gaps?
Andy Peddar

By Andy Peddar, CEO and co-founder of Deazy

Is finance the fastest-moving sector? It’s probably a moot point, but it has undoubtedly been subject to rapid change over the last twenty years or so, and the pace of change seems to be still accelerating.

Digitalisation and digital transformation projects are ongoing and continue to get faster. Traditional finance firms aim to digitise products and services more effectively, while fintech challengers look for more ways to innovate and disrupt. A remarkable 53% of UK adults – approximately 28 million of us – use mobile banking.  

The only drawback is the volume of tech talent required to drive this relentless digital transformation. There isn’t enough tech expertise in the UK, which can impact finance firms’ ability to get critical digital projects off the ground.

The reasons behind this are manifold and require a combination of long-term and short-term measures. How should finance firms best approach filling this gap?

What’s behind the shortage?

Deazy research in Q4 2023 with UK Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) found that CTOs working in FS said that a lack of IT resources to manage current projects was a major concern, while 80% said there was a lack of quality developers in the UK.

This is not sustainable. And with the upcoming General Election (July 2024) unlikely to shift the dial in any meaningful way, finance firms must act. In the long-term, the UK education system needs to produce more quality tech people, but that’s obviously not something a finance firm can hope to address.

The same applies to the tech talent pool shrinking because of Brexit. While many business leaders hope for a better business relationship with the EU at some point, it’s hardly going to happen in the short term.

However, other reasons for the lack of tech expertise—the rise of GenAI, the sheer pace at which tech moves, making it difficult for people to keep their skills current—can certainly be addressed.

Finding capacity and capability

Finance firms need to implement measures that help address these issues in the longer term but also deliver the capacity and capability to ensure projects don’t suffer right now. Such measures can be broadly grouped into three categories: training, recruitment, and augmentation.

Training – an increasingly common way of addressing the tech skills gap is for an organisation to train its own employees. By recruiting the talent first, they can train people in the areas the company needs most, rather than continuing an elusive hunt for workers who tick every box. Providing such training can also be a significant factor in convincing people to join a company.

Academies and other internal training schemes can be very effective, but they are measures for the long term. This is important, of course, but it is equally important to address the skills gap right now.

Recruitment – several challenges come with filling talent gaps, most notably the absence of suitable candidates. If a finance firm can find a candidate of sufficient quality, others will have done so, too. Therefore, the usual ways of attracting talent – salary, benefits, bonuses, strong company culture, and being a purpose-driven organisation – will not be sufficient.

Augmentation – using freelancers, agencies and entire outsourced teams alongside in-house developers is not a new approach. However, using partnerships to plug gaps in the tech talent pool is a fresh twist on outsourcing.

The flexible tech talent market has evolved significantly in the past five years with the introduction of employee record companies, talent marketplaces, and the shift to hybrid/remote working. This makes it much more reliable and allows finance firms to access up-to-date skills, support agile ways of working, and access whole ecosystems of talent where the ideal partner for their needs is available.

It can also streamline any assessment process, reducing time to hire, freeing up valuable internal resources from the recruitment process and increasing the likelihood of hiring the best developers. 

Meaningful outcomes

Probably the most crucial change to outsourcing is the evolution of partners who are focused on driving meaningful outcomes. This allows a finance firm to find trusted strategic partners aligned with its values and goals. A recent Forrester report – The Future Fit Partner Strategy – suggests the future of tech talent outsourcing revolves around such partners who commit to and guarantee delivery.

No finance firm—even the entire industry working collectively—can hope to change some of the systemic issues that have led to this dearth of tech talent. But they can implement short—and long-term measures that can be hugely effective.

About the author:

Andy Peddar is CEO and co-founder of Deazy, the digital acceleration platform that connects enterprises with high-quality tech teams.


Posts you may like

Send Us A Message

Follow us on Social Media

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles

By checking this box, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to our [Privacy Policy] and [Terms of Service].