Is this the most scary IA headline of the Year so far?

Is it the one about Hotmail switching off HTTPS? No…
Is it the one about Facebook doing all kinds of crazy things? No…
Is it: “Demand for IT workers outstrips supply for first time since 2008?” Could be…

(if you are thinking this sounds like the start of Hong Kong Phooey, I will admit it is not entirely accidental)

The article in ComputerworldUK has some interesting facts and figures in it, but basically the trend is that the private sector is up, and has been for a while.

On the one hand, this is great news. Hurrah for the green shoots of recovery. Hurrah for the poor public sector ICT workers recently made redundant who may be able to find another job. But unfortunately the spectre of Keynesian supply and demand now rears its head above the parapet. And in the context of Public Sector Information Security/IA I am worried. The thinking runs thus:

• Too much demand vs reduced supply = rising prices. In an age of (relatively) high inflation and fuel prices to make you weep, people are going to jump at a pay rise
• Public Sector is in a bit of a pickle financially right now
• Higher rates of pay for Public Sector staff are not on the table, so this means either contractors, outsourcing or shared services
• Contractors are not the answer right now (£££), and whilst neither of the other two are necessarily bad, neither represents a long-term solution if we are going to sustainably staff our world

As demonstrated by the Cyber Security Challenge, there is no shortage of talent in the UK willing and able to work in this space. And it’s OK I suppose if you work in a heaving metropolis as there should (in theory) always be a pool of talent available. But if you work for an organisation that isn’t in the South East, that organisation is going to struggle when its staff make a rational choice and move for better pay.

I don’t have an answer here. Maybe you do (I’d love to hear it). I’m pleased that our economy is recovering but nervous the security (literally) of our recovery is being jeopardised by potential skill shortages.


About Graeme Stewart, McAfee

I work for McAfee as Director of Public Sector Strategy and Relations, UK&I
This entry was posted in Cyber, Cyber Security Challenge, Information Security, Security, Sophos. Bookmark the permalink.

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