- New findings from Rackspace Technology show how ongoing issues around recruiting and retaining technical staff mean organisations are increasingly reliant on technology to fill roles and drive efficiencies
Dubai, Middle East – In the face of hiring and skills issues, 77% of the Middle East organisations say they are finding ways for technology to do jobs formerly performed by people, according to new research from Rackspace Technology®.
Half (49%) of the Middle East companies are downsizing their staff, facilitated by technology, out of a necessity, with roles in customer service the most likely to be automated, as identified by 68% of business decision makers – followed by IT operations (68%), sales and marketing (60%), business operations (56%), and HR and admin (49%).
More than half of the Middle East companies (58%) have increased their IT investment due to the current economic climate, recognising the crucial role technology will play in improving performance and plugging skills gaps.
Almost two thirds (57%) are looking for technology to drive greater efficiencies, such as through moving infrastructure to the cloud, but the motivation for increased investment also extends to talent issues, with the Middle East companies now investing 1.5 times more money in roles performed by technology than those performed by people.
This reflects the challenging labour market, with half (48%) of companies finding it difficult to fill technical vacancies and a similar proportion (59%) struggling to retain IT staff.
This commitment to technology to combat talent shortages, and the consequent trend for an increase in IT investment, is also being driven by growing confidence in return on investment among senior leaders. Three in five (60%) organisations acknowledge established ROI on technology is encouraging further financial commitments.
It is also shifting the requirements for all staff, not solely those working in IT. The vast majority (89%) of the Middle East companies now prefer non-technical staff to have a degree of technical proficiency, regardless of whether it’s a core element of the role.
George Pawlyszyn, General Manager, Middle East and Africa (MEA) at Rackspace Technology, comments: “In times of economic uncertainty, committing increased spend to technology is a risk a majority of companies simply must take in the face of technical skills shortages across the board.
“Not only can technology offset the reduced workforce available but it is a well-established way of driving business efficiencies as well – though only if used effectively.
“Three quarters (72%) of the Middle East organisations also said cloud operations would be a key investment area over the next 12-18 months and while they have correctly identified an important tool in improving their operations, they will need to optimise these investments and strategies to feel the true benefit.
“It should also be noted that technology itself is very different to technical-proficient staff. A tough labour market and therefore necessity might be driving the growing role tech is playing within companies but finding and retaining capable staff will remain crucial for businesses to thrive.”
To download the full report, click here: www.rackspace.com/solve/2022-managing-it-challenging-economic-times
The survey was conducted by Coleman Parkes Research in October 2022. Findings are based on the responses of 1,420 IT decision-makers across manufacturing, retail, hospitality/travel, healthcare/pharma/biomedical, government and financial services sectors in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
About Rackspace Technology
Rackspace Technology is a leading end-to-end multicloud technology services company. We can design, build and operate our customers’ cloud environments across all major technology platforms, irrespective of technology stack or deployment model. We partner with our customers at every stage of their cloud journey, enabling them to modernize applications, build new products and adopt innovative technologies.