The IT skills crisis is deepening, according to research from ZDNet.co.uk's sister site silicon.com.
The ninth annual Skills Survey reveals employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill IT positions in their organisations.
Half (48 percent) of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that there is a skills crisis. And 45 percent said there are IT jobs in their business they are unable to fill.
This compares to 37 percent suffering staffing issues last year — and 34 percent in 2005. Just 14 percent had problems recruiting back in 2003.
Despite recruitment difficulties caused by the skills shortage, fewer survey respondents than last year feel driven to consider software as a service (SaaS) as a means of plugging the gap — just 23 percent said they have considered using SaaS, down two percentage points on last year.
For the fifth year running, programming languages such as Java, C variants, HTML and XML are in shortest supply in the workplace, followed by web services, SOA skills such as J2EE and .Net, and then IT management skills (around systems, storage and networks) and database expertise.
Project management is also unchanged as the non-IT skill in shortest supply in the workplace, with leadership skills also proving difficult to locate, as in previous years.
When it comes to the perennial question of whether business or technical skills are most important to succeeding in the IT industry, the majority of respondents to the 2007 Skills Survey hedged their bets. More than half (62 percent) said it is important to have both business and technical skills.
Asked directly if business skills are key, 67 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they are — although this figure is down on 2006's result, when 83 percent said business skills were key.
Just 18 percent of respondents to this year's Skills Survey think technical skills are the most important factor in IT success.