But many businesses are hunting for freelance, not full-time, techies
PHP and search engine optimisation (SEO) top the list of most-wanted tech skills, according to a survey of small businesses.
According to an analysis of projects posted on freelance marketplace PeoplePerHour.com, PHP skills are most in demand at small businesses, followed by SEO/link building, WordPress, Joomla, iPhone apps, MySQL, HTML, Flash game development, .Net skills and ASP.Net developer skills.
The research found nearly two-thirds of the small businesses questioned said they planned to increase their spending on IT this year, with 38 per cent planning to up their use of IT freelancers over the next two years - compared to 18 per cent who said they intend to hire in-house staff.
PHP and SEO are the most wanted skills for small businesses
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Three-quarters of businesses said they currently use freelancers for IT and web development projects, with the majority - some 57 per cent - saying they do so because it's an easy way of finding specialised skills, while another 20 per cent said they use freelancers when there's too much work on for the in-house techies to manage.
PeoplePerHour.com CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou said the boom in remote freelance working has been led by the IT industry, which lends itself to freelancing.
However, he warned because of the rapid pace of change in IT, the list of in-demand skills "will doubtless look quite different in a year's time".