Majority of mid-market firms struggle to retain IT talent for more than two years, research shows

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Just 2% of mid-market businesses can retain quality IT talent according to new research by Advania, with the other 98% unable to hang on to a tech expert for more than two years. 

While the report cites cyber security as the critical objective for the mid-market, it also explains how a shortage of skilled staff is chief among barriers to this objective.

Aligning cyber strategy with organizational objectives becomes impossible without skilled IT staff and, with excessive turnover, internal knowledge is constantly being drained, the study found.

Advania’s research shows that more than a quarter (28%) of mid-market businesses retain high-value colleagues for between just one and six months, while an alarming one-in-ten admitted to having never employed a “quality” member of staff in the IT department.

This prompts mid-market businesses to develop lower quality cyber strategies in-house, rather than looking for the necessary hires. Almost half (47%) develop their cyber strategies internally, while just one-in-five seek advice from external experts on issues of cyber security or preparedness.

“Without sufficient investment in personnel, mid-market organizations risk falling behind on cybersecurity best practices and digital transformation, two areas where seasoned IT expertise makes a real difference,” Advania UK CEO Geoff Kneen told ITPro.

The mid-market is prone to poor retention rates

Despite the mid-market making up 99% of UK businesses, it remains prone to poor retention rates.

“The mid-market faces challenges retaining top IT talent because the technology sector evolves rapidly and mid-sized companies often can't match the IT budgets of larger enterprises,” Kneen said.

“IT professionals want to stay current in the fast-changing tech landscape, but mid-market organizations may overlook ongoing training and skills development to help their top staff develop,” he added.


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Mid-market budgets pale in comparison to those of large-scale enterprises and, with enterprises exercising superior buying power in both salary and training, it’s difficult for the mid-market to compete.

That being said, IT sector retention rates as a whole are notoriously poor.

According to a 2022 survey by Gartner, only 29% of IT workers globally planned to remain working for their current employer, a figure 19% larger than any other industry.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.