Global trade frictions and uncertainty both in the United Kingdom and foreign markets due to Brexit has triggered a ‘wait and see’ approach to new business – slowing client spending on hiring.
Despite this, technology and IT roles dominated the top pay rises in 2018 according to ContractorUK’s Salary and Recruiting Trends guide. This trend is set to continue in 2019.
IR35’s impact on IT Contracting
The number of temporary IT placements has steadily declined since November 2016 – a few months after IR35 reform in the public sector was first publicised as a predecessor to IR35 reform in the private sector.
The uncertainty that the changes have brought within markets has meant that the number of contracts available has slowed for several industries, not just IT.
However, after the government announced in November 2018 that it would delay the off-payroll reforms in the private sector until April 2020, the number of contracts available in IT rose by 6%.
Where is the market heading?
Industry 4.0 – The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change the way businesses function in an increasingly globalised world. Industry 4.0 will see advancement in new and existing technologies. This will transform organisational processes and operations.
The digitisation of supply networks, manufacturing, operations and products will allow businesses to combine data from machines, analytics and humans to make more insightful decisions.
Through the use of new technology and digitisation, companies will be able to link the entire design and production process – learning from data along the way and adjusting processes accordingly in near real time.
This in turn will lead to better-designed products, services and systems as fewer companies will be operating in a reactive fashion. Companies that operate in a reactive fashion often do so because the technology or processes they use have become outdated. However, there is a delay between them realising the need for the new technology and developing and implementing it. This is because the design and production process is often not linked in real time.
Faced with ever-changing technologies, companies will be bringing in highly skilled IT contractors as they may not have the knowledge in-house to decide which technologies to implement.
Additionally, leaders will begin to see a growing skills gap as new processes and systems are implemented. IT contractors will be brought in to bridge this gap and support them in their step forward into Industry 4.0.
Top Skills in demand
Cloud and Cyber Security: Cybersecurity is one of the highest paying industries due to the increasing demand for IT specialists. This is due to the skills required being highly-transferrable to a variety of industries and companies globally.
The demand for cloud specialists is set to increase as two-thirds of the world’s largest organisations are predicted to move to the cloud in 2019. However, due to the skill and knowledge required to move companies internal infrastructures to the cloud, businesses will be looking to hire qualified professionals on a contract basis who are able to meet this need.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Business leaders consider AI as one of the key drivers to digital transformation and adopting AI has become a necessity. This means that specialists who are capable of developing AI software will be required as more businesses are looking to implement AI across their companies.
AI skills can be applied and used in almost every industry. If you are considering a career change, a move into AI could offer you a lot of opportunities.
Software development: Software development is rapidly developing in all sectors. The advancement of progressive web apps, AI and blockchain development has meant there is a much greater need for software developers.
Many giant tech companies are showing an interest in blockchain development and are investing a lot of money and manpower into blockchain powered projects. Therefore there is a rising demand for blockchain developers as businesses will require software applications that support it.
Adopting AI has become a necessity in today’s world, and many businesses have already adopted technology to automate their processes. Companies are investing more resources into developing frameworks that use AI to do more tasks each day. AI specialists will be required to develop and implement the software.
Progressive web apps (PWA) are a mix between a regular web application and a mobile app. They make websites look and feel like an installed app on a laptop, smartphone, tablet or desktop. As so much traffic nowadays comes from mobile browsers, companies are investing in PWA as users often do not want to download and install native apps as they will not use them regularly. Businesses are bringing in contractors to develop this software for them and aid them in succeeding in PWA.
How can Churchill Knight & Associates Ltd help you on your contracting journey?
Getting started as a contractor is incredibly easy in terms of setting up accountancy and payroll, and Churchill Knight can offer a variety of accounting services to suit your individual needs. Whether you choose to set up your own limited company or would prefer to use our umbrella service, we make the process simple.
Our service also includes administrative support, and we assist with all invoicing and payroll aspects, meaning you can focus on providing a high standard of service to your clients. If you would like to discuss contracting further to gain a better understanding or would like a free consultation, please call us on 01707 871622 or request a callback.