Cutting costs is the number one priority for IT managers this year, according to research by sector skills council e-Skills UK.
Nine in ten firms said it was "fairly" or "very" likely that they would review or reduce costs over the coming year, rather than decreasing headcount internally or cutting back on contractors, according to a survey of 2,000 IT managers.
The strength of the pound was the biggest concern for small, medium and large enterprises. The cost of supplies and the availability of credit for themselves and consumers were also top concerns for companies.
Almost one quarter of IT managers surveyed anticipated their companies would decrease their overall headcount as a cost cutting measure during the credit crunch, the research revealed. But this measure is less likely to be course of action than other generic cost cutting measures such as renegotiating with suppliers (64 percent).
But around nine out of ten firms forecast that the number of IT and telecommunications staff employed would remain unchanged. Respondents were relatively unconcerned about availability of skilled IT staff and other labour-related issues.
The survey also revealed that, despite much media attention, most firms are ignoring technologies such as cloud computing, open source, software as a service and virtualisation.
When asked about the skills held by candidates for IT posts, employers had issues with the low level of business acumen of most prospective employees, with 52 percent stating these skills were below the level required. Around one in six IT managers had trouble recruiting staff with the right skills, qualifications or experience.
The e-skills UK ICT inquiry was carried out during February-March 2009 with 2,000 IT managers.
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