Small businesses rely increasingly on IT contractors

A new survey of small businesses in the UK has revealed that many firms are increasingly relying on IT contractors to support their IT investment.

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A new survey of small businesses in the UK has revealed that many firms are increasingly relying on IT contractors to support their IT investment.

The Small Business Survey 2010 from PeoplePerHour.com, an online marketplace for freelancers, found that 61 percent of respondents plan to invest more in IT, with 38 percent planning to use this investment for increasing their use of IT freelancers.

The survey of 360 users of the PeoplePerHour.com website also found that 42 percent of respondents are currently filling their IT roles with freelancers, with just 18 percent intending to hire in-house staff. Around 20 percent of respondents worked in the IT industry.

The most common reason cited for this trend was that the business felt it did not need a full-time employee for the job (35 percent), while 22 percent said it was easier to find highly skilled freelancers. Other respondents said they used freelancers for extra workload (16 percent), while 14 percent said that it was too expensive to hire in-house.

Furthermore, an analysis of job adverts on the website showed that the top five IT skills most in demand from small businesses are PHP, SEO or link building, Wordpress, Joomla and iPhone Apps. Skills in less demand include MySQL, HTML, .NET developer and ASP.NET developer.

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, CEO of PeoplePerHour.com, said: “The last decade has seen a boom in remote freelance working, facilitated by the internet. This has been led by the IT industry. Our survey findings suggest that the importance of IT industry to the freelance economy is set to grow.”

Recruitment website CWJobs.co.uk and Powerchex have also recently released jobs reports indicating that the IT contractors job market has been doing well in the public sector and financial services sector as well.

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