UK IT has big shortage of sales and technical staff
Finding and keeping the staff with the right skills is getting harder for resellers. The channel recruitment firm Robertson Sumner has reported high demand for sales staff in 2018. The firm reported that it has seen a 54% rise in vacancies for IT sales staff in the first six weeks of the year.
High-profile exits like Misco and Maplin, the arrival of ambitious players like PCM have sent recruiters into overdrive, as the need to bring in staff with skills in new areas such as managed services and the cloud increases.
A recent report from CompTIA found that 76% of CIOs are worried about IT complexity and having the skills to cope. Postings for core IT jobs in the UK exceeded 290,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, – 14 percent higher than 2016.
The top five job categories for core IT workers in the UK are:
- Programmers and software development pros (242,020)
- IT specialist managers (216,918)
- IT and telecommunications pros (other) (173,426)
- IT operations technicians (114,266)
- IT business analysts, architects and systems designers (107,154)
Incident detection and email attacks cause headaches
The latest Incident Response Report from F-Secure identifies email inboxes as the weakest link in security parameters and finds that companies struggle with detecting incidents quickly and accurately.
Over one-third of all security incidents start with phishing emails or malicious attachments sent to employees, according to a new report published today by the Synaxon partner. The report provides insights into how real hackers attack firms.
The single most common source of breaches were attackers exploiting vulnerabilities in internet-facing services. These accounted for about 21% of incidents. But phishing and emails with malicious attachments together were at the root of 34% of breaches. Tom Van de Wiele, Principal Security Consultant at which F-Secure, said: “People need to think before they click on attachments and links, but the pressures of many jobs overrides this logic, which attackers understand and exploit.”
Other significant findings in the report include:
- Organisations were hit by targeted and opportunistic attacks in nearly equal proportion
- Insider threats accounted for one-fifth of security incidents
- Incident responders were contacted after the security perimeter was breached in nearly 80% of cases
- The most common post-breach action taken by attackers was spreading malware (mostly for financial gain, but also for espionage or maintaining access for future purposes)
- 13% of investigations turned out to be false alarms
The number of false alarms reported as incidents is surprising and shows that too many organisations struggle with accurately detecting attacks. F-Secure said it was often called in to investigate ‘suspicious activity,’ indicating that they don’t have accurate incident detection capabilities.
The report recommends companies improve their incident detection and response capabilities, by investing in an endpoint detection and response solution or service. If you’d like to learn more about F-Secure solutions and the opportunity they offer you as a Synaxon member, call 0300 304 7844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smartwatches and ‘hearables’ to fuel 20% annual growth in wearables
According to a forecast from CCS Insights, around 243 million wearable devices will be shipped worldwide in 2022. Wearables sales are expected to grow an average of 20% a year over the next five years, turning them into a $29 billion market by 2022.
In smartwatches the Apple Watch is the standard-bearer with sales rising 60% in 2017 to 16 million units. CCS estimates that about a quarter of Apple’s sales in the last three months 2017 were generated by this device.
Fitness trackers sold 40 million units in 2017, but CCS says this market has lost some of its momentum and was 23% lower than its peak in 2016. Fitbit and Chinese manufacturer Huami dominate, with around 80% of the global market.
Another area of expected growth is in ‘hearables’ i.e. wireless earphones. CCS estimates there were 1.5 million hearable devices sold in 2017, and it expects the market to quadruple in 2018 to 6 million. Apple is again likely to lead the way with its AirPods but there are other brands in the market, such as Jabra. CCS forecasts total unit sales of 30 million in 2022.
Daisy could be picked in springtime
Reports have been rife that Daisy Group could be up for sale this spring. The comms player has been the subject of speculation from the financial press and trade for some time. It could be valued at as over £1 billion. Having once been listed, the firm returned to private ownership in January 2015 and has acquired Damovo, Calyx, Phoenix IT and Alternative Networks. It’s reported that the company wants to double in size so that it can take on BT in the SMB market.
Maplin enters administration but what does it mean to our members?
The new of Maplin’s demise was not a real surprise but illustrated the scale of the challenge facing retailers as they strive to compete against big online sellers. The reports said that Maplin had partly fallen victim to price-rises imposed by US vendors after the devaluation of Sterling that followed the June 2016 Brexit vote and a softening of consumer demand.
It also served to emphasise the importance of retailers and resellers making use of every single advantage available to them and ensuring that they have a clear focus and strategy. Being part of Synaxon can help businesses do both, by providing access to great pricing and low-cost services, and being introduced to new vendors and opportunities in areas such as the cloud and managed services.
As this newsletter goes out it’s not clear whether or not the administrators will be able to find a buyer for Maplin and how many of its 217 stores in the UK and Ireland will stay open Maplin employs more than 2,300 people and has annual turnover of £236 million.