A DELICATE BALANCE

The Harvey Nash Tech Survey 2019

About the survey

2070

respondents
one of the largest tech surveys in the world

73

countries
from America to Zimbabwe

242

different job titles
from software developer to CTO to robotics engineer

A Delicate Balance

Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis, @harveynashceo

Ask any trapeze artist and they will tell you how important balance is in their job; take a step wrong and they will be tumbling.

But in other fields of work ‘getting the balance right’ isn’t always a priority. Quite the opposite in fact. For instance, how important is balance when you are launching a new product that you hope to dominate the world with? Long hours might be important. Taking risks too. An outspoken and authoritative founder possibly. But balance?

However as the world, and technology, move on to become more diverse, more interactive and more changeable, we are beginning to see just how important getting the right mix is. Whether it’s in the make-up of the tech team, or the mix of technology itself, those organisations that are able to stitch together the right balance of people, technology and skills are proving much more resilient, more innovative and more responsive to change.

Welcome to this year’s Harvey Nash Technology Survey. In it we look at everything from skills, to future technology to careers, shining a light on the topics that really matter to tech professionals. And amongst all these charts, diagrams and data lies a question: where does the balance lie for you?

What you need to know

Some of the main take away facts from the Survey

A leadership crisis

Technology leaders take note – less than one in five of your team feel you are ‘very effective’ at creating a vision and strategy for your organisation, and a worrying one in three feel you are ‘ineffective’.

The coming of age of AI

Four in ten organisations are now using AI in a commercial way (i.e. moved beyond an experiment). This is occurring across all sectors. Has AI’s time now come?

No trust, but no action

Four in ten do not trust third parties with their personal data. Despite this distrust, half don’t modify their behaviour or change their privacy settings to any great degree to minimise data issues

Fractures in the tech team?

Regardless of seniority, the roles that are most likely to be positive about leadership are customer oriented, digital roles. It hints at an emerging ‘dividing line’ in the tech team between those outward-looking roles driving innovation and customer engagement, and the inward-looking roles focused on operations..

Gender balance

The sector remains hugely skewed towards men. A sizeable minority of respondents (20%+) do not feel it matters, and do not feel greater gender balance would improve the effectiveness of tech..

Innovation fatigue

Only one in 100 good innovative ideas make it to commercial success, and four in ten organisations have ‘zombie’ innovation projects – poorly performing initiatives that haven’t been stopped and are sucking in time and effort away from the ones that could work.

The sector is driven by purpose

When asked to pick the single most important factor in their career, technologists overwhelmingly selected ‘purpose’ over ‘money’ or ‘status’. This is irrespective of job role or salary.

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Read detailed analysis and enter our data sandpit

Key Highlights

A Delicate Balance

Data Sandpit

We have created a data sandpit for you to take a real in-depth look at the raw data

Download the data

If you would like to go even further you can download a .csv spreadsheet of all the anonymised data

What did you say?

From America to Zimbabwe, key comments from participants

What did you say?

From New York to New Delhi, key comments from participants

Marcus East, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer

Marcus East, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer

'I think that it has never been more important for technology leaders to have a great understanding of the needs of business to help drive and embrace change. We need to be effective partners helping to shape the business strategy, not just developing solutions.'
Sandra Norval, CEO

Sandra Norval, CEO

'Diversity is more than just women in tech. I am regularly in meetings which are still white, middle class, male dominated and we need to nurture talent to bring diversity to the table, not token gestures, genuinely enabled talent. '
Neil S Roberts, Enterprise Architect

Neil S Roberts, Enterprise Architect

'I believe that technology is actually becoming less important, in many ways. It is more and more about the people, and their ability to accept change and embrace new ideas and new ways of working. '
Mark Ellis  

Mark Ellis, Security Consultant

' From the Windows 10 key logger to the Google spy machine all the big tech companies and government agencies are busy profiling most of the world's population.  People have no idea how much is being collected on them.  After 200 likes Facebook knows you better than your wife knows you.'
Rachel Henderson

Rachel Henderson, Progamme Assurance Consultant

'One gender targeted only, will not allow for a stable future and traditionally boys/men were the go to gender. Stop and smell the future.... variety in all areas, really is the best approach.'
Graham Murray

Graham Murray, Technologist

'So called robots are a stop-gap solution where the simulated manual activity is automated. This stop gap will require to be replaced in due course leading to greater negative productivity than is already the case.'
Ulrike Laubner

Ulrike Laubner, Trainer and Author for Product management

'Personal and communication skills are still underestimated when it comes to collaborate to find innovations and commercialise them. '
Adedayo Anjorin

Adedayo Anjorin, Digital Business Analyst

'Technology enables businesses with unlimited capabilities and cost optimized solutions with attendant significant ROI thereby making tech careers to be in sky rocket demand and relevant in today's era of digital transformation.'
George Wilde

George Wilde, Senior Front-End Developer

'My biggest concern at the moment is the potential changes to IR35 legislation. I believe that a rollout of the changes seen in the public sector to the private sector would have a negative impact so dramatic it could cripple the UK's competitive position across all the global tech industries for many years to come. '
Geoff Adcock

Geoff Adcock, Independent business Transformation Consultant

'I believe the single biggest challenge to business is improving productivity. I see a phenomenal amount of waste everywhere I go - particularly in people-heavy business processes - which includes build and run functions within the technology sector. '
Marcelo De Santis

Marcelo De Santis, Startup mentor and corporate innovation advisor

'We are seeing that modern business models are built around technology platforms and ecosystems. This requires a reboot of the CIO job description, it’s organization and the way we invest in tech for corporations. '
Éilish Newman

Éilish Newman, Business Change Manager

'I think the only certain thing is that due to technology evolving at light speed, in the workplace building change resilience is essential and change management should be embedded in organisational cultures, including upskilling managers.'
Rod Furmston-Evans

Rod Furmston-Evans, Change Director

'Lean and XaaS are driving us to be Business and customer facing integrators. Silo roles are increasingly becoming marginalised.'
John Bridges

John Bridges, Transformation Director

'Many people want meaning in their work, and to be trusted to deliver, not just to earn a salary. Do employers realise that?.'
Angelo Maretti

Angelo Maretti, Marketing Product Manager

'Although everybody is concerned about data security and privacy, the world is moving towards being more and more connected. Our lives occur on the internet at such a high rate: social, sales...  The traditional way of handling relationships, both personal and commercial, is slowly declining. '
Simon Bradley

Simon Bradley, Programme Manager

'Regarding women in technology. Teams are made more effective by recruiting the right mix of skills and personalities. Age, gender, ethnicity are utterly irrelevant and are, I would argue, counter-productive as selection criteria.'
Susan Trapp

Susan Trapp, Programme Manager

'Technology roles are becoming more generalist. Developers need to be able to test, leaders need to understand technology, testers need to develop. Many are finding difficult to accept that they need to be more flexible and innovative. '
Ashwin Pawar

Ashwin Pawar, Senior Storage Engineer/Consultant

'Automation is certainly going to displace many jobs over the next seven to ten years, however many others will be created but will require different skills and much higher educational requirements such as Masters or Phds.'
Dr. Jan Farkas

Dr. Jan Farkas, Agile R&D Expert

'In the next decade, agile organizations with empathetic, visionary leadership will leave their competitors in the dust.'
Dave King

Dave King, CEO

'Tech solutions are tools and have to be seen in context; firstly of the business value that they achieve and then in the contexts of People, Process and Data. If this doesn’t happen then digital technologies are just over-hyped promises that will  fail to deliver any true value.'
Alan Nicholsby

Alan Nicholsby, Retired Senior Project Manager

'I think cloud computing will also grow significantly as large organisations look to reduce costs by closing data centres.'
Anita Peil, PhD

Anita Peil PhD, Independent consulant and mentor

'In the small companies I mentor I have observed that effectiveness depends to a large extent on whether they have funding to do what they know they ought to do if they could afford it.  They can be clever, but they still need money.'
Denis Beunard

Denis Beunard, Buyer

'Artificial intelligence will replace high value activities such as diagnostic (GP, Hospital, engineering)'
Ken Gaines

Ken Gaines, Technical Adviser – Digital Skills

'Developing young in country helps ensure training can move with needs of the time and rely on trained people out of date. Upskill older workers to balance new digital technology skills with depth and breadth understanding of the organisation for sustainable future.'
Richard Sharp

Richard Sharp, Commercial Consulting

'Tech becoming samey. Previously Inspiration was coupled with Perspiration to produce results, now it’s becoming Desperation & Homogenisation '

Events

We are having a series of launch events. Please register to keep up to date

London

London

Level 39,
One Canada Square, Canary Wharf
London, E14 5AB
October 24th 2018

Birmingham

Birmingham

Everyman Mailbox
Birmingham B1 1RF
November 6th 2018