Market Insights 2019 | Technology, London

Michael Moretti our consultant managing the role

There has been significant change in the IT market over the past 12 months and it is continually evolving. The rise of GDPR, data protection, information security and data analytics demonstrate that companies, both large and small, are taking IT compliance seriously and are using IT as a measurable business enabler and not just a support function. The visible impact that cloud services software has had on headcount growth reflects how companies are taking full advantage of the myriad of choices they have to structure their IT functions. 

IT infrastructure & Cloud Services
The last 12 months has seen significant growth in demand for cloud services skill sets. The IT infrastructure space continues to rapidly change as organisations are ever reliant on strong networks, systems and infrastructure to underpin their operations and are looking to off-premises cloud services that afford them the flexibility and agility a modern business needs. Subsequently we saw an increase of over 40% in the number of roles that required specific cloud based expertise.

Business Intelligence & Analytics
The business intelligence and data analytics market has seen widespread growth throughout last year and remained stable so far this year with only a slight decline in activity at senior level. The uncertainty of Brexit played a part in the decline, as did the outsourcing of company teams and locations.

Project & Programme Management
Project and programme management requirements within the technology space have proven strong over the past 12 months. It is apparent that there has been an increasing need for professionals to drive and support data, applications and software transformations within businesses.

With Brexit posing a threat to job security, one thing is for sure: business analysts will be more important than ever. We are seeing companies merge and even divest in order to solidify their financial position for the uncertainty ahead. These processes will require business analysts in order to carry out large data migrations or system changes. Significant tax and regulatory changes this year have also heightened demand for business analysts to help organisations bring their processes in line with new regulations.

Data Protection
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) were the words on everyone’s lips approaching the May 25th deadline last year. In fact a survey released by the European Union stated the phrase ‘GDPR’ was searched on Google more times in May 2018 than ‘Beyoncé Knowles’! Due to this flurry of activity the market remained buoyant throughout last year, especially in the initial half, as SME businesses and large organisations were required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) in order to oversee all data protection queries, get processes aligned to the act, and report any incidents or breaches to the Information Commissioners office (ICO).

The last 12 months saw consistency in terms of employment rates and sentiment in the market. Given the project based nature of architecture, the market continued to be led by contractors looking to gain further exposure in new environments with new challenges, and with relocation being an ever-present conversation. There has been a lack of movement of permanent senior level professionals, with only 20% of our head of architecture contacts saying they would feel confident to move roles within the six months. This trend is expected to continue due to the uncertainty of the current political climate.

Information Security & Cyber Security
Over the past year the information security and cyber security market has been developing and is now considered one of the most prominent areas within technology. There have been three key indicators that the market is developing.

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How technology has inspired the new wave of M&A deals
How technology has inspired the new wave of M&A deals

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Financial Services

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While mergers and acquisitions were once a strategy for companies to extend their global footprint, or grow their workforce, technology has shifted the focus. Firms are now motivated to acquire technology companies and assert their dominance in the digital sphere. Businesses might currently be facing a great deal of economic uncertainty, but there are still plenty of deals on the table, and in the first two months of H2 2020, global M&A megadeals totalled $256 billion. No matter whether the intentions of a business scale-up are to drive innovation, or to ensure competitive advantage, technology will continue to take a leading role in future deals. Here’s why technology is an essential piece of the puzzle and how it has inspired the new wave of M&A deals: Future-proofingSome job markets - like professional services - have faced fewer hurdles since the virus outbreak but they still face the pressure to remain relevant and to future-proof their services. Businesses are acquiring to stay in the game and become recognised as trailblazers, rather than chasing the competition’s tail, and M&A deals are motivated by the need to acquire new services, processes, talent or technology. Technology has the power to future-proof a business because it accelerates digital transformation; as companies try to navigate the uncertainty that is ahead, M&As will shift from being a future-proofing approach to a crisis-proofing strategy, and technology will likely play an increasingly central role. The booming cloud services marketNot long ago, AI was considered a futurist technology and conversations centred around whether robotics were a threat to jobs – even to those in the tech industry. However, research has proven how machine learning has the capacity to create more jobs and enable workforces to become more specialised. Within the same family of ‘disruptive technology’ is cloud computing. The global cloud services market is expected to hit a value of $331.2 billion by 2022, and today there are very few businesses which don’t use cloud computing models such as SaaS. This has created a flurry of activity on the M&A scene as corporations rush to snap up businesses who have the expertise and equipment they need to take their operations entirely remote. What’s more, cloud computing is built on the idea of scalability, making it an essential piece of the M&A puzzle. Research has proven how machine learning has the capacity to create more jobs and enable workforces to become more specialised. " FintechM&A deals rely heavily on face-to-face interaction, so it is no surprise that there was a 44.7% drop in the value of transactions in H1 2020 when compared to the previous year. However, in spite of the restrictions and economic uncertainty, Mastercard announced the acquisition of Finicity for $825 million in June. The fintech company specialises in open banking – a business model that gives third-party companies secure access to customers’ banking details, thereby allowing customers to have greater control over their finances and how they budget. Open banking has helped to bring financial services into the modern age - one reason why many similar M&A deals are appearing in the wake of Covid-19. 2019 was hailed the year of fintech M&As, bringing in four megadeals and a total deal value of $121.18 billion in H1 alone. Yet, 2020 has proved to be a promising year and the surge in the acquisition of fintech firms can also be attributed to the need for companies to provide a wider range of multichannel services. Markets are converging and this mounting interest in technology-enabled banking services has stirred up the M&A market where high profile fintech deals will likely go on to break more records. A career in M&AProfessionals working in M&A are in the business of creating value. While some companies will have been forced into survival mode, for others, the pandemic has exposed an opportunity to join forces with emergent start-ups or disruptive corporations. Professionals working in the M&A market are helping these businesses to source and snap up technology companies that will allow them to stay ahead of the curve. As technology continues to infiltrate every industry and discipline, M&A deals will become more widespread and the strategic skills of employees in this field will become more desirable. If you’re ready to take your skills to the market browse our jobs and have a look at our career advice hub. Providing a service that is tailored to youIf you’re interested in partnering with an agency that approaches the recruitment process differently, then Marks Sattin is the choice for you. We have a rich history of providing an unrivalled, relationship-led service to our clients and candidates. Our consultants are committed to connecting businesses of all sizes – from global organisations, to emerging start-ups - with talented professionals. Contact us if you’re looking for more information on recruitment solutions in M&A, financial services, corporate development or investment & advisory. 

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While mergers and acquisitions were once a strategy for companies to extend their global footprint or grow their workforce, technology has shifted the focus.

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David Harvey


David Harvey

David Harvey


David Harvey


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