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The EU Settlement Scheme: What it Means for EU Citizens Living in the UK

Whilst we are still quite a while away from the final point that Britain officially leaves the European Union, there is now more clarity on what this means for EU citizens who are living in the UK.

This is a summary of the current advice and guidance that the Home Office is now sharing. Whilst there is plenty of time before any action needs to be taken where necessary, it is prudent that any EU citizens living in the UK start to familiarise themselves with this guidance.

The following information is taken from information released by the Home Office. Anyone requiring specific or detailed immigration advice should seek the expertise of an immigration specialist.

A new EU Settlement Scheme is being rolled out and EU Citizens living in the UK (and/or their family) may need to apply for the right to stay in the UK after December 2020. Anyone who will need to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme should note that the cost of the application is £65 for adults, £32.50 for children, and in some cases may be free. 

The EU Settlement Scheme will be phased in later this year and is expected to be fully operational by end of March 2019.  For those people who are resident in the UK by 31st December 2020, the deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021 and their rights will remain unaffected until then. For those people who receive their settlement status under this scheme by that date, their close family members may be able to make an application to join them after this date.

There is no need to apply under this scheme if:

  • you’re an Irish citizen
  • you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • you have indefinite leave to enter the UK - for example, you have a Returning Resident visa

Rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are still being negotiated.

Who is eligible?

- You need to be an EU citizen or a non-EU family member of an EU citizen.

- You need to be a resident in the UK by 31 December 2020. If you have been a resident in the UK for more than 5 years you will be eligible for Settled Status. If you have been a resident for less than 5 years you are eligible for Pre-Settled Status.

- You must not be a serious or persistent criminal or a threat to national security.

What does “Settled Status” mean?

If you have Settled Status, also known as indefinite leave to remain in the UK, this means there is no time limit on how long you can stay in the UK. EU citizens who have been granted settled status will have the same access to work, study, healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK according to the same rules as now.

To be eligible for Settled Status, you’ll usually need to:

  • Be an EU citizen, or a family member of an EU citizen
  • Have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years (‘continuous residence’)
  • Have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020

You will need to apply even if you are an EU citizen married to a British citizen.

If you leave the UK and return within five years, you can enter the UK and continue to live here as a settled person.

If you are absent from the UK for more than five consecutive years, your settled status will lapse.

If you have a child born in the UK after you are granted Settled Status, that child will be a British citizen.

Settled Status will run alongside any rights you have as an EU citizen under the EU Free Movement Directive, which runs until 31 December 2020.

What does “Pre-Settled Status” mean?

If you have Pre-Settled Status, also known as limited leave to remain in the UK, this means you can stay in the UK for a period of five years. This will allow you to remain in the UK until you are eligible to apply for settled status, generally once you have lived continuously in the UK for five years.

EU citizens who have pre-settled status will have the same access to work, study, healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK according to the same rules as now. Pre-settled status will run alongside any existing rights you have as an EU citizen under the EU Free Movement Directive, which run until 31 December 2020.

What does “Continuous Residence” mean?

You will need to have continuously been a resident in the UK for five consecutive years (less in some exceptional circumstances) to be eligible to get Settled Status straightaway. If you have been continuously a resident in the UK for less than five years you will be eligible for Pre-Settled Status, enabling you to stay until you have reached the five years generally needed to be eligible for Settled Status. If your continuous residence has been broken, time spent in the UK before the time it was broken cannot be counted.

Continuous residence generally means that - over five consecutive years - you have not been outside the UK for more than six months in total, in any 12-month period. There is no restriction on the number of times you can be outside the UK, provided that the total period of time outside the UK is not more than six months, in any 12-month period.

Where do I go for advice and further guidance?

For further information about what the Settlement Scheme might mean for you and your family the best place to start is on the Home Office Website:


TEKsystems Takes a Day Out of the Office to Join our Customers at Lean Agile Brighton

Earlier this month, TEKsystems attended and sponsored the inaugural Lean Agile Brighton.

Lean Agile Brighton is a natural development for the team behind the Brighton Lean Agile MeetUp Group (BLAG) which was set up for like-minded professionals to meet, discuss, explore and learn about all areas of Lean and Agile product development.

The one-day event was hailed a success by all who attended, with its excellent line-up of speakers, relaxed, easy-going attendees and general sense of camaraderie amongst the event organisers, delegates and sponsors.

The morning kicked off with a keynote from Caitlin Walker, Director of Training Attention – Mental Modes, Invisible Architecture and Agile. Caitlin discussed how Clean Language and Systemic Modelling offer a simple technique for providing a group with tools for paying collaborative attention to one another, “minimising time and goodwill wasted in miscommunication.”

In his talk, Straightening the Circus, Geoff Watts, an Agile and Leadership Coach at Inspect and Adapt asked, “Are you as agile as you think you are?” Geoff contemplated how real-time feedback on our decisions, statements and actions could increase alignment, integrity and authenticity; which might even “inspire cultural change throughout the organisation.”

During an interactive talk entitled The Empathy Games, Paul Goddard of Agilify shared some simple techniques and protocols we can use to assess our own strength in recognising our own emotions and feelings, as well as in others. “Empathy,” Paul says, “is defined by the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.”

Liz Keogh from Lunivore Limited says we typically treat people as boxes and substances to be passed around.

“By breaking the boxes and considering the relationships between the people doing the work, we can see possibilities for change and improvement that we might otherwise miss,” says Liz. “Making value streams out of the people involved in them: not from the sum of their parts, but from the product of their relationships”.

During a captivating talk, FFlipping Management: Principles for Business Agility, Jose Casal, Business Agility Coach and Trainer from Actineo, took us through the newly emerging concept of business agility. Jose explored some of the reasons why business’ fail to achieve better business agility. He presented a set of core principles that help us FFLIP (Flow, Fitness for Purpose, Learning, Impact, People) the way we manage people working in uncertain, interdependent and evolving environments.

In How to Navigate out of Hell, Katherine Kirk, an independent Agile and Lean Coach uses the analogy of ‘automatically reaching for the chocolate in our pocket’ to illustrate how always doing the same thing the same way becomes problematic when we suddenly discover we are allergic to that chocolate. “This talk is for people in working hell, who've been in hell, or are facing hell in front of them.  How do we weather it, turn it around and use it to become effective so that we achieve greater and better things?”

Lean and agile helps us to examine alternative possibilities – just by applying one new methodology a week we might make 52 new ‘mistakes’ but you will learn 52 new things and be 52 times smarter.

Andy Carmichael from Huge IO (UK & Ireland) Ltd introduced the model of value delivery with examples from a variety of domains and explored to what degree all kanban systems would benefit from 2-tier treatment. “Kanban systems often consist of two tiers of flow, with customer value primarily associated with larger items, which break down into smaller items that are easier to monitor, estimate and forecast.”

“Though the butt of many jokes, weather forecasting—and in particular hurricane forecasting—has gotten surprisingly good over the past few decades,” Dan Vacanti, CEO, ActionableAgile told the audience in the second keynote of the day. In Your Project Behaves like a Hurricane, Forecast it Like One, Dan took his audience on a whirlwind tour from monty Hall to Monte Carlo. Dan explored some of the practices used in weather forecasting such as the Monte Carlo Simulation and discussed how we might expect to employ them to make our projects more predictable. Using Hurricane Sandy as a real-world example, Dan explained how to get up and running with methods immediately. “You wouldn’t want a little thing like bad forecasting to get in the way of delivering your projects on time, would you?”

TEKsystems’ very own Joanna Plumpton, Application Development Practice Head and Agile Coach spoke about how TEKsystems’ Agile Practice helps our clients transform all aspects of software development and delivery through the adoption of Agile best practices and methods, allowing them to increase speed to market, enhance collaboration between business units and IT and deliver high-quality products. Our service offerings meet the needs of organisations undergoing Agile adoption at any stage, from project-specific engagements to enterprise-wide adoption. Joanna used the analogy of her own home renovation project to describe how TEKsystems can support digital transformation projects in much the same way as choosing between a “doing-it-yourself” option or a fully managed service.

The afternoon finished off with talks from Sallyann Freudenberg, Co-founder and Director, Cucumber Ltd: Leaping back into code via Remote Mobbing, Chris McDermott, Lean Agile Coach and Founder, Lean Agile Scotland: Maturity Mobbing and Mike Burrows, Founder, Agendashift: Right to Left.

After a Q&A session with the day’s speakers, delegates were invited to join TEKsystems for a sunset flight on the BA i360, a giant glass viewing pod which glides up gently to 450ft, offering magical views of Brighton’s landmarks and the rolling coastline stretching away to the horizon.

TEKsystems Agile Event

 


Further reading

The EU Settlement Scheme: What it Means for EU Citizens Living in the UK

TEKsystems Takes a Day Out of the Office to Join our Customers at Lean Agile Brighton

Navigating a Time of Uncertainty in the UK and EMEA

Interview Tips and Best Practices

New Global Workforce Trends Report Examines Economic and Demographic Shifts Influencing Talent Supply

How AI and the Internet of Things is Shaping the IT Workforce

TEKsystems Digital Win Tug of War Tournament in Support of Wounded Veterans

TEKsystems Hosts Blockchain Networking Event

Internet of Things Shifts Computing from the Cloud to the Edge

Brexit and the Impact of the Divorce Principles on the Technology Sector’s Talent Pool

TEKsystems Hosts TEKtalk for Contractors and Candidates

Latest Trends in The Consulting Services Industry


Navigating a Time of Uncertainty in the UK and EMEA

By Oliver Wilkinson, Director of Customer & Market Insight, Allegis Group EMEA

Oliver Wilkinson, Director of Customer & Market Insight at Allegis Group EMEA discusses the current talent landscape in the EMEA region under the uncertainty of Brexit.

BrexitMany global and regional trends are impacting the talent landscape in EMEA. Companies struggle to find people with emerging skill sets, particularly in high-demand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. They are challenged to attract talent into the business, and they’re equally concerned with enduring issues of engagement and retention. These issues are all important, but they are magnified by the uncertainty borne of Brexit and its potential impact on the movement of businesses and workers between the UK and the European Union.

The Uncertainty of the Post-Brexit Future

There is a hard deadline for Brexit in March 2019, but organisations struggle to determine what they need to do about it today. Larger companies have contingency plans to relocate their operations (eg, middle and back-office functions, and in some cases the entire business), but, in many cases, there is not enough certainty to finalize those plans and take action. Conversely, mainland Europe could benefit from an influx of businesses relocating and a possible wave of skilled workers seeking opportunity.

While more than two-thirds of financial services firms in London plan to hire new staff over the next year, and tech giants such as Google and Facebook have already announced their intentions to expand their operations in London, net migration to the UK is falling, and student visas are being restricted. So, businesses are still seeking talent despite the threat to the talent pool that Brexit poses.

Employers Need Strong Recruitment Functions to Navigate Uncertainty

For employers, Brexit uncertainty will place more emphasis on the need to commit to recruitment best practices. A strong employer brand is more critical than ever. The ability to attract and retain talent, deliver a great candidate experience, and create highly satisfied, loyal employees will be essential. And finally, using flexible engagement models will be critical as companies across industries reach out to employees, contractors, contingent workers, and freelancers to drive business growth and success.

Companies doing business in the UK and across the European Union are engaging talent solutions partners to address their workforce challenges. The balance of assignment-based workers and traditional permanent labour will continue to evolve, and the use of staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, and managed services provider solutions will continue to grow more strategic.

For an effective talent partner, filling a role for a client today is only part of the picture. There is a need for recruitment firms and companies to work closely together, to share expertise and challenges to be able to understand one another, and to work together to attract and retain talent. Working together to serve each other’s interests will be far more impactful than working in a traditional client/services model in isolation of each other. The organisations that truly partner, that are honest about issues and challenges – those are the relationships that stand the best possible chance of success not only in attracting top talent, but in retaining top talent, too.

To find out more, click here to download your free copy of Allegis Group’s 2018 Global Workforce Trends Report


Interview Tips and Best Practices

By Lara Doyle | 10 October 2018

An interview represents an important milestone in the job search process. It's critical to make the most of your time with hiring managers and decision makers.

While it's natural to feel some pressure, interviews do not have to be stressful. Using insight gained from years of successfully placing contractors into meaningful job positions, we have outlined some industry best practices and tips to help you navigate the interview process.

Know yourself

Before the interview, reflect on your greatest accomplishments, strengths and improvement opportunities. List these for yourself and be ready to share them when the appropriate interview questions arise. Make sure you can explain how your accomplishments supported your past employers and think of examples when your strengths applied in a work situation. Don’t forget to also think through your weaknesses and be prepared to talk about skills you’re working on or how you have improved your development opportunities.

Know the company

Learn as much as you can about the company and the open position by talking with your consultant and conducting research on your own. Interviewers appreciate and respect candidates who show an understanding of their environment.

Practice interviewing

Work with your consultant to gain unique insight into the company culture, interviewers and what type of questions to expect. We also recommend that you enlist friends or family members to help review potential interview questions about your experience, skills and career goals. Practice can help make you feel more comfortable and confident.

Be energetic

During interviews, express yourself in a lively, confident manner and make eye contact with the hiring manager, even if you are nervous. Enthusiasm shows the interviewer you have the desire and energy to get the job done. Additionally, the people interviewing you will be drawn to your pleasant and confident attitude.

Be prepared

Take several copies of your CV with you to the interview. Also prepare three to five questions, at minimum, for your interviewers. You can come with the questions written down in a portfolio. It is also acceptable to jot down a few notes as the interviewer answers your questions.

Dress appropriately

Men should wear a suit, dress shirt and tie. Women should dress conservatively. Best practice is to opt for neutral suit colours such as black, navy, grey or brown. Any tattoos should be covered, and jewellery should be minimal.

Follow up

After the interview, write a thoughtful thank you note to the interviewer(s); alternatively, your consultant can help you send this to your interviewer. Thank you notes should be individualised for each interview but can be addressed to more than one person if each interviewed you at the same time. Your thank you note should express your appreciation of the interviewer's time and interest, restate your interest in the role and recap the strengths you can bring to the position.

Follow through

Remember, every position you hold in your career serves as another feather in your cap. Once you receive an offer and begin a job, make sure you stay focused on delivering your best work. When you are ready to move on, it is important to have allies and references who can offer great insight to your skills and qualifications.


New Global Workforce Trends Report Examines Economic and Demographic Shifts Influencing Talent Supply

By Lara Doyle | 21 September 2018

Historically low unemployment rates, demand for new skills, a retiring generation of workers and the 'war on talent' between competing organisations means that employers must contend with unprecedented challenges of talent supply and demand.

Global Workforce TrendsFor employers, embracing practices to address those challenges is essential. To promote a better understanding of the issues, Allegis Group has released its latest Global Workforce Trends Report. The white paper draws on a broad array of industry data, extensive research, insight from workforce strategy experts, and findings from a survey of talent acquisition stakeholders around the world. The result is a practical view of the trends that influence every employer’s ability to acquire talent.

The report, provides an overview of trends for regions across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific (APAC). The research covers macroeconomic issues, industry trends, and the demands for skills. The impact of these factors is explored, and insight is provided on best practices and strategic priorities that leading organisations embrace to stay ahead.

Evolving Models for Talent Acquisition

“Together, individual relationships, empowerment for career development, and consistent communication all play a role in keeping great talent connected and engaged with their work,” says Rachel Russell, Global Head of Corporate Strategy at Allegis Group.

“Through stronger employee relationships and reduced attrition, organisations can position themselves to gain an advantage at a time when critical talent is a main driver of business success.”

As the proverbial war for talent ensues, the push for business growth and the need for workers with critical skills will keep the pressure on companies to embrace creative solutions to meet talent needs. Every aspect of talent acquisition and management will continue to be imperative: employer brand, diversity and inclusion, sourcing and recruiting, employee experience, use of technology, and overall access and visibility to the workforce supply.

The elements of talent success require an increasing level of expertise and specialised attention. The report outlines how talent solutions providers will continue to play a vital role in bringing expertise and attention to these areas as companies realise the strategic value that an innovative, dedicated partner can provide.

Succeeding in a World of Talent Scarcity

The leaders in a global environment of talent scarcity will be the employers that take on a strategic, global view of their talent needs and talent supply, across all skills types and flexible and permanent employment models. Those leaders will be the organisations that can strengthen their talent acquisition capability, and focus on retaining the critical talent currently in their workforce. These priorities will not only shape talent acquisition but also the health and success of the business itself.

To find out more, click here to download your free copy of Allegis Group’s 2018 Global Workforce Trends Report


How AI and the Internet of Things is Shaping the IT Workforce

By Lara Doyle | 12 September 2018

Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things is putting pressure on an already stretched information technology workforce.

From skills demand and workforce planning to the suppression of AI adoption as well as it’s possible applications to workforce development, AI is already shaping the future of the tech talent landscape, and it’s not even *really* here yet.

Emerging and classic skill sets are in high demand

Most enterprises are further away from a full-scale artificial intelligence revolution than the media hype would have you believe. Anyone who tells you The Next Big thing is about to change everything right away hasn’t lived through an ERP implementation and seen how deadline-shattering and painful systems integration can be.

But this won't stop enterprises from snapping up the limited supply of available AI talent. We saw this phenomenon a few years ago when new technology giants like Facebook snatched up all the talented developers they could find—before there were even projects to work on. The fear of being ‘Amazoned’ is making traditional enterprises anxious to be prepared before the next disruption catches up with them.

The talent for war has commenced. Top-tier machine learning and artificial intelligence PhDs who also know how to code have found themselves (quite profitably) in the middle of transfer deadline day-like bidding wars. Machine learning engineers and data scientists are seeing their stock rise; software engineers and masters of the algorithm are next.

These latest trends are bolstering a classic skill set – enterprise architecture. Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are enormously complex and involve enormous data warehouses or expensive cloud options, increased computing bandwidth and unfathomable levels of systems integration. All of this will require an economical technology architecture that will be flexible enough to pivot with the upcoming, unknown change.

Workforce planning will become less rigid

Talent shortages and the cost of IT labour mean that the people leading IT workforce planning—whether that’s IT leaders or HR—are going to become a lot more flexible about their staff portfolios. Workforce portfolios will no longer be held to certain percentages of contract, permanent and statement of work (SOW).

Instead, leaders will be granted more flexibility to choose appropriate workforce solutions from a variety of options, including contract labour, internal development, apprenticeship programs, setting up new work locations based on the availability of talent, plus, of course, hiring and contracting.

AI and IoT won't be scalable without skills development and workforce adoption

Gartner recently told IT leaders to start investing in AI, IoT and information security (InfoSec) in the coming year. Realistically, AI and IoT are unlikely to cause disruption to most organisations this early. In particular because, despite successful limited-use cases, particularly with regards to IoT, organisations have neither the computing bandwidth nor the data analytics expertise to harness IoT’s capabilities.

With regards to AI, two simple challenges will inhibit its integration into the organisation: investment and change management when it comes to workforce adoption of new technologies and methodologies. That’s not to say the organisation shouldn’t be preparing …

However, AI will impact workforce development

AI is likely to impact workforce development sooner rather than later. The pace of the technological evolution is leaving business leaders in the dark about what precise skills are required for a role and are therefore asking for everything – compounding the already significant shortage in talent.

Faced with challenges posed by talent shortages and the need to stay abreast of technological advancement, new AI applications can help large enterprises to identify in-house talent for re-deployment. AI could create candidate success profiles, identify likely candidates for development and upskilling, preparing them for when the need arises.

Just imagine the implication of applying AI to picking the perfect fantasy football team!


TEKsystems Digital Win Tug of War Tournament in Support of Wounded Veterans

By Lara Doyle | 20 July 2018

TEKsystems Digital participate in a tug of war tournament to raise money for chosen charity, Supporting Wounded Veterans.

Supporting Wounded Veterans is a UK-based charity that supports wounded campaign soldiers, including those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. These veterans are battling with both physical and mental injuries that have proved life-changing.

Supporting Wounded Veterans help them to rebuild their futures through a unique, specially designed, ski-based development programme which enables them to regain their confidence and embark on a new path to fitness and wellbeing. This is followed with a mentoring and job-finding programme that supports veterans to re-train and find employment. The ultimate goal is to help veterans re-integrate into society, ensuring long-term stability for themselves and their families.

TEKsystems Digital chose to support the charity because of the positive impact it has had on people close to their team.

The team took the field against strong competition from the charity’s other sponsors including HSBC, M&G Investments, Ruffer LLP, KPMG and even the Canary Wharf Security team. Some of the teams were much bigger than TEKsystems Digital but thanks to their teamwork and play to win attitude, they emerged as the unbeaten champions of the day.

Chelsea Karaolis – Senior Consultant at TEKsystems Digital – said, “The charity has helped me and my family following my brother's life-threatening brain injury and army discharge in 2011.

“The charity helped to rebuild my brother's confidence and enabled him to start his own motivational speaking and wellbeing company.

“Without the charity I'm not sure what position my brother would be in and I can't even begin to explain how thankful I am for their help.”

Supporting Wounded Veterans is a TEKsystems Digital chosen charity and they will continue to support its work throughout their 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility programme for the rest of the year. 


TEKsystems Hosts Blockchain Networking Event

TEKsystems hosts successful blockchain networking event after identifying an appetite for blockchain and cryptocurrency knowledge-sharing amongst clients.

“Blockchain and cryptocurrency have become extremely hot topics,” says Bronagh Fogarty, Senior Account Manager at TEKsystems.

“Through various conversations with our clients, contractors and candidates we recognised that our customers are eager to find out more about this emerging technology, the skills that are required and how it can be applied in their businesses.”

TEKsystems wanted to be facilitating that conversation and on 21 June hosted 35 guests at The Gable in the heart of Tech City. Over drinks and canapes, Bronagh, Melissa Usher and John Meyers brokered introductions while guests networked with peers.

Representing SMEs as well as enterprise organisations from a variety of industries including retail, technology, marketing, gambling, publishing and finance, delegates took the opportunity to discuss challenges, share wins and exchange ideas.

Conversation circled around topics such as the lack of knowledge within the industry about blockchain and cryptocurrency, nervousness around security issues and safeguarding the future of the industry. The lack of experienced blockchain developers was also a much-discussed topic.

“As an emerging technology, there will naturally be a shortage of skills until developers with an interest in blockchain have had an opportunity to gain experience and upskill themselves,” says Bronagh.

“However, we have noticed an incredible passion for the technology amongst our contractors and candidates with many pouring hours of personal time into learning the theory and its applications.”

The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all. With no fixed agenda or allocated speakers, this was a relaxed opportunity for TEKsystems customers to get together, share their expertise and learn from each other.


Internet of Things Shifts Computing from the Cloud to the Edge

July 03, 2018 | Lara Doyle

Just as the enterprise adjusts to the Cloud, along comes the Edge.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the latest technology disrupting the status quo. IoT are all physical objects that connect to the Internet and exchange data, such as thermostats, security cameras, vehicles, security cameras; you name it.

IoT was originally developed to solve a problem: computers were very good at processing data that humans inputted, but humans couldn’t input data fast enough, or accurately enough. IoT may have been in the works for decades but the pace of development has been phenomenal since the democratisation of technology. Today it touches all industries from the motor car industry to the health care sector and it has found its way into our homes and offices.

The speed to production of connected objects has been unprecedented. Gartner puts the number of connected items in 2017 at 9 billion, up from 1 billion just 8 years previously. By 2021, they predict that one million new IoT devices will be sold every hour. As the digital and “real” world converge and experiences become increasingly more immersive, the proliferation of data being collected is unparalleled.

What is Edge Computing?

With this upsurge in data being collected, it is becoming increasingly necessary to find a more efficient means of sorting, processing and analysing said data. Edge Computing is computing resources that are deployed remotely at the ‘edge’ of an enterprise such as an office, a shop, a hospital, a factory, etc and the ‘thing’ which is transmitting data. These computing resources – servers, storage, software and network connectors – are decentralised from central data centres. It is here, at the Edge, that data is then processed.

Edge Computing differs from traditional distributed computing because it is connected to IoT such as remote sensors, tablets and smartphones. In the absence of Edge Computing, data would first be sent to the Cloud where it is processed and analysed before being returned. With Edge Computing, that data is scrutinised and analysed at the site of production and only relevant data is sent to the Cloud to be stored.

The digital business

This is beneficial to the business for a number of reasons, including time saved analysing data, downsizing storage volumes and making it easier to abide security and data privacy regulations.

Gartner’s digital business is the new business design where digital and physical worlds are blurred. It is the interaction of people, businesses and intelligent ‘things’. When this physical and digital convergence happens, business moments occur – “transient opportunities in which people, data, businesses and things work together dynamically to create value”. (Thomas J Bittman, VP and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner)

These moments are lost as current data processing methods are sluggish. Immersive experiences, such as augmented and virtual reality, are creating real-time, unpredictable interactions but latency, regulation and storage slow down the business’ ability to capture the moments.

What should businesses do to prepare for Edge Computing?

Gartner predicts that by 2022, as a result of digital business projects, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralised data centre or Cloud.

In order to start preparing, Gartner recommends businesses should:

  • Address emerging digital business requirements by developing an infrastructure strategy that includes Edge Computing.
  • Identify skills and operational changes needed for future projects.
  • Prepare the infrastructure and operations teams for Edge Computing by identifying required skillsets, training and hiring where needed.

Brexit and the Impact of the Divorce Principles on the Technology Sector’s Talent Pool

June 21, 2018 | By Lara Doyle

The impending exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union – known as Brexit – has brought into question the future of the UK’s standing as the Silicon Valley of Europe. What will the impact be to employment and access to available talent in Europe?

BrexitIn early December 2017, the Brexit Divorce Principles – the key negotiable objectives of the first phase for the United Kingdom’s (UK) impending exit from the European Union (EU) were finally agreed.

The three principles core to the ‘divorce’ proceedings are:

  • Guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens
  • Protecting the Irish border
  • Agreeing to foot the Brexit bill

The UK and the EU have also agreed to cooperate on nuclear, police and security issues and agreed to ensure that there will be continued availability of products on the market before Brexit to minimise disruption for businesses and consumers.

On 20 December 2017 the European Commission recommended draft negotiating directives for the second phase of the UK’s withdrawal and negotiations are set to continue.

As the negotiations continue to play out, uncertainty reigns supreme. Of the many, many concerns raised by Brexit one of the most pressing is the impact leaving the EU will have on the British economy and the labour market.

Despite political posturing, media doomsaying and general disheartenment being expressed by senior business leaders there are indications in early 2018 that the outlook might not be as gloomy as anticipated.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has estimated that the UK economy grew by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2017, “driven by both the manufacturing and the service sectors, supported by the weaker pound and a buoyant global economy”.

UK employment rates have continued to rise annually since 2011 (data: Office for National Statistics (ONS)). There are indications that UK businesses are likely to create jobs in 2018: the CBI has found that 51% of firms across the UK will grow their workforce in the year ahead. CityA.M. reported more than two-thirds of London’s financial services firms plan to recruit staff over the next 12 months, with the majority planning to bring permanent staff on board.

There is major unease, however, over the impact Brexit will have on the available talent pool. The ONS has released figures suggesting that net migration dropped by 106,000 in the 12 month period since the Brexit referendum took place. This is the largest fall in any 12-month period since records began in 1964.

The UK technology industry employs 1.5 million people and it is growing at twice the rate of the wider economy. In short, the industry is imperative to the UK and all steps should be taken to protect Britain’s position as a global technology leader, to urgently close the skills gap from within and to continue to attract highly-skilled professionals from the EU and beyond.

A Brexit without freedom of movement between the EU and UK will mean that businesses will not have access to a wide talent pool and they will find it hard to recruit for highly-skilled positions. Talent could also become potentially more expensive.

While one in five technology jobs are held in London, figures from The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) suggest that 68% of UK digital tech investment was made outside London, with Edinburgh, Cambridge, Bristol and Bath, Oxford, Manchester and Sheffield attracting almost £700 million of investment between them. The pinch to the technology sector and employment as a whole will be felt throughout the UK.

Non-Europeans who are already working in the UK’s technology sector should be relatively unaffected by Brexit in the short term (conditional on whether or not Britain maintains its global position in the industry). However, those EU nationals already embedded in the UK industry are probably experiencing a period of stressful uncertainty. Technology businesses can go a long way to support their current employees by engaging them with regular communications. It is important that right now they are made to feel like important and contributing members of the business.

In the meantime, while the Brexit negotiations continue, organisations should use this opportunity to identify at-risk areas of the business such as a concentration of EU employees or where succession plans are reliant on an EU employee. This is the time to be putting contingency plans in place, prioritising recruitment plans and identifying and investing in future sources of talent.

But as technology giants such as Google, Facebook and Snapchat have announced their intentions to expand in London in spite of Brexit, the Government is set to double the number of visas available to exceptional workers in areas like digital technology to 2,000. In a statement, Prime Minister Theresa May said, “Technology is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy, as we will continue to invest in the best new innovations and ideas, in the brightest and best talent and in revolutionary digital infrastructure. And as we prepare to leave the European Union, I am clear that Britain will remain open for business.”

Most recently, a £2.5 billion Patient Capital programme and new startup visas were announced by the Prime Minister. “The measures we are announcing today will allow innovative British startups to invest in their future – and in the UK – by hiring more skilled people, expanding their business and exporting their expertise across the world.

“It’s a great time to be in tech in the UK, and our modern Industrial Strategy will drive continued investment, ensuring the nation flourishes in the industries of the future and creating more high-paying jobs.”


TEKsystems Hosts TEKtalk for Contractors and Candidates

In June, the TEKsystems Stockholm office hosted TEKtalk – an opportunity for our contractors and candidates to network and exchange ideas.

Following on from the success of networking events the TEKsystems Stockholm office put on for their clients, the team wanted to give their contractors and placements a similar experience.

In June, they invited their customers to a TEKtalk event where they were given the opportunity to discuss the challenges and successes of their current roles and to enable them to grow their network with each other and with the TEKsystems consultants.

The TEKtalk was attended by around 20 guests who consisted of Developers, Testers, Business Analysts and Project Managers from a range of industries. During the after-work mingle, Scala Developer Marco Borst was invited to talk about functional programming. Functional programming is the process of building software by composing pure functions, avoiding shared state, mutable data, and side-effects. His talk was very well received prompting follow-up questioning from the audience.

Staffan Nöteberg, a renowned Agile Coach, discussed the latest trend of monotasking. Monotasking, also known as single-tasking, is the practice of dedicating oneself to a given task. It contrasts with multitasking, which is the ability to divide one's focus among multiple tasks. Staffan is a published author and accomplished speaker, who teaches monotasking and regex and consults in software development.

“Everyone had a great time,” said Louise Solar, a TEKsystems Consultant and event organiser. “Our guests were very relaxed and networked with each other very easily.”

“TEKtalk is an opportunity for our contractors to know that professionally they do belong to something, even though they work as freelancers, sometimes in isolation.”

“It was great to meet colleagues and TEKsystems’ employees,” one guest told us while another said, “The TEKtalk was an interesting perspective and a refreshing change from my everyday duties.” 


Latest Trends in The Consulting Services Industry

June 05, 2018 | By Lara Doyle

The consulting services industry is experiencing incredible growth due to the upheaval caused to people and processes by fast-paced technological developments, political uncertainty, the regulatory landscape and risk management.

The Big Four – PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG – account for nearly 40% of the industry’s estimated $155 billion global worth. They look set to cling to their market dominance for the time being, despite being associated with tax avoidance scandals in recent years. This is largely down to their sheer size, global reach and household names, making them the first port of call for businesses seeking consulting expertise.

However, disruptive technologies and emerging competitors are challenging their long term market hegemony. The growth in the consulting services market is largely being driven by the race to digitalise by businesses of all sizes. Uncertainty due to political events such as Brexit are also a factor as well as the increasing complexity of regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which, while a European Union (EU) legislation, will have international repercussions. Risk management remains a major source of growth which includes increased pressure on cybersecurity to fight fraud and protect data privacy.

These emerging consulting services competitors are impacting the modus operandi of the industry in general, driving new trends which are shaping the core functions of the industry.

The changing nature of the consultancy-client relationship

As in all industries, customer experience is impacting business strategy for consulting services. Customer expectations are forcing the market to adapt swiftly to the changing times. Fiona Czerniawska of Source Global Research says that frictionless delivery will be a trend to watch out for in 2018.

“It’s a rare consulting firm that puts itself in its clients’ shoes and sees just how sclerotic some of its processes have become,” she says.

“And that matters because most of the high-growth opportunities in the market (think digital transformation, cybersecurity, customer experience, and data and analytics) all require some degree of cross-practice working.”

A LexisNexis industry report sites multi-sourcing as a growing trend. Instead of retaining the services of one consulting firm to manage all the elements of a project, businesses are preferring to retain multiple consulting firms with niche specialities and expecting them to collaborate on the successful outcome of a project.

MarketResearch.com echoes this finding and adds that consulting service firms are also becoming modularised as clients are preferring to pick and choose from a number of components with individual pricing that can be executed in house. Modularisation of services is particularly popular where a single service firm is not able to handle the complexities of a bigger project.

In the Global Consulting and IT Service Providers Trend Report, author Kumar Parakala writes about co-creation with clients. “Consulting and IT service providers will increasingly be expected to create solutions in close cooperation with clients. Elite consulting firms are currently leading the way with co-creation solutions.”

Adoption of digital technology

Consulting services are launching and enhancing their social media and content marketing presence, according to the Professional Services Market Global Report 2017. They are doing so in order to find and engage with clients online, to market their services and monitor their competitors. The growth rate of social media adoption within the industry is aligned with global Internet adoption and online communication and helps consulting services to improve brand awareness, increase their client base, and boost client satisfaction.

While artificial intelligence remains as much a hot topic in 2018 as it was in 2017, consultants can rest assured their jobs won’t be displaced by robots (just yet). However, consulting services firms are actively implementing automated back office functions in order to improve the customer experience and relieve office workers of laborious back office tasks. Automation reduces costs, improves customer service and allows for better oversight of trends impacting the clients’ business.

“New technologies that automate certain consulting functions will increasingly be viewed as an important complement to the skills of the professional consultants,” says the aforementioned LexisNexis report.

The virtual office is also being realised by the industry, enabled by rapid technology deployment, pressure to reduce costs and the proliferation of the smartphone. By placing the office infrastructure in the Cloud and relying on contract consultants (see The future of talent below), the consulting services industry is able to reduce costs for themselves and their clients while maximising growth.

The future of talent

The gig economy (a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs) is a growing trend in the consulting services industry which traditionally nurtured the cream-of-the-crop employees for the long haul.

However, in such a strong growth market, the war for talent is real and finding and retaining top talent will continue to be top of the agenda at consulting services firms.

Fiona Czwerniawska says, “[We’re] hearing the first rumbles of discussion around how, in a world in which at least some of the work done by junior consultants is automated, the talent model needs to change.

“Most firms are optimistic, confident that a combination of reskilling and changes in recruitment will allow them to navigate waters brimming with potential reputational damage.”

Innovation, agility and the willingness to adapt

As the consulting services industry grows and the pressure to reduce costs by those seeking their services increases, the scale and brand of the consultancy is playing less and less importance. Clients are seeking innovative and cost effective solutions and speed and flexibility are important factors in winning work.

Small-to-medium consulting services firms are challenging the bigger, more established firms with their ability to innovate and their agile pricing and service models.