This blog is part 6 of a series of 7 on the results of our inaugural research report The State of DevOps in Financial Services.

Earlier this year Contino reached out to IT professionals in financial services to gain a greater understanding of innovation and DevOps in the industry.

We received responses from 165 professionals, ranging from engineers to CTOs working at a range of financial services organizations from FinTech startups and investment funds to insurance firms and the biggest global banks.

This culminated in our research report The State of DevOps in Financial Services.

For an introduction to our findings, check out an earlier article here. This blog series will take a closer at each chapter of the report in turn.

In this blog, we take a look at talent and culture in financial services organisation:

  • Do they have the skills?
  • Can they get the skills?
  • How will they get the skills?

The Trouble with Talent

Half have the talent they need to make progress with their transformations, the other half are struggling to attract talent.

Without the right skills, any digital transformation will fall flat. Your people are the fulcrum of any innovation push.

Given the much-talked-about skills shortage in the IT industry, the responses around skills follow an unsurprising trajectory. A majority (36%) of respondents have only “a few” of the skills required to innovate. This is significant as, without the skills, a third of companies are not going anywhere fast!

However, 61% reported possessing either “some”, “most” or “all” of the right skills.

So, painting with broad brush strokes, around half of organizations have enough skills to work with, for the other half they appear to be a major barrier.

When it comes to attracting the rights skills, again, very few find it easy. A majority (54%!) find it “very” or “extremely” difficult to attract the right talent. Only 16% are able to attract the right talent easily. It seems to be difficult to attract talent, even if you are successful in ultimately doing so.

The skills shortage is real in financial services!

Acquiring Skills

Outsourcing and upskilling are the name of the game for solving the skills conundrum. But which is preferred?

Above we saw that it’s difficult for companies to attract the right talent even for those that, in the end, succeed in doing so. Accordingly, we see a big reliance on internal upskilling emerging when it comes to how companies will source the skills to carry out their own innovation strategy. 53% of respondents report that their strategy will “significantly” depend on upskilling existing staff. 26% will rely “somewhat” on upskilling. This is encouraging as organizations ideally need to be insourcing the skills they need so that they can build an effective engineering culture.

However, regardless of their in-house upskilling efforts, outsourcing is still set to increase with 39% looking to outsource more over the next year. This compares to 14% outsourcing less and 30% outsourcing about the same amount.

In the face of the skills shortage organizations are attacking the problem from both ends to acquire the skills they need, be it by purchasing contractors or training on-site teams.


Talent is tricky to source across the board, with organizations burning the candle from both ends (outsourcing and upskilling) in order to secure the necessary skills to fulfil their digital ambitions.



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Ben Saunders

VP, Consulting EMEA

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