PCR Five for Friday (27/10/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missed. Think we left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

Women of the Year 2017: Lifetime Achievement award winner revealed

Following from the reveal of the shortlist for the PCR Women of the Year Awards 2017, we are proud to announce the innagural winner of the Lifetime Achievement award: Code Club co-founder Clare Sutcliffe.

Setting up Code Club in 2012, Clare has helped introduce a generation of children to coding and programming without dumbing it down. Despite humble beginnings, in just five years more than 10,000 Code Clubs have been set up in over 100 countries, enabling hundreds of thousands of children aged 9-13 to have the opportunity to learn about computing in a way that was simply not possible in the past. 

Tickets for the PCR Women of the Year Awards are available now.

Toshiba’s nightmare 12 months ends with annual $1 billion loss

Toshiba’s nightmare year is not over yet. After declaring its nuclear arm bankrupt, putting its chip unit up for sale and enduring countless legal battles with disgruntled partner Toshiba’s annual financials are the final kick in the company’s proverbials. After tax related deductions for its chip unit sale, Toshiba’s annual loss comes in at just under $1 billion.

The forecasts takes into account taxes on the basis of assets and liabilities of the transferred business at the time of the split. However the $1 billion does not reflect expected gains from the 2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion) sale of its chip unit as the deal has yet to receive regulatory approval. In fact Toshiba may have to wait until March 2018 (at the earliest) before they can get the hands on the money from the sale.

Toshiba said that due to the tax impact, it expects a loss of 110 billion yen ($970 million) in the year to March, instead of its previously forecast profit of 230 billion yen.

Demand for IT contractors is high after initial Brexit slump

Demand for IT contractors remains high despite market uncertainty. According to industry analysis by SJD Accountancy, 8.7 per cent of organisations hired more IT contactors over the past six months compared to the slight dip following the Brexit referendum.

At the same time, fewer organisations are delaying contract extensions to the last minute – down from 9.7 per cent to 4.4 per cent – which suggests that they are keen to lock contractors in and avoid losing critical skills to competitors. Contract lengths are also on the up, with investment in long term projects claiming 31.2 per cent of IT contractors work compared to 23.6 per cent this time last year.

Demand for other IT skills are also trending upwards. The proportion of IT contractors who have seen an increase in their daily rates over the past year has remained steady, and there has been a slight fall in rate cuts. In total 23.7 per cent of contractors reported an increase in their daily rates, compared to 23.3 per cent 12 months ago. 19.1 per cent of IT contractors recently experienced a reduction in rates, down from 19.9 per cent last September.

UKFast set to triple public sector revenues

Cloud hosting specialistUKFast’s public sectordepartment is on track to triple revenues in 2017, following significant investment in the firm’s public sector and government offering earlier this year.

Recent new business highlights for the leading British provider include a £250,000 deal with the Cabinet Office, a £500,000 deal with software development service CDS, a £266,000 deal with enterprise mobility management provider Nine23 and most recently a £375,000 deal with an undisclosed public sector organisation. 

A £2.3m investment in UKFast’s government data centre space earlier this year ensures the firm meets the heightened regulatory needs of its government, financial services, international telecoms and utilities clients. The data centre upgrade was shortly followed by the acquisition of public sector cloud hosting firm Secure Information Assurance (S-IA).

Humax announces departure of VP sales following illness

Consumer electronics vendor Humax has announced that, following a period of ill health, vice president of sales Graham North will leave the company at the end of October 2017, after deciding to step down from his position.

North joined the UK wing of Humax in August of 2005 and was instrumental in numerous business successes in the the country. This includes steering Humax as a launch partner of Freesat in 2008, YouView in 2012 and Freeview Play recorders in 2014. On the business-to-business side, North played a major role in developing the company’s partnership with various leading operators across Europe.

Rob Peacock will step into the position of sales director for the UK from November 1st 2017, retaining responsibility for the UK operator business and taking on the overall responsibility for UK retail sales and marketing. Peacock has been with Humax since early 2007, where he started as a key account manager for the independent distribution channel.

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