Swiss Post has one of the biggest IT departments in Switzerland. It is making considerable investments in this area by improving internal basic and advanced training opportunities, promoting mobile working and by focusing on diversity. "We’re doing everything we can to position ourselves as an attractive IT employer," says Wolfgang Eger, CIO and Member of Executive Management. "Despite all these efforts, it’s still taking a long time to fill vacancies or we’re unable to find enough of the specialists needed. This means we face a growing risk of a shortage of the vital IT resources required over the medium and long term to implement the digitization of Swiss Post as planned," adds Eger. This wouldn’t only have a negative impact on Swiss Post itself, but also on the Swiss public and economy. Swiss Post needs to avoid such a scenario. That’s why the company has no option but to look for fresh solutions.
Switzerland will face a shortage of around 35,000 IT professionals up to 2028.
Around 70 IT vacancies at Swiss Post were unfilled at the end of August 2022. The recruitment process is taking increasingly longer – and often takes over nine months for data specialists. There are no signs of this trend reversing. On the contrary, the shortage of IT professionals and battle to attract the best IT talent is intensifying. Estimates indicate that Switzerland will face a shortage of around 35,000 IT professionals up to 2028. On top of that, around 270 employees are also set to retire from Swiss Post’s IT unit over the next decade. And Swiss Post also wants to remain independent of external IT providers in key areas of expertise in future.
Setting up a subsidiary in Portugal will provide access to more IT specialists
Against this backdrop, Swiss Post is adopting a fresh approach and setting up its own IT site in Portugal. This move will give the company access to the IT skills required on the European labour market – particularly in software development,
data and business analysis and cybersecurity. The Swiss Post site in Lisbon will begin operations in the first quarter of 2023 with around 50 specialists. It then aims to increase headcount to around 120 employees over the coming years. Swiss Post is founding a new subsidiary in Portugal with the name "Swiss Post I/T Portugal". Out of the various locations evaluated, Lisbon best meets Swiss Post’s requirements. IT professionals in Portugal possess extensive expertise, the quality of work is high and the working conditions and work culture are similar to Switzerland. A site in Europe also facilitates close, day-to-day collaboration with the IT teams in Switzerland.
Swiss Post is retaining its Swiss IT sites and will not transfer any jobs abroad
Swiss Post agreed the setting-up of an IT site in Portugal in close collaboration with the social partners and has provided them with transparent information about the reasons and objectives of the project. Wolfgang Eger, CIO at Swiss Post underlines the point: "The setting-up of the campus in Portugal does not involve the transfer of any jobs from Switzerland abroad. The aim is to recruit the IT specialists in Portugal that we are unable to find sufficient numbers of in Switzerland". This means the Lisbon site will complement Swiss Post’s existing IT sites in Switzerland.