News in Brief, IoT venture, Treasury role, IT staff, tax returns

News in Brief

Samsung partners with Microsoft in IoT venture

Samsung announced that it will be working with Microsoft to develop Internet of Things (IoT) to sync with everyday appliances.

The two tech giants revealed their renewed partnership at the CES (Consumer Technology Association) 2016 event in Las Vegas.

Dr. Hong, president of Samsung SDS and the head of its solution business, described the company’s platforms and security solutions as the key ingredients that “bring ‘smarts’ to the everyday objects in our lives ”, as reported in WhoWired.

He said Samsung’s IoT strategy was to promote “openness, interoperability, and cross-industry collaboration”, because they were the underpinnings of IoT success.

The two companies will work together to develop products that will run on a Windows 10 platform, as well as integrate with other companies developing hardware and services on Microsoft’s OS.

Samsung and Microsoft working together is not completely new; the two have already been working together for some 30 years on Windows devices, confirmed Terry Myerson, Microsoft VP of Windows and Devices.

Bank of England deputy in line for Treasury job

A deputy governor of the Bank of England has been tipped as a leading candidate for one of the most powerful jobs in Whitehall when Sir Nicholas Macpherson steps down from the Treasury.

Dame Nemat “Minouche” Shafik is being touted alongside Sharon White, Ofcom’s chief executive, and two experienced civil servants, Tom Scholar and John Kingman, to succeed Sir Nicholas as permanent secretary in April, as reported by The Times.

Traditionally the top job at the Treasury, which has been held by Sir Nicholas for the past 10 years, goes to a Treasury insider – often the second permanent secretary.

However, both the chancellor and the prime minister want to attract private sector recruits to top Whitehall jobs and the post is now expected to go to open competition for the first time.

Demand for IT staff rises as figures hit eight-month high

IT workers are in high demand with growth rates accelerating to an eight-month high, according to a report.

Audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG and the REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation) published their latest Report on Jobs, showing demand for permanent IT professionals at 65.8 on the index in December.

In comparison to the nine monitored sectors, IT performed the strongest, with a sharp pace of expansion from November’s figures at 64.3. The respective index measuring demand for all types of workers recorded 62.3.

The report also found a boost in temporary IT vacancies; the respective index rose to 61.0 in December, from 60.5 in the prior month.

Heath Jackson, partner in the CIO advisory practice at KPMG said: “In the wake of several high profile breaches, companies are investing heavily in their cyber security teams and demand for IT specialists surged in December.”

“This hiring boom has caused a skills shortage in the sector, with recruiters struggling to find enough candidates qualified in IT security to satisfy demand.”

Almost 25,000 submit online tax returns on New Year's Eve

Record self-assessment submissions were made on Christmas Day and over the New Year, including 600 returns made shortly after the strike of midnight.

More people submitted their online tax returns on New Year's Eve than ever before, HMRC has said.

The Telegraph reports New Year’s Eve appears to be an increasingly popular time for people to get their finances in order, as almost 25,000 people spent the last day of 2015 submitting their self-assessment form online.

HMRC said 24,546 people submitted their forms on New Year's Eve, a 2.8% rise from the same day in 2014.

A small number of people even made self-assessment the very first thing they did in 2016, with more than 600 people completing their forms between midnight and 6am on New Year's Day.

More people also spent time on Christmas Day completing their tax returns, with 2,044 customers finding time to complete the forms, an increase of 13% from the 1,773 who logged on in 2014.

And 5,402 people spent Boxing Day submitting their form online.

HMRC said 11 million people are due to file tax forms, around the same as last year.