BCS members have cited information security as the "most important attribute of the IT professional of the future".

The skill topped a poll by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, which was run ahead of the Institute's IT training and professional development summit which took place this week.

At the summit, CIOs from across the UK discussed what skills the IT industry will need in the future and how organisations can prepare by prioritising IT training and professional development now.

Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism at BCS, said: "The skills needed by an IT professional are continually changing not only to keep pace with technological advances but also to adapt to the changing nature IT plays today in business and society."

Thilthorpe said the continued expansion of online business opportunities was driving the need for information security, assurance and cyber security skills. He said organisations "needed to understand information and have an approach to risk management".

Information security topped the poll gaining more than twice the number of votes of any of the other listed attributes. System development, technical strategy and planning, business process management and business change were the next most popular skills.

Earlier this month it was announced that a unit of spy centre GCHQ was launching an information assurance certification scheme for the public sector, through the BCS. The institute was awarded a contract to provide the certification qualification to CESG, the information assurance arm of GCHQ and the UK's authority on information assurance.