Is upskilling the obvious answer to the IT shortage?

The IT skills shortage is very real in many organisations, but is enough time and resource being put into training?

The digital skills shortage is real, with demand for skilled professionals continuing to dramatically outweigh supply. According to Capgemini, 51 percent of firms say there’s an absence in hard digital skills in their organisation, and the UK government states that the digital skills gap currently costs the economy £63 billion ($82 billion) a year.

As it becomes increasingly difficult for businesses to find the talent they need, the importance of upskilling existing staff should not be overlooked—something which sadly seems to be the case today.

“Our research reveals that only 46 percent of business’ training and development is focused on new market technologies such as AI and data analytics,” says Chris Ducker, senior director of Sungard Availability Services. “With these technologies promising to fundamentally change all industries, why is this not higher? Companies need to invest in their employees, giving them the tools to drive forward a more digital future.”

It is important to note, however, that many of the latest requirements—and associated skills—are just coming to light in recent years, and it can take companies time to mobilise around new upskilling and retooling initiatives.

Big data, IoT, AI, machine learning and robotics are disrupting businesses faster than they can find talent to management them, making these some of the most important skills to focus on.

However, cybersecurity skills are also proving crucial, in part due to the number of high profile data breaches in recent years, but also thanks to the upcoming implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) next May. As the situation has shifted from if a company will be hacked to when, businesses need to ensure they have the right skills in place to mitigate security risks.

To continue reading this article register now

7 secrets of successful remote IT teams