Is managed services the answer to the current IT skills gap?

Act now, as the trend shows the divide increasing

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Digital transformation is vital for enterprises to thrive in the digital economy, but the growing skills gap means that many organizations struggle to locate and retain the talent they require to fulfill their business objectives.

This has become a major concern for CIOs that I speak to, who are acutely aware that a lack of digital talent could make or break the success of their objectives. They recognize that digital transformation isn’t an option without the right skilled people in place. But, they also understand that an underprepared workforce could sink plans for a smooth, accelerated digital transition.

Understanding the digital skills shortage is crucial

The problem is that the rapid pace of technological change is only exacerbating this skills gap.  The complexity of re-skilling and up-skilling staff in advancing new technologies has become a gargantuan task, not to mention keeping them in the company, once they are skilled up.

Market research company IDC believes that by next year, 90% of organizations will have adjusted project plans, delayed releases, incurred costs and lost revenue due to a lack of IT skills. The global loss could hit a staggering $390 billion annually.[1]

This was reflected in a recent global survey we carried out with IDG Connect. Of over 1,200 IT decision makers from large enterprises across all industries, a resounding 45% said they expect people skills to impact their decision making at some level in the coming months.

The stark reality is that the skills shortage is making it very difficult for organizations to stay on top of tech trends and leverage the opportunities offered by new technology to boost their expansion plans.

Act now to bridge the skills gap

According to the European Commission, the demand for skilled ICT workers is growing at 4% per annum, threatening the EU’s potential for growth and digital competitiveness by simply outpacing supply.  Europe faces a shortage of approximately 756,000 ICT professionals by next year, with zero synergy between the existing educational systems and the skills these roles require.

The short term solution is to offer higher salaries to attract talent. But, when new technologies come down the pipe, these skills will likely be out of date.  Today, for example, there is a huge lack of skills in digital analysis and artificial intelligence; tomorrow it may be in robotics.

The majority of CIOs I meet agree that organizations must invest more in skilling up their IT workforces, including the adoption of lifelong learning and effective development programs. This approach, however, isn’t going to solve the skills drought overnight, which is why organizations are increasingly looking at MSPs to address the issue.

MSPs can make perfect operations partners

MSPs provide large, scalable teams of highly trained experts that directly address your organization’s changing digital requirements. Their added value is in the ability to take on the risks and responsibilities linked to the skills gap and growing business needs.

Instead of blindly throwing budget at supporting existing IT infrastructures, MSPs can help to evaluate digital systems, suggest changes, and set out a roadmap for the future. If it makes sense to enhance or replace systems, you are safe in the knowledge that your MSP has the skills and knowledge base to support them.

Take multi-cloud, for example. We are increasingly hearing that organizations are going “cloud first” or “cloud centric.”  It is estimated that 85% of enterprises now have a multi-cloud strategy[2] Why? Because ultimately a single cloud will never deliver on all an enterprise’s business requirements. But, the downside is that multi-cloud management is very complex and there is also a big cloud skills gap. MSPs can bring to the table cloud expertise that just isn’t available in-house, making multi-cloud strategy much more achievable.

Staying one step ahead

There is no escaping the fact that technology is changing fast — actually VERY fast. Every time a new product or service appears, enterprises scramble to acquire the skills talent to ensure a competitive edge. This puts a huge amount of stress on CIOs and in-house IT and security teams to get up to speed quickly. Often it just isn’t possible.  

MSPs are a way for enterprises to be better prepared about new technologies and nimbler against the competition. By providing what can be seen as an ‘oven-ready’ expert workforce, CIOs and their teams can then focus on digital transformation and IT modernization within the business.

The skills gap shouldn’t be an excuse for a lack of technical prowess and agility, when managed services can provide a holistic approach to support, and expertise that a business today needs to thrive.

At NTT, we can simplify the management and operation of your IT requirements through our global, platform-based Managed Services, focused on providing business value. To view a global survey of IT decision makers by IDG Connect on the adoption of managed services and to benchmark your own experiences with those of your peers, visit NTT Surveys.

ceo

DAMIAN SKENDROVIC - Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Damian’s career spans over 25 years of working in IT, 14 of which has been spent in senior management positions working at NTT. As CEO of NTT Managed Services, he is charged with taking the business to double digit growth over the next two years. Drawing on his rich experience in IT services spanning over two decades to deliver this ambitious goal. Damian has built a wealth of knowledge in ICT systems from his foundational roles in channel strategy and sales with international giants such as Motorola and Siemens. He has also held key roles in technology sales and marketing, providing an all-round understanding of the ICT product lifecycle – from concept to customer. Leveraging this extensive experience, he has held several board positions including NTT Europe Ltd., Gyron Internet, NTT Com Managed Services, Secure-24 and Capside. 

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