Technology is advancing at an incredibly fast rate to the point that many of those in business feel that they can’t keep up. This poses a big challenge to enterprises, both large and small, as they work to stay up-to-date with rapidly evolving technology that helps to make business processes easier and more automated.
Where this challenge is most pronounced is in the work force. As the infographic shows, a group of three hundred IT leaders in the U.S. were polled and 63% of them projected that the impending IT skills gap would have a negative impact on their business.
Preparing for the future
Whilst many businesses have made plans for the future and the hiring of new IT talent for their officers, over a quarter of the businesses polled did not have a plan in place to improve their work force through new hires. Perhaps more alarmingly, 60% of these businesses don’t have a plan to retrain their current work force in new IT techniques and technologies.
More than half of these businesses have conducted research to identify the future needs of their workforces however, and hopefully that will see those numbers drop as they begin to plan for their future. Only a little more than 20% of businesses feel poorly prepared as a result of their current research.
Those businesses that do plan for the future, place an emphasis on planning for the next 1-3 years. Whilst this allows them to respond to problems in an agile manner, it doesn’t do much in terms of providing a long-term solution. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the statistic that 78% of IT leaders believe that a flexible work force (that is, a workforce made up of temporary, contractual or independent workers) is very important to them if they wish to achieve their current goals.
Flexible work forces are often cheaper in short run, but in the long term businesses may end up paying a lot more for these flexible workers than they would have for directly employed workers who received the correct IT training. As it stands over 30% of the total IT workforce is made up of flexible workers, and that number is most likely going to rise unless businesses begin training in-house employees.
Perhaps the biggest change which businesses could make to slow the growing skills gap would be to keep their IT leaders alerted to any major changes in business practice, or any upcoming initiatives so that they can prepare their workforce more effectively. As it stands, only 25% of leaders are always alerted to these changes, with 74% receiving little to no warning ahead of time.
The four areas that most demand IT skills currently are:
· The Cloud
· Business intelligence
· Mobile Technologies
All of which are growing sectors that will likely make up a large chunk of the future economy. If they want to stay in touch, businesses are going to have to begin to consider training their in house staff up with new systems and technology, as well as keeping their IT managers more in the loop with upcoming events and clients for the company.