Addressing the Skill Gap in the IT Industry

Organisations all over the world are realising a significant skill gap within their IT teams. This is, in part, due to the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating a global digital transformation (remote work, contactless retail solutions, automation wherever possible).

As a result, managers and corporate leaders are struggling to build teams that meet current market demands. The 2020 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report found that 76% of IT decision-makers experience critical skill gaps on their teams, a 145% increase since 2016. When asked to assess the level of risk that skill gaps pose to their team objectives, 77% of respondents reported a “medium to high” risk.

Managers and leaders must begin addressing the skill gap issue sooner than later if they expect their organisation to remain viable in the coming years.

Factors That Contribute to IT Skill Gaps

The global IT skill gap issue would be easiest to address If there was a single, overarching cause, like the acceleration of digital transformation rates, but that is not the case (although that is a leading cause). The Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report found the following to be reasons behind the skill gaps:

  • Rate of technology change exceeds skills development programmes (45%)
  • Difficulty attracting candidates with the required skills (45%)
  • Organisations do not invest enough in training to develop the necessary skills (42%)
  • Businesses cannot pay what top talent demands (37%)
  • Managers would hire more people if there were more qualified candidates (35%)
  • Organisations’ current training programmes aren’t developing the skills needed (34%)
  • Leaders lack the ability to track and measure the skills current employees possess (30%)

This data tells us that not only is there a lack of highly skilled IT professionals, but organisations cannot (or are not willing to) pay the required salary. As a result, businesses and workers are suffering.

How Skill Gaps Affect Businesses and Workers

The coronavirus pandemic brought around a drastic change in the way the world works. Of course, the biggest change was the transition to remote work. Second to that is the focus on employee mental health.

Once the world largely transitioned to a work-from-home structure during a time of extreme fear and uncertainty, employee mental health was dominating headlines, email threads, PowerPoint presentations, and conference calls. Everyone had generally the same message: “Workers are stressed out. Here’s what to do about it”

Meanwhile, IT professionals were working around the clock to ensure people working from home could sign into their accounts, communicate with their teams, and transition from office to home office smoothly. The skill gap, which caused a lack of talented individuals, put additional pressure on workers in the IT sector.

The Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report found the skill gap to impact IT workers and businesses accordingly:

  • Increased stress on existing employees (45%)
  • Difficulty meeting quality objectives (projects, products, deliverables) (45%)
  • Decreased ability to meet business objectives (42%)
  • Increased project duration (37%)
  • Decreased innovation in developing new products or services (35%)
  • Declining customer satisfaction (34%)
  • Increased operating costs (30%)
  • Increased talent acquisition costs (30%)
  • Loss of business to competitors (30%)

Additionally, many organisations around the world will experience financial losses due to skill gaps. Research from the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that by 2022, the monetary losses resulting from IT skill gaps will reach $775 billion globally.

The Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report found that 60% of leaders say relevant skills are the most important thing when hiring new talent. Knowing how the skill gap affects IT workers and organisations, decision-makers in the IT sector must act quickly to find and retain skilled employees.

The Value of a Trained and Certified Staff

Although many organisations offer their IT staff training opportunities, others either cannot afford specialised training programmes or cannot spare temporarily losing a worker to a 1–2-day training course. Some organisations are too worried about losing productivity while an IT professional is “away from their desk” for training, which leads to a loss of productivity over time.

While budget constraints and loss of productivity are both legitimate concerns, the benefits of trained and certified staff cannot be overlooked:

According to The Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, a qualified staff:

  • Closes organisational skill gaps (52%)
  • Boosts productivity (44%)
  • Meets client requirements (44%)
  • Speeds up troubleshooting issues (36%)
  • Give an edge over competitors (35%)
  • Leads to faster project completion (33%)
  • Leads to faster deployment of products and services (29%)
  • Reduces employee turnover (24%)
  • Makes hiring easier (15%)

Closing the Skill Gap with a Dedicated Tech Team

Outsourcing IT solutions to a dedicated tech team removes many of the concerns and challenges associated with skill gaps and a lack of talent. Not only are dedicated tech teams made up of highly trained and certified individuals, but they are often more affordable than hiring, training, and retaining in-house staff.

Inbay provides organisations all over the world with a customised team of IT professionals who can solve highly specific issues. Gain access to our talent pool of highly skilled technical engineers to expand your service offering and effortlessly accelerate your business growth.

Learn more about Inbay’s Dedicated Tech Teams.

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