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SoftwareOne research reveals 4 ways how IT leaders must bridge skills gap

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skills gap

The rapid pace of technological change makes it challenging for organizations to develop the necessary skills. They often evaluate new technologies without ensuring they have the skills to implement them.

According to research conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of SoftwareOne, 98% of organizations globally are facing a cloud skills gap, specifically in trying to find people with general cloud skills, cloud architecture knowledge, and adapting, monitoring and troubleshooting for cloud. The same number again acknowledged that the lack of cloud skills has negatively impacted their operations.

Skills gap is affecting employees in many ways, such as:

  1. Employee Turnover
  • 23% of employees may leave their jobs due to the skills shortage.
  • Highly skilled IT experts are at high risk of resigning amid economic uncertainty.
  1. Lack of Support
  • 20% of employees feel unsupported in their roles.
  • Lack of support is most pronounced in healthcare (35%) and retail (27%).
  • Smaller companies (22%) experience more support issues than larger ones (18%).
  1. Team Tension
  • 34% report tension with their boss, and 42% within teams due to the skills gap.
  • Tension is highest in healthcare (57% team tension, 45% with boss) and the public sector (60% team tension, 40% with boss).
  1. Discomfort Asking for Training
  • 22% of employees are uncomfortable requesting additional training.
  • Senior positions like IT team supervisors (33%) and CTOs (27%) feel the most discomfort.
  1. Increased Pressure to Digitally Transform
  • 43% feel increased personal pressure to digitally transform their organization.
  • 34% believe senior leadership is unhappy with digital transformation progress.
  • Pressure is highest in the public (68%) and healthcare (57%) sectors, and among CIOs (67%).
  1. Retention Issues
  • 36% of respondents struggle to retain team members.
  • This issue is most severe in the finance sector (44%) and more common in larger organizations (38%) than smaller ones (32%).
  1. Monotonous and Unrewarding Work
  • 32% of the workweek is spent on monotonous or unrewarding tasks.
  • Key tasks include ensuring compliance, managing patch updates, and optimizing cloud costs.

What can IT leaders do to reduce skills gap?

Technology advances faster than human re-skilling, creating an inevitable lag. New technologies like cloud computing require a different approach, which many teams are unprepared for. Without the right competencies, organizations risk falling behind and losing their competitive edge. Hence, it is crucial to identify and address skills gap proactively.

IT leaders should implement these four steps to effectively manage the skills gap in their organization.

  • Hiring New Talent: Bringing in new team members can introduce much-needed skills and fresh ideas. However, it’s important to note that the competition for skilled talent is intense. Therefore, while essential, hiring should not be the sole strategy to address the skills gap.
  • Retaining Existing Employees: Retention is crucial and can be achieved by shifting team members from monotonous maintenance tasks to engaging innovation projects. Additionally, fostering a culture of continuous learning is vital so that employees feel encouraged to develop their cloud or AI skills without fear of criticism.
  • Retraining and Reorienting Current Staff: Existing team members have valuable legacy knowledge crucial for the smooth operation of IT systems. Retraining them to adopt more cloud-centric thinking is necessary but will take time. Implementing strategies like FinOps can help in integrating this culture of change across the organization, beyond just the IT department.
  • Partnering with Managed Services: Collaborating with managed service providers can alleviate the burden on internal teams by handling time-consuming and less rewarding tasks. This approach allows teams to focus on learning new cloud skills and addressing the more strategic aspects of IT, thus effectively bridging the skills gap.

Source

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