Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Minding the IT talent gap

IT Integration

For a while now, organizations large and small have struggled to find and retain the IT skillsets they need. Two years have passed since Gartner noted, “Talent has now been recognized globally as the single biggest issue standing in the way of CIOs achieving their objectives.”

If your experience suggests the IT talent gap has intensified since 2016, you’re not alone. Among North American IT decision-makers, 75% say they face a skills shortage, and few expect it to ease over the next two years.

Where the IT talent gap yawns widest

Certainly, not all IT talent gaps are created equal. Cybersecurity and cloud computing skills are most in demand. No less than 41% of North American IT decision-makers have trouble finding the cybersecurity skills they seek. And there’s little relief in sight; by 2022, the cybersecurity workforce gap will stand at 1.8 million.

In addition to cybersecurity and cloud computing, plenty of other IT skillsets are also in short supply

% of North American IT decision-makers citing trouble finding talent in…

Cybersecurity 41%
Cloud computing 29%
Analytics and big data 18%
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) 16%
Networking and wireless 16%
Application development 16%
Enterprise architecture 15%
DevOps 15%
Leadership and management 15%
Software as a Service (SaaS) 13%

Source:  Global Knowledge 2018 IT Skills and Salary Report

Why is this happening?

Some blame reductions in companies’ willingness to invest in employee training, and some acknowledge that they have not anticipated the skills they need.

Others believe that the pace of technological change and increasing technological complexity are overwhelming everyone’s ability to adequately scale up appropriate IT skillsets, and, as a result, qualified IT talent is simply not available.

Still others note that their ability to compete for talent is hampered by compensation levels beyond their reach, by an inability to offer appealing perks (e.g., flexible work schedules, remote work options, etc.), and by too-slow corporate hiring processes.

Also problematic is generally escalating talent turnover. According to one take, the current high-flying economy is driving a worldwide turnover rate approaching 11% — and IT talent turnover tops that.

How the IT talent gap hurts

Regardless of the reasons, the more you struggle to find people with the IT skillsets you need, the more this understaffing ripples through your business.

Again, you’re not alone. Check out the IT talent gap effects noted by more than 4,700 IT decision-makers:

% of IT decision-makers citing the IT talent gap as contributing to…

Increased stress on existing employees 62%
Difficulty meeting quality objectives 44%
Delays in developing new products/services 41%
Delayed deployments of new hardware/software 36%
Declining customer satisfaction 32%
Increased operating costs 29%
Loss of business to competition 25%
Difficulty reaching revenue growth objectives 23%
Loss of revenue 22%

Source:  Global Knowledge 2018 IT Skills and Salary Report

Closing the gap

Clearly, these are not minor issues. But don’t let them daunt you.

Instead, take the time to find a technology consultant able to provide you precisely the IT talent you need when and how you need it. In my next post, I’ll explore what sorts of capabilities such a technology consultant should have.

[Hint: A deep bench of experienced IT talent committed to continuous training/certification and available via (1) a staffing service (permanent full-time to project-based to virtual) and/or (2) a range of customizable capabilities that include an extensive suite of cloud and managed services anchored by a global network of highly secure and resilient state-of-the-art data/network operations centers, expert professional IT services, and tailorable support plans that ease the burdens of day-to-day IT management.]

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