TECHNOLOGY IS A KEY FACTOR in reaching business objectives for nearly three-quarters of organizations (74 percent), according to recent research from IT membership organization CompTIA, of Downers Grove, Ill. But the research report, Assessing the IT Skills Gap, finds that 8 in 10 IT and business executives are at least somewhat concerned with the IT skills gap at their organizations, and one-quarter are very concerned. Those significantly more concerned about the IT skills gap include companies in the IT industry, firms where technology plays a primary role to business, and organizations with 100 or more employees.
The top IT skills gap areas are emerging technology (IoT, AI, automation) and integrating different data sources (apps, platforms, devices), both of which were cited by 59 percent of survey respondents, followed by cloud infrastructure/cloud apps and digital business transformation/modernizing legacy hardware or software, both at 57 percent. Other top gaps identified are cybersecurity (55 percent), software or app development (55 percent), and data management/data analytics (53 percent).
In today’s connected environment, the CompTIA report notes, the cybersecurity skills gap is particularly problematic. The top skills gap mentions include: data security (56 percent), traditional security safeguards such as firewalls and anti-virus software (50 percent), and cloud security (42 percent). Respondents also point to network monitoring/asset management and risk management/mitigation as other cybersecurity skill gaps.
And with “digital transformation” a current trend, respondents note skills gaps there as well. Top of the list is effectively aligning technology with business objectives, cited by 47 percent of respondents. This is followed by emerging software platforms (46 percent) and storage/data backup/DR (42 percent).
How are organizations addressing the IT skills gap? Just over half of respondents say they have informal strategies and resources in place, while almost a third have something formal in place, and just 13 percent say they have nothing in place. In terms of where those efforts are directed, 59 percent are focusing on existing IT staff while 35 percent want to concentrate on the next generation of IT workers.
The skills gap doesn’t just apply to IT either, according to the report. Nearly half of small firms indicate a growing overall skills gap, and 44 percent of medium-size firms believe this overall gap is growing.
“Given the breadth and pace of innovation, all signs point to a widening skills gap,” the CompTIA report states. “This will put further pressure on organizations of all sizes to rethink their workforce strategies.”
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