93% of companies say their IT staff lacks key skills

Getting money for new investments is always a challenge for IT, but here’s some data that could help tech leaders argue for an increased IT training budget: 

Most companies say their IT departments lack some of the skills they need to adequately support the business, according to a recent survey from the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

Of the 500 IT and business managers surveyed, 93% said there was some gap between the technical skills of their company’s IT staff and the skills the organization needs. That included 83% who said the gap was small or moderate, and 9% who believe their IT staff’s skills are far from where they need to be.

Those skills gaps are impacting how well businesses are operating, as 80% of respondents said it affects at least one key business area. The areas suffering the most due to a lack of IT skills, according to the organizations polled:

  1. Employee productivity
  2. Customer service and customer engagement
  3. IT security
  4. Innovation and new product development
  5. Speed to market of products and services, and
  6. Profitability.

What skills are companies missing the most? Those given the highest priority by the managers in the survey were:

  1. Networking and IT infrastructure
  2. Server and data center management
  3. Storage and back-up
  4. IT security
  5. Database and information management
  6. Help desk and IT support
  7. Telecommunications
  8. Printer, copier and fax management
  9. Data analytics and business intelligence
  10. Web design and development
  11. Customer relationship management (CRM) applications

What’s causing these skills gaps? The most common factor blamed was the fast pace at which technology changes, making it difficult for companies to train IT staff in new areas. Respondents also cited a lack of room in the training budget and failure on the part of business leaders to see the value in training for IT staff.

However, IT managers may have better luck asking for a boost in the training budget by focusing on the benefits that closing key IT skills gaps will have on the company as a whole.

Also, half of the respondents said their companies are turning to online self-study programs for IT employees, which are often the most cost-effective way to provide training. They can also allow staff to learn new skills without getting too much in the way of their current workloads.

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