Most IT departments are being pressured to control costs whenever they can. But there’s one IT budget item organizations should be wary about cutting: IT training to boost tech employees’ skills.
CIOs and IT managers are generally diligent about their project budgets and they typically need to justify every investment they make. Their projects are pricey and have to succeed by producing business benefits no matter how complex the deployment.
During challenging economic periods when pressure increases to produce more with less, IT managers may see training programs as a place to cut costs. But that approach can backfire.
Training is one valuable, cost-effective benefit companies can offer IT pros to help fend off competition for current and potential talent. And a new report from IDC Research shows the benefits of IT training for tech projects.
According to the report, projects with little or no training included tend to fail completely, or they fail to meet critical objectives.
Among the 515 IT projects examined by IDC:
- Projects that met most or all of their business objectives provided each team member with 40% more training than projects that failed or only partly succeeded, and
- Projects that spent more than 6% of the budget on staff training were more successful than projects that spent less than 3% on training.
According to the report, well-trained IT teams tend to focus more on planning, improving infrastructure and other elements that increase the value of the project and allow the company to save money in the long term.
IT training can help retention
Experts also say providing IT training to staff members is a key way organizations can help retain top tech talent despite increasing competition. In a fast-changing field like IT, employees appreciate the chance to keep their skills up-to-date.
In addition, many companies complain their IT departments lack critical skills, and training current employees is a good way to overcome that problem when hiring from the outside is too difficult or cost-prohibitive.