Understanding the IT Skills Gap

Domenica Cresap understanding the

In businesses today, a large gap exists with IT skills. The business world is becoming rapidly dependent on technology, with more and more information being stored electronically, all aspects of a business being connected, and instant communication between employees and other businesses a requirement . While this dependence may not be surprising to the younger generation or experts who predicted it years ago, it is shocking to the businessmen and women who never paid much attention to IT skills or techies before the last 5-10 years.

The issue

New technology is constantly developed and released. Much of it requires a sophisticated skill set to understand and properly use to its fullest potential. Because of this requirement, businesses must find employees that possess these skills. Finding those employees can be difficult, since technology developed at rapid speed and it’s not easy for companies to locate individuals that can best help them.

Two pieces of technology that have yet to achieve their full potential are the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). IoT is the idea that all objects with an on/off switch could essentially be connected to the internet and transport information between one another. AI involves electronics becoming advanced enough to perform basic tasks that were once performed by humans, such a decision-making, speech perception, and translation.

Capita Technology Solutions partnered with Cisco and surveyed 125 IT decision makers to test the waters of the IT world in relation to these two technologies and the demand for them in business. The survey reported that 70 percent of those surveyed said IoT would be relevant to their business, but 74 percent also reported that they didn’t have the skills to implement the technology and 80 percent said they didn’t have the skills to utilize the data from the technology. The technology has been implemented by 30 percent, but security remains a huge concern. Similar results were reported with AI, with 80 percent saying their companies didn’t have the skills necessary to implement it.

Possible solutions

Though the demand for IT skills necessary to allow businesses to succeed in their fullest potential is quite high for the limited amount of IT professionals available, there are various solutions that could help IT employees and companies alike. Companies must take the initiative and begin understanding exactly what skills they need a potential employee to have and then court those employees.

A possible issue is there are just not enough people trained with the IT skills necessary to operate these high-tech computer systems. One issue is that not enough tech employees have the security skills necessary to protect systems like the IoT. Hacking is a very real concern in this day and age, and many people exist who can hack into a company’s database, thus having access to all sensitive information and possibly control connected devices. Before businesses implement IoT and AI, a secure internet security plan needs to be firmly in place.

An alternative solution is offered by David Wagner, who breaks down a recent study done by TEKSystems that proposes the real problem in the IT skills gap is communication. Wagner claims those seeking employment aren’t clearly told what IT skills they need, so they can’t find the proper jobs to apply for. This misunderstanding leads to companies interviewing candidates who have a vague notion of what’s expected of them, while the hiring team has only a vague understanding of what skills the job even requires. More communication between companies and potential new hires is vital.

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