bridging-the-it-skills-gap

Bridging the IT Skills Gap:

How to Keep Up with the Market and Stay Efficient

Bridging the IT Skills Gap: How to Keep Up with the Market and Stay Efficient

The IT skills gap is widening and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an easy remedy. Even though your IT department may have had the skills required to keep your business on the cutting edge some 10 years ago, digital transformation has changed everything as we know it. And due to the rate that cloud computing has been - and continues to be - adopted, organizations around the globe are trying to revamp their infrastructures to keep up. In fact, there has been a 410 percent increase in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) adoption since 2015. As IT departments try to keep up with these advancements, an even bigger wedge is driven between IT employees and the skill sets required to successfully do their jobs.

If you’ve noticed your IT team is having trouble keeping pace with innovation, you’re probably wondering what can be done to remedy the situation. Like we said, the path isn’t easy but there are things you can do to bridge the gap. Let’s take a closer look at how you can keep up with the market while staying efficient.

The Demand Continues to Rise

The rise of cloud infrastructures means many businesses are beginning to do away with the classic on-premise environments of the past. While this transformation was born out of necessity - everyone wants to become more efficient - the pace has been largely overwhelming for technologists and IT teams alike. However, organizations need to keep up even if it pushes them to the limit. If they don’t make changes to their IT infrastructure, they’re in danger of losing their competitive advantage.

In order to stay ahead, IT leaders need to ensure they have team members capable of carrying out these cloud initiatives. Unfortunately, 53 percent of these leaders struggle to find the right candidates and many teams simply aren’t able to grow their skill set quickly enough. As Gartner reports, 80 percent of today’s workers feel they don't have the skills required for their current role and the future of their careers. This is because companies are focusing on trying to hire new talentinstead of investing in their existing teams. Your organization should be looking inward and trying to identify where your own gaps are so that you know exactly which skills could be developed to help close them.

Cloud Expertise is Low in Supply and High in Demand 

So, what is an IT team to do? With the current pace of innovation, organizations are pretty much left with two options: train your team or hire new team members already trained with those skills. The problem with hiring, however, is that the pool of adequate candidates is extremely small. As demand grows for better, more sophisticated cloud computing, applicants just can’t seem to get to the level of the skills required. After all, getting a degree would take at least four years, and even then a recent college graduate would not necessarily have the experience required to lead a widespread transformation initiative.

Plus, something hiring managers may not have considered is that their job listing itself could be an issue. Though it would be wonderful to find a candidate with, say, 8 years of experience in cloud computing and infrastructure, it would be exceedingly difficult to find and recruit that individual. That’s why we recommend widening your net. If you align your job listing with the skills of the present workforce and search for applicants that are willing to learn the ropes, you’ll be better able to find candidates who are quick to learn and ready to jump in.

Upskilling Your Team is a Sound Investment

It isn’t wrong to hire new team members to support your existing IT team, but as we’ve mentioned, hiring new workers poses its own set of challenges. If you’re struggling to find candidates, consider upskilling your team. Upskilling is the practice of taking what your employees are each individually most skilled at and providing them with the training required to progress their knowledge of that subject. This eliminates the stress and expense of having to train everyone on something new, and maximizes your overall skillset as a team.

Upskilling is also a great way to instill a mentality of continuous learning within your team, which should make everyone feel confident and prepared to take on their work. And in this day and age, if your team isn't trying to improve their skill sets, everything they know will eventually become obsolete.

As you upskill, however, you have to keep retention in mind. Since skilled workers are a hot commodity, competitors boasting higher salaries may begin to look enticing. Talk with your team and figure out what they believe their worth is, and what benefits they need to continue to work at your organization. It would be a shame to train someone only for them to jump ship - so make sure your organization has an effective retention strategy for your upskilled workers.

Remember: when you focus on training your employees, you won’t have to disrupt your productivity to teach new workers the appropriate skills and systems. Additionally, you will save on recruiting expenses, which could be used to train and certify existing employees instead.

Moving Forward

Here at SoftwareONE, we understand that managing and overcoming the IT skills gap is stressful and overwhelming at times. That’s why we’ve created Managed Cloud Services that help support organizations through their cloud journey. We always begin our process with a clear cloud roadmap, which we use to work with your team and identify any hesitations you may have about adoption, or any hurdles you foresee. Then, we accelerate adoption through our Cloud Adoption Framework. When combined, this process is designed to ease some of the burden that your IT department faces while they build a fully skilled IT team.

The IT skills gap is not going to go away, but your organization can certainly find a way to overcome it. Remember to invest in your team and put in the time to learn to build confidence and add value to your business. When you focus on your existing human resources, you’ll be able to bridge the IT skills gap while fostering a culture of efficiency and innovation.

Need Help Bridging the Gap?

Consider SoftwareONE’s Managed Cloud Services as your organization works to bridge your own IT skills gap. From adoption to management, we have you covered.

Learn More

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Author

Mathew Showers

Global Best Practice Manager - Technology Services

Data Backup, BackupSimple

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