An often-overlooked factor relating to the current IT skills gap is technological advances in the workplace. It’s not the case that staff lack the drive or intelligence to combat this shortage. It’s more a case that new technology requires new skills to ensure better business efficiency.
There are two main reasons why we’re seeing such advances in the workplace.
Firstly, we’re now creating vast amounts of data that needs to be managed carefully. New technology is helping with this– namely Business Process Automation and Communications Enabled Business Processes – but staff need the tools to operate such new platforms.
Secondly, the primary audience in the technology space has shifted to the consumer. Until recently, corporate needs drove the development of new technology. Today, technology has become much more affordable and design practices are focused on the end user experience – the consumer.
As these new business technologies are implemented to appease customers, corporate training needs have had to change. This represents a new challenge to managers to find the time and resources to implement training across the enterprise. Naturally, such a new program of learning must not curb productivity.
The positive outcome to this challenge is that new training and certification programmes can boost performance. In fact Global Knowledge found that 92% of companies observe increases in staff effectiveness after becoming certified. So, with the headache of implementing new technologies at least comes productivity through learning.
This headache can be put off until later. Enterprises that adopt later in a new technology cycle will not have a need for skills in the early stages of a growing trend. Therefore, budget planning for training resources can put aside until Q3 or Q4 for example.
But my advice is don’t put off implementing training until it’s too late – or worse than that, avoid doing it at all. Staff will become frustrated or demotivated and could get up and walk – perhaps to join your competitors who were savvy enough to embrace new training and certification courses.
In the future, technology will no doubt continue to make the skills gap greater. Whilst this can be viewed as a worrying fact of business life, it’s also a positive situation – an opportunity to empower staff through training. It all depends if you see yourself as either a glass half empty or half full type of person. It’s over to you to decide.