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5 ways to narrow the global IT skills gap

The global skills shortage has been apparent now for some time, and organisations are struggling to hire new talent as it is in short supply. Here are 5 ways companies can look to narrow the gap.
3 minute read

One of the biggest concerns facing CIOs and CTOs in any organisation at present is the widening IT skills gap, as outlined in this recent Gartner report.  There has been rapid growth in new technology, such as AI and automation, and as a result there are many more requirements for IT specialists, which leaves us with the problem of finding people with the right set of niche skills to fill these roles.  Once you have filled them, you are left with the worry of how to hang onto them and not lose them to companies with more money and a better cultural fit.

As a result, customers are now firmly in the driving seat and demand a top-quality user experience that prioritises and addresses their needs. This shift in power has left many organisations struggling to find their digital feet. But, there are ways to narrow this expanding gap between skills and demand.

1.     Invest in those that invest in themselves

The reality of it is, many of your employees are running side line businesses and more often than not, a multitude are digital. So tap into these people, bring them as part of your extended digital team and invest in them. Embedding a learning mindset into an organisation's key values means the importance of relevant skills will be weaved into the make-up of every employee. Above all, digital education must be continuous, as well as consistent.

2.     Access the gig economy

We all know that the modern workplace has evolved. The modern workforce doesn’t want to sit in a train, be told when to have lunch and make small talk with Janice from accounts. The gig economy has allowed people maximum freedom, an ideal work-life balance, and the chance to pursue their passions. The digital world has given them the opportunity to do just that.

From an ICT perspective, a recent report by McKinsey found that knowledge-intensive industries and creative occupations are the largest and fastest-growing segments of the freelance economy.

We have seen the explosion of platforms, such as AirBnB, Fiverr, TaskRabbit and ten80 (yes that’s a shameless product punt) providing for consumers to only pay for what they use and be very specific as to their needs and wants.

3.     Stop recruiting dead wood

The workforce has changed, we all know this. Having personally recruited hundreds of people over the years, I know how challenging this can be as there is the pressure of culture, skills and track record to balance between company and personal goals. The truth of it is, you cannot see the value the person adds until they start doing it. The explosion of digital focused education streams, tech hubs and on-line learning platforms does help. The number of c-suite executives attending these is fantastic and it shows that organsiations are recognising the importance of understanding what they are looking for in digital skills.

4.     Nice bow tie Mr. Analog

For decades large enterprises have been dictated to how and when we can buy. Then the digital revolution occurred and these same entities took their antiquated processes and called it digital. There is nothing digital about it, apart from a very expensive website and slick marketing promo video. We have seen the impact that Amazon and streaming TV have had on our daily lives. Then why are we comfortable to continue the status quo in our professional world?

5.     Respond to change

I am fairly sure you are reading this on your mobile, slippers on and nowhere near a large office space with the aforementioned Janice on her mobile telling her friend Vicky with gusto about how she has finally ‘found herself’ thanks to Pilates and a vegan diet.

This phase of the world where we find ourselves has cemented that we can and will evolve to what is in front of us in order to survive, grow and remain relevant. There are even examples of global organisations, which were previously competitors, collaborating on projects as they recognise the power of the collective versus the individual. 

The issues at hand are not simple by any stretch of the imagination. It's all about ensuring that we continue to evolve, grow and be brave in how we make decisions. If the current global circumstances have shown us one thing, it is “that by not making a decision, you are making a decision to do nothing”….

Jacobus Troveri, VP Global Sales at ten80

Written by

Jacobus Troveri

Vice President Global Sales


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