The Solution to the IT Skill Gap Isn’t What You Think

If you ask around about what a “skills gap” is, you’re likely to hear a few varying responses. CEOs may say it is a symptom of an antiquated education system that consistently fails to prepare students for professional employment. Meanwhile newspapers might tell you its an effort by companies to shift the burden of training employees to academia instead of investing in it themselves. But the most important answer comes from the 20 million unemployed young people, who say the skill gap is “what’s keeping me from getting a job”.  

Both employees and leaders in the IT field are familiar with the IT skills gap. For digital enterprises today, IT not only supports the business – it often is the business. The IT skills gap illustrates that companies sometimes have a difficult time finding, hiring, and retaining employees with the IT skills they need, to ensure quality products. 

2017 Forbes report on IT service management says that C-level executive report a lack of IT skills as the biggest issue in aligning IT with business services. Many CIOs report that the IT skills gap applies to employees and candidates within the higher echelon of their IT teams. Leaders are able to staff and retain help desk and entry- and mid-level programmers, but as technology silos narrow down evermore into special areas, companies say it’s harder to find enough people with the precise qualifications needed. 

In 2019, the IT skills gap continues to expand with rising demand and inadequate supply. According to a World Economic Forum report, 133 million new roles may emerge globally by the year 2022. The primary growth drivers include the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. Despite the advancement of technology, organizations will continue to rely on the human workforce for creative problem solving. Intelligent computing systems are expected to complement the human workforce and not entirely replace them, which in turn requires organizations to re-skill their workforce to take advantage of the technology advancements. 

Putting the nail on the blamestorming companies do to shift the onus of preparing candidates for professional life is a research survey conducted across 1000 business executives in the US. The report explicitly suggests that organizations are struggling to recruit the right candidate because the education system is not doing enough to address the cause. The research finds that 75% of organizations believe that the skills shortage among applicants is the primary cause for the difficulty in hiring. 51% believe that the education system is doing little or nothing to solve the problem. 

While there is a significant amount of agreement around the existence of the IT skills gap, opponents point to the current unemployment rate in the U.S., under 5%, as some proof that the IT skills gap either can’t exist or can’t be as serious as some argue. 

However, the severity of the IT skills gap can be gauged in the impact on the existing IT teams. 71% percent of IT leaders surveyed reported decreased efficiency, and 63% of IT workers agree. The reasons for this inefficiency? Being overworked. Despite companies continuing to transition towards a proactive IT and business approach, IT still acts as emergency responders too often. Many organizations continue to spend most of their budget on maintenance instead of on project development, innovation, and improving the organization’s competitiveness. 

Remedying the IT Skill Gap 

Regardless of all the opinions, the bottom line is there is a skill gap in what companies expect, and what fresh graduates have, and that gap is experience. Experience is something neither the academia nor the company can offer a candidate. It is close to impossible for a single candidate to have witnessed all the problems a company could face while staying updated on the latest technology and compliance regulations. Furthermore, an overworked inhouse IT personnel will have little time left on his hands to focus on improving processes and strategizing for business growth. He will be stuck in a break-fix loop, demotivated, and often outdated.  

We work with businesses to support their IT needs, like managing cybersecurity programs and dealing with day-to-day technical issues. Partnering with us will enable your business to close its IT skills gap by outsourcing your IT needs to a dedicated team with the skills needed to help you meet your long-term business goals. 

At CSG Technologies, we align technology with your business goals to support a future-proof strategy. Our managed IT services give you access to a team of technical experts with decades of experience — at a fraction of the cost. 

Contact us today to learn how our team can help you close the IT skills gap and drive your business forward. 

Matt Parks

Matt Parks

About the Author: President & CEO, Matt has over 20 years building and leading high functioning teams
delivering exceptional results