The IT Skills Gap: Balancing Old and New

Managing the Changing IT Landscape: IT Workforce

In IT, it’s never as simple as “out with the old and in with the new.” There’s no rip-and-replace strategy for PCs, servers, or people. Employee turnover and infrastructure upgrades happen regularly, and at a steady pace, to minimize disruption.

Today’s advanced technologies are creating new opportunities to improve productivity and collaboration in the enterprise, but they’re also bringing challenges for IT workforce staffing. There’s a need to tap the younger, next-generation IT workers who have a keen understanding of Web-based and mobile computing along with social, yet balance that with IT veterans who have a deep understanding of legacy applications and systems. As many aging IT workers move onto retirement, they’re taking invaluable legacy knowledge with them. Without that insight, organizations run the risk of interrupting critical business processes as they transition to newer systems and applications.

For IT managers, balancing the skill set of the old and the new might just be the key to success.

Younger workers lead the way in social

Last month, I blogged about how younger workers are changing the status quo with a new way to work.

millenial at work Intel IT Center.jpg

A large part of that is social. Millennials were raised on technology; they’re accustomed

to sharing information openly, and to them, social media is a way of life. They consider texting, IM, and even Facebook* as cri

tical business communication tools. It’s a totally different approach.

Mobile, social, and cloud continue to become an integral part of the enterprise, and there’s a critical need to manage and support the technologies—for IT and for the business. For example, within the business, social can improve collaboration, boost morale, and help speed decision making among employees. When applied externally with clients, it’s an opportunity to foster communication, generate customer relationships, and share insights and successes. And there’s no denying that younger workers bring critical social skills to the table. examines the IT skills gap publisher emeritus Gary Beach is in the midst of an interesting three-part series on the IT skills gap. The first segment   discusses whether a skills gap actually exists; the second segment looks at the gap in terms of education; and the third segment will consolidate Beach’s perspective on what it all means.

In the series, CompTIA, a technology association focused on professional development, cites from a recent report that 93 percent of employers indicate there is an overall skills gap among their IT staff. So nearly all IT organizations are feeling the pain, but what does it mean exactly?

The American Society for Training and Development defines the skills gap as the point at which a company can’t grow or execute its business strategy because it can no longer hire or retain the right people. It’s a big deal. And Beach explains that there are five key IT areas where companies are struggling with a skills gap: security, cloud, mobility, business analytics, and social media.

It’s no surprise that cloud, mobility, and social show up in that list. I experienced this first hand when I was working on an Intel IT cloud computing implementation. New job roles were a key part of redefining service delivery. Today, I continually see the need to accelerate skill sets across our business and around the industry. 

Where do you see IT skills gaps emerging that are critical to your business priorities, and how do you address them?

#ITCenter #ITSkillsGap