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IT skills shortage impacting nine out of ten companies by 2026

A growing shortage of IT skills is impacting all industries across all regions. By 2026, more than 90% of organisations worldwide will feel the pain of the IT skills crisis, amounting to some $5.5 trillion in losses caused by product delays, impaired competitiveness, and loss of business, market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) says in a report.

“While it’s no surprise that AI skills are currently the most in-demand skill for most enterprises, IT Operations are a close second. And a variety of cloud skills, including architecture, data management and storage, and software development, are among the ten most needed skills identified by survey respondents. This situation is further compounded by the need for additional, non-technical skills, such as digital business skills, human skills, and leadership skills.”

 “As IT skills shortages widen and the arrival of new technology accelerates, enterprises must find creative ways to hire, train, upskill, and reskill their employees. A culture of learning is the single best way to get there”, says IDC research director Gina Smith.

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The IDC report shows that among the challenges organisations face when trying to expand the skills of their employees is resistance to training. 

“Employees complain that the courses are too long, the options for learning are too limited, and there isn’t enough alignment between skills and career goals.”

“To overcome these challenges, IT leaders need to employ a variety of strategies to encourage a more effective learning environment within their organisation. This includes everything from classroom training to hackathons, hands on labs, and games, quests, and mini-badges.”

IDC says that a survey in North America shows that nearly two thirds say that a lack of skills has resulted in missed revenue growth objectives, quality problems, and a decline in customer satisfaction.

70% of survey respondents indicated that they are already utilising experiential learning methods, which includes labs, games, and hackathons. GenAI is also used in the current training environment, with more than half the organisations surveyed using or piloting it for IT training.

“But fostering a positive learning environment in an organisation requires more than just materials, courses, and challenges. Culture change begins at the top and leaders need to demonstrate why learning matters to the organisation” the IDC report says.  

“This can be done by aligning employee goals with business goals, promoting continuous learning throughout the employee’s journey, and creating a rewards program that recognizes process as well as performance. It also requires the allocation of adequate time, money, and people resources.”

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