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IT Skills Gap Impacts Business Operations

Eight in 10 organizations say their business operations are impacted by gaps in the skill sets of their information technology staffs, according to new research published by CompTIA.

The fast-changing nature of technology and a lack of training resources are the biggest factors contributing to the skills gap, with a majority of companies surveyed intending to devote more resources to training to close the gap.

"Even as the importance of technology to business success grows exponentially, few organizations are exactly or even very close to where they want to be with technology utilization and staff skill levels," said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA. "These gaps are hampering business success."

The study shows that IT skills shortcomings impact staff productivity (41 percent), customer service and engagement (32 percent) and security (31 percent). It also impacts speed to market for IT businesses at a higher rate (34 percent) than other industries (20 percent). Profitability is also affected, with 23 percent of small companies feeling the pinch on the bottom line, compared to 15 percent of large and medium firms.

Companies say their IT workers come up short in skills in both existing core areas such as security, data storage, refreshing aging equipment, improving network infrastructure and disaster recovery, and business continuity; and emerging areas such as business process automation, mobility, collaboration, and virtualization.

Nearly six in 10organizations (57 percent) intend to address their IT skills gap challenges by training or retraining existing staff in areas where skills are lacking.

"The expected commitment to more education is an encouraging sign," Erdle said. "IT professionals have a strong propensity for lifelong learning and skills enhancement, so the large majority will welcome the opportunity to broaden their knowledge. An investment in new IT education and training will deliver strong return on investment to the business's bottom line."

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