A career in IT is more than just a job. It’s a hobby, a passion, a chance to push your technical skills while earning a decent salary. But it’s not all a bed of roses, particularly when it comes to staff and management. The current crisis may have led to more disruption as we try to juggle remote work with personal commitments. After consulting the Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, we discovered the top 12 obstacles for IT experts today.
- Volume of Work
The excessive workload for IT staff is a problem for all levels of seniority and concerns about the amount of work are the highest in history. It’s a vicious circle too, with too much work, management is less likely to find the time for training, which is critical to be able to develop skills to complete projects. Time Management has to become more efficient and automation will likely save time by taking over some time-consuming tasks.
There are two key aspects to this problem. First, cyberattacks are getting bigger and more sophisticated. 55% of consumers would change to a different service provider because of a cybersecurity threat. The security of our personal data is becoming more and more important. At the same time, there is a significant lack of cybersecurity experts. 40% of IT decision-makers agree that there are cybersecurity gaps in their locations, and it is generally agreed that it is one of the most difficult IT experts to hire.
- The Skills Gap
The gap in IT skills has increased by 155% across the world in just three years. A lack of IT skills adds to stress and delays in product development and higher operating costs. It has been estimated that this skills gap could cost a company 416 hours and a massive $22,000 per employee, per year. To add to the problem, management isn’t taking this seriously enough with less than 60% providing formal training.
- The Speed of Change in the IT Industry
It’s not hard enough that there is a skills shortage. Now when you consider how fast technology is transforming, it becomes even more difficult to keep up. Technology is changing faster than we can train professionals. Continual training is critical if we are going to keep up with evolving technology.
- The Cloud
Much like Cybersecurity, cloud computing specialists are in high demand as companies are switching to cloud-based solutions, 50% of organizations use one or more cloud service providers. Cloud computing offers great benefits including AI and IoT, both of which open the door to new revenues. But IT experts need to have skills in the specific platforms they work with. This can be hard for companies to find, making it the second most difficult IT professional to hire.
- The Recruitment Process
Hiring and retention is a big struggle for half of IT leaders. Realistically, can you expect to find a cybersecurity or cloud computing expert with a four-year degree and experience? The fields are too young! For this reason, many companies are not placing so much emphasis on a degree and focusing on the skills a candidate has.
- The Budget
It’s a bit of a cliché but what employee/manager hasn’t complained about the budget? Requests for training programs are frequently met with replies like “there is not enough room on the budget”. There is no other way to put it- there has to be room on the budget. Look for ways to adjust figures to free up some money to invest in training. Also, look into whether you have any training credits and how you can earn them.
- A Lack of Support from Management
Perhaps it is because of the reluctance to spend but almost 20% of IT professionals feel that management doesn’t see the benefits of offering training. 41% of decision-makers had the budget for training but decided not to use it. For an IT employee, this is not acceptable and leads to dissatisfaction with their job, encouraging them to look for alternative positions.
- Data Management
Research estimates that in 2025, we will generate 163 zettabytes of data. That’s 10 times more than in 2016. Even small companies are struggling to effectively manage such large amounts of data. And it’s not just gathering the data; it then has to be stored securely, analyzed, and reported on. All of these tasks require expert knowledge which is hard to come by.
There are plenty of everyday tasks like sending emails and updating social media posts that are time-consuming and shouldn’t require human input. Automation is now being used for such tasks as well as larger tasks such as log monitoring and ERP integration. Because hackers are using automation for some cyberattacks, it is necessary for companies to now implement automation in cybersecurity for the prediction of attacks and for a faster response to attacks.
- Project Management
It makes sense that as the IT industry experiences a growing skills gap, it is harder to find those who have the skills to manage an entire project. As well as IT skills, project managers need to be highly organized and work to strict deadlines. Without someone to maintain control of a project, there will be delays. It is estimated that in 2020, 90% of organizations will have to amend their project plans due to a shortage of skills. This will cost $390 billion worldwide. A talented project manager can help make sure you are not part of this statistic.
- A Lack of Career Growth
For IT professionals, career development is extremely important, more so than a high salary. Two-thirds of professionals who had changed jobs in a 12-month period did so because they wanted more opportunities. It is essential that managers and decision-makers are placing enough emphasis on what the employee considers important if they want their employee turnover to be kept to a minimum.