Why businesses need to manage the IT skills gap

With technology currently at the forefront of many businesses, highly-skilled IT staff are required to ensure everything runs smoothly.


However, 45% of businesses have revealed they are experiencing a shortage of talent and have showcased fears that it is hampering productivity.


The research from IT skills and training body CompTIA found that digital skills gaps could be holding back UK businesses and preventing growth.


Further to this, 30% of executives questioned in the study said the lack of knowledge and skills was negatively impacting on customer service.


Meanwhile, 27% of firms said it is slowing the speed at which products and work can be taken to market and 26% said the skills gap is hindering innovation and the creation of ideas.


Concerns were also revealed relating to cyber security, with human error and an increase in the use of social media listed as the key reasons for anxiety.


The skills gap carries a number of potential dangers for small companies, as it could potentially lead to missed sales opportunities or a slowdown of trading.


This could impede business finances, especially among firms who lack finance or who can ill-afford to lose out on sales.


In instances where the cash flow is affected by a drop out of business or from overcoming issues that are faced, seeking financial advice is recommended.


Insolvency practitioners can provide assistance and guidance to ensure that businesses are able to maintain trading at their desired levels.


The situation is not entirely negative though, as 28% of IT professionals expect to hire more staff in the coming year – double the number who wanted to expand staff numbers in 2014.


Spending on security is also set to increase and there are calls for universities and colleges to enhance their offerings so that students are more prepared for the working world.


One solution is to train up existing staff, as this can keep expenditure down while also providing a number of career progression opportunities.


By Phil Smith


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