By Jim Zimmermann
In a recent article in the WSJ, Gary Beach of CIO Journal, once again turned the spotlight on the IT skills gap. He writes, “No one is laughing at the IT skills gap. It exists and is getting painfully wider. CIOs have a fiduciary, and civil, responsibility to craft solutions to bridge it.” This problem, this very worrying dilemma, is a global one; according to the latest UK government survey the UK alone will need an extra 745,000 workers with digital skills by 2017, and that currently the skills gap is costing the UK economy around £63bn a year in lost income.
Skillsoft, I can assure you, isn’t laughing. In fact, we have put together an extensive and comprehensive collection of learning assets, including certification course, all designed with one objective – to bridge the skills gap. We want to enable you to fill the spaces in your team- either by in-house training or bringing in new hires and training them- to ensure you and your company are prepared and can continue to run your business without interruption.
Technology however, is no longer an isolated, siloed sector; it impacts every facet, every area of business. This can make preparing or equipping everyone with the necessary skills seem like a mammoth task. But we have pared this vast landscape down to 7 essential fields, what we like to think of as The 7 Deadly Skills your IT team should possess. These are the skills that will keep your day-to- day operations flowing smoothly and ensure your business never misses a beat in lost data or downtime.
- Data storage and data integrity – Data storage is critical. Data storage has changed quite dramatically in the last decade. The typical data server in many companies has evolved from a single physical server into arrays of virtual servers and cloud-based storage. It’s important that your team has a broad understanding of new storage technologies in order to know best how to leverage the features of each type of store offers.
- Software development – If your company is using bespoke software, server database solutions, or software that has been developed in-house, it’s important that you have the means in place to support it. Empowering and developing your IT teams to handle your software development needs gives you total control over software design and spend.
- ITIL knowledge – Project management, implementation and future change are all areas in information technology that need oversight. If a recent project has failed or you are finding it harder to keep track of configuration changes, ITIL training will help to address and avoid these issues and the risks to your business.
- Security – Whether you have a dedicated security team or one team handling all IT issues, you need to ensure your technical experts have the necessary skills to configure, support, and troubleshoot security systems and to protect your business assets 24 hours a day. The secret of building a great security team lies in identifying the right people, and then providing the training they need to constantly develop their security skills to keep up with the constantly changing threat landscape.
- Database design and management – There are many problems that have arisen from bad database management. The most common problems involve corruption of data or unsupported database versions causing issues. If you have individuals in-house who understand the complexities of database management and how to support the data they store, you can be sure your databases are accessible, operate efficiently and are backed up and proactively supported
- Networks – A highly trained network team will have the skills and expertise to ensure high availability of your key business systems, your company website if you host it in-house, and to configure, support and deliver a wide range of networked services including VoIP, mobile networking, and networked collaborative applications such as SharePoint. In our connected world, it pays to protect your business interests around the clock and ensure that you can do business 24/7 without any drop in connectivity.
- Modern and emerging tech – Have you moved to the Cloud? Are you planning on doing so any time soon? If so, you’re going to need to consider your training options. Virtualisation and Cloud Computing offer reliability, scalability and easier management of business systems to both your workforce and customers. However, implementation of such systems relies on core IT skills being firmly in place. Training your team in the latest technology, virtual or otherwise, will ensure you get the best return on any new technology you have implemented.
Highlighting the problem is only part of the solution. You also need… the solution. Which is why we created training material to provide each skill to your teams.
To read more, download the whitepaper here.
Jim Zimmermann is Director of Product Marketing at Skillsoft.