It would be challenging to find an organization that is perfectly content with the level of skills and expertise their employees possess. Couple that with today's unforgiving competitive environment and the skills needed to effectively support ever-changing technology, an overarching gap in IT skills in no surprise. As the data in CompTIA's State of the IT Skills Gap study echoes, a vast majority of employers (93%) indicate there is an overall skills gap, the difference between existing and desired skill levels, among their IT staff. Unfortunately, nearly 6 in 10 companies report being either not close or only moderately close to where they want to be with IT skills. As a result, gaps in IT skills are likely hindering companies' optimal utilization of technology and presumably hampering business success.
In fact, a large majority (80%) of employers point to at least one specific business area potentially affected by their organization's IT skills gap. Top areas influenced by shortcomings in IT skills include staff productivity (41%), customer service / customer engagement (32%), and security (31%). Skills gaps also especially affect speed to market for IT businesses (34%) versus firms in other industries (20%).
In most organizations, strategic priorities align with and influence IT skills needs. Core IT priorities, as well as longer-term priorities in emerging areas, are reflected in skills ranking. Respondents place the highest levels of importance on skills associated with what could be described as the IT foundation – the fundamental elements of hardware, software and IT support required to exist in today's digital economy.
CompTIA's State of the IT Skills Gap study was developed with input from a survey of 502 U.S. IT and business managers, as well as input from more than 500 managers in Canada, Japan, South Africa and the U.K. All data was collected December 2011 - January 2012.
CompTIA members can read the full report here.