Do you understand what the IT skills gap really means?

A thorough understanding of the capabilities of your technology team has never been more important because all evidence points to the fact that the IT skills gap keeps on growing and is only going to get bigger.

The recently released 2016 CIO Survey from recruitment consultant Harvey Nash and advisory firm KPMG suggests almost two thirds (65 per cent) of CIOs believe a lack of talent is preventing their organisation from keeping up with the pace of change, a figure that has grown ten per cent since 2015.

The rapid pace of technological change means a strong understanding of capability will continue to rise as a business priority. BCS research suggests the number of people required in IT and digital roles will have increased at a rate five times faster than other industries by 2020.

CIOs looking to cope with this skills gap must know how to audit their IT team. By understanding in-house capability and required talent, c-suite executives can look to ensure they have access to a diverse skills set, regardless of fast-changing business requirements.

IT leaders should work with c-suite peers and trusted external partners to audit their team. A well-crafted audit allows you to benchmark against future demands. The result is a deeper understanding of which individuals need re-training and the opportunity to develop a framework for staff development.

Auditing will also help identify the gaps that could be filled by new talent. The IT skills labour market - particularly in terms of graduates - is incredibly competitive. Organisations must compete for an ever-decreasing pool of IT talent, whose analytical abilities can also attract higher paying finance firms.

Smart CIOs will look to underappreciated yet high quality sources of talent, including mothers returning to the workplace and experienced employees looking for a new challenge. Auditing can be the crucial key step towards the creation of a diversified IT team that is ready for future digital demands.

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A regular look at how digital leaders can embrace and embed organisational change through their people.

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July 2017
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