Guest Column | March 22, 2012

IT Skills Gaps Are Real (And Really Affecting Business)

Amy Carrado CompTIA

By Amy Carrado, director of market research, CompTIA

Is there an organization that is perfectly content with the level of skills and expertise their employees possess? Doubtful, but for both good and bad reasons. Given today's unforgiving competitive environment and the skills needed to effectively support ever-changing technology, an overarching gap in IT skills is 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 only moderately close or not even close to where they want to be with IT skills. Interestingly, the distribution of results aligns with where the organization lies on the technology usage curve. In other words, gaps in IT skills are likely hindering companies' optimal utilization of technology and presumably hampering utmost business success.

CompTIA's recent study identifies the most important skills to be around the "IT foundation" such as networks, servers, storage, security, database/information management, and help desk/IT support. And the greatest areas of concern for gaps in IT skills are again related to those core IT areas. However, emerging areas of business process automation, mobility, collaboration, and virtualization will require sufficient skills as well. See related findings in the Robert Half survey highlighted in this article about CIOs struggling to find IT talent.