Within two years, 90% of organizations will suffer from a critical shortage of technical skills – Computerworld

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A growing IT skills shortage is preventing organizations from completing digitization projects and adopting new technologies, including generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI), and this is hitting the bottom line in several ways.

In a recent IDC Research survey of more than 800 North American IT leaders, nearly two-thirds said skills shortages have resulted in reduced revenue growth objectives, quality problems, and decreased customer satisfaction. .

And the situation is not expected to improve. IDC predicts that by 2026, more than 90% of organizations worldwide will feel the pain of an IT skills crisis, amounting to approximately 5.5 trillion due to product delays, weak competition, and lost business. There are dollar losses.

Of the more than 800 IT leaders surveyed, 63 percent said skills shortages have delayed digital transformation initiatives, most by an average of three to 10 months.

While it's no surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) skills are currently the most in-demand skills for most businesses, IT operations is a close second. Additionally, a variety of cloud skills, including architecture, data management and storage, and software development, are among the top ten most needed skills identified by survey respondents.

Within two years, 90% of organizations will suffer from a critical shortage of technical skills - Computerworld 2


According to Gina Smith, research director of IDC's IT Skills for Digital Business Practice, this situation is further complicated by the need for additional, non-technical skills, such as digital business skills, people skills, and leadership skills.

“Finding the right people with the right skills in the right roles has never been more difficult,” Smith said in a statement. Creative ways of hiring, training, upskilling and reskilling should be found. A culture of learning is the single best way to get there.

IDC report Enterprise Resilience: IT Skilling Strategies, 2024 Provides a framework for how businesses can address IT skills shortages. It includes data from IDC's 2024 North American IT Skills Survey, as well as best practices for fostering a culture of learning in the enterprise.

With AI 'draining nearly all non-AI investment across the tech world,' companies are cutting redundant jobs — and replacing them with AI-skilled workers. In the first quarter of 2024, U.S. companies announced plans to cut 257,254 jobs, up 120 percent from the last quarter of 2023, according to a report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The increase in layoffs was led by the tech sector, followed by government jobs.

Ironically, genAI — one of the most critical of which is the skills shortage — will play a key role in addressing the skills shortage in today's marketplace, according to a recent study by London-based Kaspersky Research. It found that 40% of the 2,000 C-level executives surveyed plan to use genAI tools like ChatGPT to address critical skills shortages through the automation of tasks.

“If there is a desire to delegate key activities and functions to genAI, it is important that senior management first develop a deep understanding of data management processes, including what data is used to train these systems,” said Kaspersky's David M. Dos and don'ts,” said David M. Principal security researcher.

Within two years, 90% of organizations will suffer from a critical shortage of technical skills - Computerworld 3


A common concern among employees is that genAI will replace job positions. However, both anecdotal evidence and research have shown that, like other tech advances in the past, genAI is likely to create more jobs than replace it. And employees who are replaced by genAI are more likely to be replaced by someone who knows how to use AI as part of their skill set.

According to Forrester Research's 2023 Generative AI Jobs Impact Forecast, the technology will impact 4.5 times more jobs than it replaces. The technology will also create nearly 30 percent of the jobs lost due to automation by 2030.

“We forecast that creative AI will replace 90,000 jobs in 2023, growing to 2.4 million by 2030,” the study said. While the 2.4 million jobs replaced by genAI looks more likely, Forrester notes that automation and AI combined will only replace 4.9% of US jobs by 2030. And job losses over the next two years will be modest unless there are questions about intellectual property rights, copyright issues, piracy. Model refresh rate, model bias, ethics, and model response reliability are addressed, the research firm said.

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) latest report on the impact of genAI reads like a “best of times, worst of times” story. The study found that 60 percent of jobs will be impacted by AI. About half of the jobs affected by AI and genAI could benefit from improved productivity. However, for the other 50%, genAI tools can be used to perform tasks now performed by humans, reducing labor demand, wages, and jobs. can

“Many studies have predicted the likelihood that jobs will be replaced by AI,” the study said. “Yet we know that in many cases, AI is likely to complement human work.”

But that requires employees who know how to work with AI. Rick Willers, group vice president at research firm IDC, said his analysts have seen enterprises “repeatedly” increase budgets for genAI and other types of AI, including infrastructure, services and software platforms. Construction of

“The one thing they're not increasing at the same level is investing in training and coaching their teams,” Willers said. “It's about IT teams and subject matter experts. But it's just training your employees on better AI behaviors and practices so they can protect their information.

According to a World Economic survey, training workers to use AI and big data (a large amount of structured and unstructured information) ranks third in a company's skills training priorities, cited by 42% of companies. Preference will be given by Forum

One of the challenges organizations face when trying to upskill their employees is resistance to training. According to an IDC survey, employees complain that courses are too long, learning options are too limited, and there isn't enough alignment between skills and career goals.

Within two years, 90% of organizations will suffer from a critical shortage of technical skills - Computerworld 4


To overcome these challenges, IT leaders need to employ a variety of strategies to encourage a more effective learning environment within their organization. This includes everything from classroom training to hackathons, hands-on labs, and games, quests, and mini-badges.

But fostering a positive learning environment in an organization requires more than just content, courses, and challenges. Culture change starts at the top, and leaders need to demonstrate why learning matters to the organization.

“This can be done by aligning employee goals with business goals, fostering continuous learning throughout the employee journey, and creating a reward program that recognizes performance as well as process,” said the IDC report. also recognize,” the IDC report said. “It also requires adequate allocation of time, money and people resources.”

Training that engages employees also translates into “experiential learning” or hands-on training. More than eight in 10 IT executives surveyed by IDC indicated that they are either already using experiential learning techniques or plan to implement them this year.

Nearly three in four (70%) respondents to the IDC survey said they are already using experiential learning methods, including labs, games and hackathons. And genAI has also found its way into the current training environment, with more than half of organizations surveyed using or piloting it for IT training.

Most, but almost all, of those surveyed said they also reward employees with project- or role-based mini-credentials to encourage continuous skill development.

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