Tech growth outpaces skills development


Johannesburg, 13 Feb 2012
Read time 2min 10sec

The rapid pace at which new technologies are entering the market, and the ever-changing landscape of IT, do not correspond with the requisite skills within the local IT industry.

So says Zaheer Kader, GM of Foster-Melliar, part of the Morvest Professional Services Group, who points out that the growth and rate of change in IT needs to be compensated by qualified human resources. “As technology improves, so do the needs associated to most of the job functions.”

He says it is imperative that successful companies keep investing in training in core competencies.

To better understand organisations' training structures in terms of availability of training funds, decision-making, workplace skills plans and factors that are considered when a training provider is chosen, ITWeb and Foster-Melliar today unveiled the IT Training Survey.

According to Kader, a majority of executives view the rapid pace of technological change as a very difficult challenge for their organisations.

“Rapid changes in technology sometimes require upgrades and new acquisitions in order that the technology is well-harvested. These require investments, which many companies would look really hard into before deciding upon,” he says.

Therefore, he explains, effectiveness of training is difficult to determine due to the scale and rate of change in technology, which may reduce the quality of measuring effectiveness.

However, investing in training and development is a critical part of core competencies for many organisations, Kader points out. “When organisations invest in development of their employees, they can then expect more productivity and higher innovation levels.”

He is also of the view that employees who are appropriately trained are more comfortable with their use of ICT and are not fearful of technology.

“These employees are more productive and improve overall service delivery. They also work better as a team, while improving effectiveness and reducing management time and costs.”

Kader also points out that though organisations have training budgets, this must be spent efficiently for maximum return on investment. “Organisations have realised that in order to increase organisational performance and competitiveness, it is imperative that they adequately train staff.”

He also believes that outsourcing training services can result in organisations plugging the IT skills shortage gap. “Outsourcing also results in organisations remaining focused on their core business.”

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