CONTRIBUTOR

A shortage of tech expertise is hindering businesses from effectively integrating new technologies into their operations, according to an Infosys survey of 1,000 senior business executives.

The study revealed a significant gap between the pace of technological advancement and companies’ ability to adapt.

Nearly three-quarters of the surveyed executives expressed concerns that the rapid rate of technological change exceeds their organization’s capacity to implement these innovations into their operations.

Sunil Senan, global head of data, analytics and AI at Infosys, says this discrepancy suggests a pressing need for businesses to bridge the skills gap.

“Specifically, areas like advanced statistical analysis, machine learning and cloud computing are suffering from notable skill gaps,” he says.

This lack of skills is a major barrier to adopting new technologies, with 28% of respondents citing it as the main obstacle.

“This hampers businesses’ ability to effectively integrate these technologies into their operations, limiting their capacity to innovate and remain competitive in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape, leading to operational bottlenecks and inefficiencies,” Senan says.

Additionally, lack of understanding of new technologies not only leads to decreased motivation and job satisfaction but also makes companies vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Approximately four out of five survey respondents indicated a preference for employees with versatile knowledge across multiple technology solutions rather than those with specialized expertise in a single area.

Senan says this shift in preference underscores the growing importance of a broad technical skill set in navigating the evolving technological landscape and driving innovation within organizations.

“For IT professionals, it’s essential to continuously learn and develop skills to stay relevant in the fast-changing tech industry,” he explains.

They should participate in practical training programs or online courses to gain hands-on experience and certifications, focusing on high-demand areas like data analysis, machine learning and cloud computing.

Additionally, collaborating with peers and mentors in the industry, as well as keeping up with industry news and trends, can provide valuable insights and support in navigating the evolving IT landscape.

“Offering comprehensive training programs can empower employees to adapt to changing work environments,” Senan adds.

Kausik Chaudhuri, CIO of Lemongrass, says organizations should consider multifaceted strategies to bridge this gap, leveraging both near-term and long-term solutions.

In the near term they can invest in continuous learning by sponsoring courses and certifications from reputable institutions, including online platforms like Coursera, edX, Udacity and Pluralsight that offer specialized courses.

“They can also encourage employees to participate in industry forums, conferences and workshops,” he says.

He says a longer-term strategy would be to collaborate with universities and colleges to create internship programs and specialized curriculums that prepare students with the specific skills the organization needs.

“This can be a pipeline for future talent,” he explains. “Another strategy is to hire for potential and train for skills – this is especially important in the emerging areas.”

The core of this strategy is to pair less experienced employees with seasoned experts, who can facilitate knowledge transfer and skill development.

Scott Wheeler, cloud practice lead at Asperitas, says he often sees a lack of commitment to developing talent.

“Most organizations want to order resources like pizza because they only buy the resource with ‘all the toppings’,” he explains.

He says this is a poor long-term strategy, as many IT resources have all the background and skills necessary to be top contributors but are frequently overlooked because they don’t have the experience leadership feels they need.

“A small investment in resource retooling can reap significant returns,” he says.

He adds IT professionals must also take ownership of their future and invest in their skills like a financial investment.

“Take time to understand the market related to your career goals and work to get the training and experience that supports that direction,” he says. “This will require a commitment of time outside of your job.”

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