We've heard a lot about the IT skills gaps in the U.S. But how are other countries faring on the IT skills front and, even more broadly, with technology adoption? Interestingly, more similarities than differences emerge across a wide array of countries; this according to CompTIA's recently conducted "International Technology Adoption & Workforce Issues" study. Some highlights: The importance of IT to business success continues to rise; strategic priorities increasingly include an IT component; and the IT sector flourishes despite a still fragile global economy.
As technology continues to grow in importance across the globe, so do the IT skills needed to support and manage such technologies and initiatives. In fact, nearly 4 in 10 employers expect to hire additional IT staff this year. However, more than half (58 percent) are concerned over their ability to hire the necessary quantity or quality of IT workers. Corporate goals, technology priorities and IT skills are all intertwined, however very few companies (16 percent) report being exactly where they want to be with IT staff skills and expertise. That leaves a lot of room for improvement, understandably so given the pace of technological innovation and drive for continuous advancement. A variety of IT skills are important to organizations including networks/infrastructure (60 percent), database/information management (55 percent), storage/data back-up (51 percent), server/data center management (51 percent) and help desk/IT support (49 percent).
While organizations across the globe wrestle with similar goals and challenges, differences certainly exist, particularly when comparing the more mature economies (i.e., Canada, France, Germany and the UK) versus maturing economies (i.e., Brazil, India, Mexico, the Middle East and Thailand). Companies in maturing countries look forward to improving business conditions for 2013; indicate greater increases in IT spending over the next 12 months; express more concern about the ability to hire qualified IT workers; use IT training to a greater extent; are more likely to require certification among IT staff; and expect the importance of IT certification to increase at higher rates than mature economies.
The employers who embrace IT staff hiring and professional development practices based on business and technology priorities – whether their own or their customers' – are best prepared for continued successes with the capabilities to take advantage of the ever evolving global IT landscape. Lest we not forget that the IT skills in demand derive from a deeper set of strategic priorities.
This study was developed with input from 1,256 IT and business executives in 10 countries including Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Middle East (Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE), Thailand and the UK. The data for this study was collected via a quantitative online survey conducted from February to March 2013.