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The research giant Gartner claims that two-thirds of organisations are not adequately addressing their infrastructure and operations (I&O) skills gaps and this will result in serious issues over the next two to three years.

According to Gartner the lack of I&O skills in many organisations will increasingly impede digital business initiatives and result in visible business disruptions.

The reality is that I&O roles are changing. Currently the focus is on activities such as managing data centres, providing support for business computing users, designing and project managing core networking activities and addressing disaster recovery and business continuity requirements.

However, over the next few years, I&O departments will be required to implement vastly different roles and technologies. Consequently I&O leaders will need to identify the appropriate skills, technologies and processes to ensure their staff can deliver the required services.

And given the lack of resource currently available, I&O leaders must begin by developing these skills with the talent they already have. A potential stumbling block is that most companies don’t have an accurate inventory of the available skills of their current IT workforces, so this must be an essential first step.

One of the key challenges is the fact that digital business initiatives will demand a much wider and more versatile skill set. The result, according to Gartner, is that we’ll see the emergence of IT staff who are ‘versatilists’ – capable of holding multiple roles. This shift will originate first in I&O and will then be followed by an increase in non-technical IT managers and leaders with versatilist profiles.

Terence Cosgrove, research vice president at Gartner, commented: “IT operations organisations are being forced to redefine their roles and value propositions, but the big question is whether they will have the relevant skills required to make a success of their digital business initiatives.

“The key to delivering digital value at scale is having the right people talent. Currently there just isn’t enough talent with the digital dexterity for hire, so I&O leaders will need to develop this core competency in the talent they already have.”

Paul Freeman
Director of Education & Talent at GK Apprenticeships

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