IDC forecasts $5.5 trillion loss by 2026 for companies worldwide due to IT skills shortage – Wire19

A pressing shortage of IT skills is rattling organizations worldwide, affecting diverse industries and geographical locations. Recent research by the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that nearly two-thirds of North American IT leaders cited a deficiency in skills as the root cause behind missed revenue targets, quality issues, and decreased customer satisfaction. Alarmingly, the situation is set to worsen in the coming years.
IDC predicts that by 2026, over 90% of organizations globally will feel the pinch of the IT skills crisis, resulting in staggering losses of around $5.5 trillion due to delayed product launches, weakened competitiveness, and missed business opportunities.
While demand for artificial intelligence (AI) skills remains high across enterprises, IT Operations skills closely follow as the second most sought-after expertise. Additionally, a range of cloud-related skills—including architecture, data management, storage, and software development—feature among the top ten in-demand skills.
Compounding the challenge is the necessity for supplementary non-technical skills like digital business acumen, interpersonal skills, and leadership prowess.
“Getting the right people with the right skills into the right roles has never been so difficult,” reveals Gina Smith, PhD, research director for IDC’s IT Skills for Digital Business practice. “As IT skills shortages widen and the arrival of new technology accelerates, enterprises must find creative ways to hire, train, upskill, and reskill their employees. A culture of learning is the single best way to get there,” she adds.
Organizations face numerous hurdles when attempting to boost their workforce’s skill sets, with resistance to training initiatives being a significant barrier. Employees often express concerns about course durations, limited learning avenues, and a perceived mismatch between acquired skills and career goals.
To overcome these obstacles, IT leaders must adopt a multi-faceted approach to foster a conducive learning environment within their organizations. This includes embracing diverse learning methods—from traditional classroom instruction to immersive experiences like hackathons, hands-on labs, and gamified learning modules.
A considerable portion of respondents (70%) indicated the use of experiential learning methods such as labs, games, and hackathons. Moreover, the integration of generative AI (GenAI) has gained traction in current training endeavors, with over half of the surveyed organizations either utilizing or piloting AI for IT training purposes.
However, building a culture of learning within an organization goes beyond providing learning materials and opportunities. It requires leadership commitment and a demonstration of the organizational significance of continuous learning. This involves aligning employee objectives with business goals, advocating for lifelong learning, and establishing a rewards framework that recognizes both progress and performance. It also requires allocating sufficient resources—time, finances, and personnel—to effectively facilitate learning initiatives.
Source: IDC
Read next: LinkedIn members adding AI skills to profiles rise 142x – 2024 Work Trend Index report
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