Developing an IT Workforce: Critical Skills for 2019

Employee learning and development have always been important employee benefits; in fact, 2018 LinkedIn study found that “68 percent of employees prefer to learn at work.” In today’s tech-enabled world, learning a new skill is as easy as watching a video on YouTube. In such a competitive environment, where a new job opportunity is just a click away, providing your employees with the right training is a can’t-miss component of retaining a skilled workforce.

Traditional workshops and on-the-job training are not enough for the modern competitive world. Thankfully, with new technology, learning and development is easier and cheaper and can involve a mix of online and offline resources to give employees the best of both worlds: the much-needed human touch for employee engagement and skills absorption and the flexibility to learn at their own pace and point of need.

Demonstrating that you are an organization that supports employee’s growth and learning will result in increased employee motivation and engagement. Employees receiving training will know that they are better prepared to face the challenges of the workplace and the wider market.

Newer, faster and more effective ways of working are always around the corner. Whether it’s a new technology, new platform or new methodology, just because you hired experts doesn’t mean that your IT professionals will continue to be the best resource in the market. Let’s explore the IT skills that can make your employees more competent and more confident – in themselves and in the organization they work for.

The Cloud

While their motivations vary – cost, collaboration, environmental impact, “anywhere/everywhere business” – organizations of all sizes and industries are turning to cloud services. Cloud computing provides cost-effective and flexible IT services wherever and whenever they are needed. There are many cloud platforms in that a company can opt for according to its infrastructure and needs. However, configuring and maintaining these platforms is not an easy job, and you need IT professionals with the skills to do so.


Cybersecurity is becoming ever more important in today’s connected world. Cybercriminals are improving their methods of attacking IT systems. The threat is not only on the data or intelligence compromised in each breach but also the consequences of those breaches, including downtime and repair and company reputation. To protect your company, you need a team of trained cybersecurity personnel with the skills and expertise to prevent hacks and to be ready if a breach occurs.

Training your cybersecurity professionals individually won’t be enough, as each security team member has an essential role to play and is a part of a bigger picture. Team development programs will improve their efficiency and workflow as well as their skills.

Data, AI and BI

Artificial intelligence (AI), data and business intelligence (BI) go hand-in-hand; AI needs data in order to give the business intelligence. AI is considered the future of the software solutions. Many organizations use smart apps to make their daily processes efficient. One of the best examples of AI are chatbots that support communication between humans and machines. BI helps organizations understand their customers and their behaviors and wishes, helping them more successfully market and offer the solutions customers and prospects are looking for.

Training your employees in data, AI and BI will help you support the organization in multiple levels. Product and marketing teams will be better equipped with real data to develop and market products. Customer-facing teams can take advantage of bots and smart apps for more efficiency and productivity. HR and L&D teams can have stronger tools to analyze current employees’ activities and skills gaps and even select better candidates for open positions. Last but not least, the IT department will be future-ready.

Business Process: ITIL

The IT infrastructure library (ITIL) is the most accepted approach to IT service management. It supports the vision and mission of the company by aligning IT resources, services and products and improving the capabilities of people, technology and process. By adopting the ITIL framework, organizations can also support initiatives and functions like cybersecurity, DevOps and the internet of things (IoT). Whatever the size of your organization, you will need professionals trained in the ITIL framework to improve the quality of your services and products.

According to Training Industry, Inc., the global spend on corporate training in 2017 was $362.2 billion. The industry will probably witness increased investment in employee learning and development, especially in the IT sector, this year and in the near future. These programs may not show results instantly, but they will surely benefit your organization in the long run.

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