Access to proper IT skills and training is paramount to mitigating risks and compliance issues within a business, according a recent study conducted by IDC and sponsored by security vendor Symantec Corp.
More than 220 North American functional IT teams, consisting of two or three employees, participated in the survey titled, “The Impact of Training on IT Organizational Performance.”
Results showed a strong link between well-trained IT workers and the amount of time they devoted to technology features and maintenance activities. The study found that highly-skilled IT teams were likely to spend more time on high value activities such as security, performance and compliance issues than those with fewer skills.
The report concluded that with the proper training and education businesses would be better suited to manage and mitigate IT risks while also increasing productivity and reducing costs.
Bob Yang, Americas education services director at Symantec, said he stands firmly behind the results.
“There are a lot of companies with skills gaps when it comes to their IT workers,” Yang said. “This study proves what managers know in their guts; that a well-trained worker is less prone to make mistakes and when these issues do happen, they can resolve them faster.”
What the study found was that skilled IT teams were able to carry-out backup requests 60 per cent faster than lesser skilled teams were. Furthermore, with a team of two or three well-trained people, productivity levels would increase by 10 per cent, which translated into time would save close to 2,000 hours annually equaling about $70,000 in increased productivity alone.
Cushing Anderson, program director of IDC Learning Services, notes how challenging it is to find skilled IT employees in today’s workplace.
“IT employers and hiring managers are finding it difficult to find skilled IT technicians and managers,” Anderson said. “There just aren’t a sufficient number of them out there.”
However, corporations and vendors have training courses and centres available to those who need it. But whether or not these resources are taken advantage of is ultimately up to the individual.
Symantec has a Symantec Education program where training takes the form of one of four delivery methods, including classroom, on site, web-based and virtual learning.
“We have a variety of different methods for customers to take advantage of,” Yang said. “We see good traction among all of the delivery methods but in the end, it’s primarily up to the customer and the type of class they choose to take is based on their needs.”
Yang said he also believes that, from a higher-level standpoint, it is the job of the business to invest its time and finances equally towards employees, processes and technologies.
Anderson, on the other hand, believes the onus lies with individuals themselves as well as employers.
“It is the IT organization’s responsibility to make sure training opportunities are available to their employees,” Anderson said. “Employees also need to evaluate their alternatives and skills in order to take active management of their careers.”