Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 67 - Page 34

The tech talent shortage has
CIOs in the Middle East and Africa scrambling to ensure that employees brush up on the latest skills and technologies that facilitate business agility . Among the domains in the highest demands are : cloud computing , Machine Learning , data science , software engineering and cybersecurity . Industry leaders share tips for fruitful reskilling , cross-training to bridge the evergrowing skills gap and how to build the next generation of IT leaders in the Middle East and Africa ( MEA ) region . By Manda Banda
According to Salesforce , the good news is that 82 % of digital skills index respondents plan to upskill .
For businesses , stated Salesforce , it awards them the chance to get to know their employees and rethink training and development programmes in a way that resonates for both parties collectively bridge the digital and learning divide that exists by empowering learners with the flexibility they need .
Tom Clarke , Principal in Heidrick & Struggles Dubai and a member of the global Technology and Services and Digital Officers practice , said : “ What I have seen some local companies in the UAE and other leading markets do is to create dedicated academies focused on addressing these skill gaps . These are still novel projects in the region , but they are a great start and pathway to ensuring the next generation of leaders are prepared and skilled in new emerging technologies .

A lack of skills and resources has been either the number one or number two obstacle to achieving organisational objectives , according to the past four annual Gartner CIO surveys . This IT talent shortage has CIOs in the Middle East and Africa ( MEA ) scrambling to ensure that staff brush up on the latest skills and technologies that facilitate business agility , sales growth and running profitable businesses .

The Salesforce 2022 Global Digital Skills Index has revealed a growing skills crisis across the global workforce . The great resignation has taken every industry by storm , resulting in a global employment deficit of 92 million employees in 2021 alone . As a result , the global demand for workers with digital skills has never been greater .
Despite this demand , Salesforce ’ s 2022 Global Digital Skills Index identified that everyday digital skills among the workforce are lagging . Globally , nearly three out of four people believe they lack the resources to learn the digital skills required to succeed .
“ We ’ ve also observed companies in the region bringing in specific experts who are well-versed in these areas . For example , a Heidrick & Struggles client previously hired a cloud executive from San Francisco as a short-term advisor and not only did this professional support the CEO on the overall strategy of the organisation , but he also ran workshops for the wider business which included sessions for the various levels from top to bottom .”
Atika Salaf , Director Human Resources EMEA and LATAM , NetApp said CIOs should create a work culture where there are no limits into discovery to deploy the full potential of each employee and to grow . Salaf said people should be the owners of their careers . “ CIOs should give employees the opportunity to develop at any time . For example , exchanging roles is the best way to learn . I leave my comfort zone and I am putting myself into someone elses shoes . Sharing these learnings and best practises is also crucial to motivate others doing it similarly .
“ Training and skilling should be a priority into the strategy of an organisation . And it should be embedded

IT talent squeeze

34 INTELLIGENTCIO AFRICA www . intelligentcio . com