FEATURE : SKILLS & TRAINING
The tech talent shortage has CIOs in the Middle East 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
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