Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 47 - Page 24


Part of the Lynchpin Media team , Manda Banda has more than 20 years of experience working for channel publications . He shares the knowledge he has learnt during that time in this monthly column for Intelligent Tech Channels .

Skill-up or risk exiting the channel

Manda Banda , Managing Editor , Intelligent Tech Channels
Manda Banda is also Lynchpin Media ’ s Managing Editor of Intelligent CIO Middle East and Intelligent CIO Africa magazines .
Building value in the IT channel has been a challenge for most reseller partners . With more emerging technologies impacting the development of the much-needed IT professionals and skills needed in the whole industry , partners that look at the value of training and partner certifications , and how these translate into business returns , profits , and longevity in the IT solutions game stand to benefit immensely . How ? That ’ s because the IT talent crunch requires the whole concerted effort from the IT sector than each individual company trying to resolve the growing skills gap .

There are many transitions happening in the IT channel at present . From IoT to Artificial Intelligence , Machine Learning , analytics , Blockchain , cloud , verticalisation , mobility , Digital Transformation and software defined networking ( SDN ) to name some . We are amid a wave of technological innovation , which leverages the power of networked technologies to transform daily lives and make an impact on economic growth . However , while all this is happening , there is a perennial challenge that channel leaders helping build businesses back after a very uncertain 24 months . Some of the biggest challenges that they are grappling with are finding the workers , skills and budget to retain them .

Among the domains in the highest demand : cloud computing , Machine Learning , data science , software engineering and cybersecurity . A lack of skills and resources has been either the number one or number two obstacle to achieving organisational objectives for CIOs , according to the past four annual Gartner CIO surveys .
As new industries emerge around these areas , the solutions that are being introduced will need partners to provide not only the connectivity but also value-added services . With change comes opportunity , and for partners the new market opportunity is huge . Partners need to respond quickly to
Among the domains in the highest demand : cloud computing , Machine Learning , data science , software engineering and cybersecurity . these trends to stay competitive , monetise new services and drive optimisation while continuing to deliver quality services to customers . However , around the world , and especially across the Middle East and Africa ( MEA ), there is a significant shortage of people who are qualified to address these trends and innovations .
To address the skills shortage , governments in MEA need to deploy policy and training programmes to help solve the world ’ s fastest-growing gap in networking professionals .
Professionals with skills in the areas of IT security , IoT , mobility , cloud , virtualisation , Artificial Intelligence , Blockchain , SDN and software-defined data centres are currently in great demand .
As the transition to Digital Transformation , mobility , cloud and other emerging technologies gathers speed in the enterprise segment , a gap in tech skills appears . Partners can get tools and training for these specialisations and gain a better understanding of technologies that they need to prioritise and can help in developing solutions aimed at these areas .
Due to the evolving technology landscape , the skills gap is so huge that it will take some time for all channel stakeholders to narrow this gap . The challenge for vendors , distributors and resellers is keeping pace with training as well as developing the right mix of IT professionals . Although vendor training and certification programmes have gone a long way to addressing the skills gap , that alone is not enough . What the IT