More than 50% of companies face skills gaps in app development, IT security and data engineering.

That’s according to this year’s global State of IT report, which further reveals that four of the top seven pain points IT leaders face today are related to serious gaps in skills. 

The report details how top-performing IT teams are taking steps to bridge the skills gap – with almost all (96%) investing in training for their technical staff. This is in stark contrast to underperforming IT teams, only 55% of which are doing the same. Many of those top performing teams are being led by a new breed of executive, which you can read about in this Top IT Teams (and their CDOs) are Driving Digital Transformation article. 

The UK’s digital skills gap

The digital skills gap isn’t just a global problem. It’s the UK’s problem too.

We may have the world’s largest digital economy (as a proportion of our GDP), but we’re struggling to keep it staffed with the necessary talent.

According to a January 2016 report commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport:

  • 72% of large companies and 49% of SMEs are suffering tech skill gaps

The report also recommends that strategies are put in place to address shortage areas from big data and cyber security, to the Internet of Things, apps, mobile and e-commerce.

Narrowing the digital skills gap – CoderDojo

One organisation that’s helping to address digital skills gaps is CoderDojo. A global community of free programming clubs for young people, it reaches 35,000 young coders ever week, in 57 countries around the world. And it’s growing.

We know, because CoderDojo uses Sales Cloud to track its donations, and Service Cloud to help it answer enquiries from volunteers keen to set up Dojos themselves.

It’s also planning to use Salesforce CRM to capture information more effectively – letting it measure how many young people reaches (and where), while enhancing fundraising efforts, and the allocation of donations. 

As Giustina Mizzoni, CoderDojo’s Global Development Lead explains:

“There’s a big skills gap and gender imbalance in the development world […] CoderDojo helps youngsters understand the magic behind today’s technology. It also helps them learn important soft skills, such as sequential thinking, public speaking, and team building.”

High-level support inspires IT success

But that’s the future. How do you ensure training and development really delivers within your organisation, right now?

Our report suggests clear support from leadership could help.

Two-thirds (66%) of top-performing IT teams strongly agree that their leadership places a high value on the IT practice – a feeling that’s shared by only 15% of underperforming teams.

The race is on

The race to keep up with the demands of the digital world is well and truly on – and all organisations are feeling the strain. Today’s front-running IT teams, however, are almost unanimously taking steps to close their skills gaps, by investing in training and development.

But training is only half the solution. Check out the full 2016 State of IT Report to learn how leading IT teams are embracing new technologies to speed app development, sidestep complexity, and fuel digital innovation.