Technology skills have quickly become a key competitive advantage in modern IT environments.
But how do today’s technology professionals stack up?
We surveyed tech pros around the world to find out what they think about the state of their skills and training opportunities today – from cloud to emerging tech and beyond – and what’s on their minds for tomorrow.
The majority of technology professionals are not fully confident they have all the skills needed to manage their environments into the near future, especially when it comes to emerging tech.
70% of all tech pros surveyed are not “completely confident” in having all the necessary skills to successfully manage their IT environments over the next three to five years—even though 98% of tech pros have worked to develop a skill over the past 12 months.
35% of small business tech pros are somewhat to completely unconfident in their ability to manage environments in the near future with current skillsets, compared to 34% of medium-size tech pros and 31% of enterprise tech pros who share this sentiment.
When it comes to the idea of implementing or managing specific technologies, emerging tech is a pain point (despite how much mindshare these buzzworthy technologies get in headlines). The top three technologies tech pros feel unequipped to manage with their current skillsets are:
In the year ahead, tech pros must approach skills development strategically and should prioritize necessary training based on the needs of daily operations and IT environments, as well as skills that translate to career growth.
Tech pros will continue building skills in daily operations with an eye toward areas like data science.
In the past 12 months, tech pros have prioritized skills in systems and infrastructure management (46%), cloud and/or hybrid IT (44%), and security management (SIEM, policies, compliance, 39%).
In the next three to five years, the top two skills tech pros plan to develop are security management (49%) and hybrid IT deployment monitoring and management (48%). Data science and analytics round out the top three skillsets tech pros plan to develop in the next three to five years.
Nearly all tech pros surveyed have their sights on data science in the near future. While it will be critical to develop a sense of data science techniques and how to think about them as more vendors contribute to industry-wide standards, today’s tech pros shouldn’t expect to become data scientists overnight. Instead, tech pros should spend time familiarizing themselves with the key tenets of data analytics as part of their awareness of data science principles.
Tech pros say hybrid IT, security, and software-defined everything are the key technologies for career development, which will help achieve higher goals like innovation.
Tech pros say the most important technologies for their career development (by weighted rank) are aligned with the top three technologies for organizations’ transformation over the next three to five years:
There’s often a misperception amongst tech pros that more work can be accomplished on a command line rather than in PowerPoint, but the opposite is actually true: tech pros who can learn the language of business will be able to successfully influence technology decisions and up-level their resumes. Find ways to better understand what the business cares about – typically growing revenue, reducing cost, and removing risk – and how technology can positively affect those three performance indicators.
Tech pros have an appetite to prioritize career development on a weekly basis but are hindered by factors like time and cost.
Nearly eight in 10 tech pros (79%) say that their day-to-day IT tasks extend into time earmarked for career development, with 25% saying this always happens.
Tech pros cite time and availability (50%), and cost (26%) as the biggest barriers affecting their current ability to participate in IT skills training and career development programs at the frequency they would like.
To truly capitalize on the opportunities presented by emerging technologies – and to ultimately remain successful five years from now – tech pros must commit to the mindset of a lifelong learner by taking a more disciplined, proactive approach to skills and career development. Start small and set aside manageable, realistic amounts of time to invest in personal development.