The Value Of Staying Current With Skills Development


Businesses around the world are updating their tech almost on a daily basis. They do this to stay relevant in a competent global market. But is updating the tech enough to stop playing catch-up to? The answer is an emphatic NO! You need to invest in skill development such as the Microsoft Azure certification courses, and focus on aligning skills not only with current solutions but with those planned for the future as well.

Acknowledging The Skill Gap

As you know, given the speed at which technology evolves, there’s a gap between the skillset available and the skills needed to work with emerging technology? The problem is further aggravated by the creation of new career paths for roles such as data scientists, cloud administrators, solution architects, etc.

Let The Figures Talk

According to the IT Skills and Salary Report for 2019, the skill gap has been increasing steadily for the past three years. 80% of the surveyed IT decision makers said that their teams lacked the necessary skills. The survey also revealed that only 59% of the surveyed IT decision makers had approved training in the past 12 months.

Many businesses have shifted to a recurring revenue model as a result of the shift from requirement-driven IT projects to more dynamic, outcome-based solutions. These partners approach projects with an emphasis on customer impact, innovation and specialization.

This makes soft skills and domain knowledge of newer solution classes all the more important. According to the 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 92% of the executives surveyed agreed that soft skills like communication, leadership and collaboration were as important as technical skills.

Keeping Up With Skill Development

Well, as you figured it, the only way to counter the technical and soft skill gap is by investing in training support.  Skill development cannot be a one-time event. To make a difference and bridge the skill gap, training must be an ongoing effort. This training needs to be defined as a strategic element in an organization’s growth strategy. The best way to do this- continuous learning programs with structured, proactive training modules that foster a learning culture.

Some of the steps critical to building an ongoing training and certification program include:

  • Assess the current skill portfolio
  • Set targets and metrics for talent recruitment and retention
  • Understand role definitions and likely resource mapping and career paths for cloud practices
  • Create digital skill profiles for targeted training
  • Invest in structured skill development programs
  • Prepare learners for certifications tied to Microsoft Partner Competencies

Invest In Skill Development And Reap Multi-Pronged Benefits

Be assured, investment in skill development does more than just make teams more productive. Some of the key benefits of continuous development are:

  • Employee Retention

Without adequate training, retaining employees for more than 2 years is a challenge. However, with continuous development programs, retention can be doubled. One of the most common reasons for employees to leave an organization is because of no opportunities to advance their own careers. Training and the creation of new roles allow HR teams to give employees opportunities within the organization that are relevant to their futures. When employees recognize that their careers can grow within the organization, they are less inclined to look for new positions elsewhere.

  • Better Compensation

With higher skill sets, such as those provided by the Azure for SAP, come higher compensation. According to the Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report for 2018, certified staff across the world received a 9% higher salary than non-certified staff. In the USA, this difference was about 22%.

  • Improved Performance

An organization that invests only in technology but not in training will not be able to sue the technology available to them to its optimum capability. It is only when the staff receives continuous training that they can stay up to date with technology and use it the way it was meant to be used. Applying their newfound skills to their roles makes them more productive and helps increase output dramatically. Certification has been found to increase on-the-job effectiveness by as much as 70%.

  • Reputation & Recruitment

Offering opportunities for continuous development is a way to make employees feel valued. Making this commitment towards skill development and innovation also builds a stronger reputation and the company becomes known as one that invests in its people. This can become an organization’s biggest recruitment asset.

  • Personal Growth

The company is not the only one to benefit from employees with improved skills. Being able to work with relevant technology and being more productive has personal benefits for employees as well. It boosts self-confidence, makes them more credible, builds a sense of community with other accredited professionals and increases job satisfaction.

To Conclude

Now that you have a fair insight into the game, let’s move on to creating an action plan. The way forward must include ongoing training and certifications such as the Azure certification for developers. Encourage your HR and business managers to work strategically and continually identify gaps in skill sets as well as employee strengths. Let’s pledge to stay relevant both at the technological and skill front this year!