Organisations are failing to put adequate investment into the recruitment and nurturing of core IT skills, according to a survey conducted by European Business School INSEAD.
The research, sponsored by legacy modernisation vendor Micro Focus, found that many companies are over-emphasising investments in Web 2.0 skills, despite respondents recognising that these are often not supporting business critical applications.
The survey polled 450 CIOs, CFOs and HR directors at organisations with turnover ranging from $100m to $1bn.
Amongst the CFOs surveyed, only 13% felt very confident that the knowledge and skills exist within their organisations to maintain core IT assets into the future. Yet 60% of CFOs said that in a recession, skills needed to modernise core IT assets are the most valuable, rather than skills to implement more nascent technologies.
Similarly, only 16% of CIOs had confidence that their organisations have the right recruitment strategies for the vital skills and knowledge required to maintain core IT assets.
Stephen Kelly, Micro Focus CEO, told CBR that this was a wake-up call for the industry: “The figures are sadly shocking. Companies need to be cleverer with money,” he said. “It’s time for CIOs to step up, at boardroom level. The reality is that companies are recruiting the wrong skills — it’s all about short-term gains. That can be career limiting.”
“It’s like a drug culture,” Kelly said. “As we enter the recession companies just look for quick fixes and quick wins. Any investment in IT these days has to have ROI within 6-12 months, otherwise companies will ignore it.”
Kelly said that one way of finding and attracting the right talent for core IT asset maintenance is to forge partnerships with educational institutions. Micro Focus has programmes in place with Kingston University and Oxford Brookes, which Kelly hopes will avert any potential skills shortage in COBOL programming, for example.
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