Information management ? a skills gap?

Kolding, Marianne, Sundblad, Martin, Alexa, Jan, Stone, Merlin, Aravopoulou, Eleni and Evans, Geraint (2018) Information management ? a skills gap? The Bottom Line, 31 (3-4). pp. 170-190. ISSN 0888-045X

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Purpose The aim of this paper is to explore very recent data about how large organizations are dealing with a shortage of information and communications technology (ICT) specialists, in terms of its implications for information management. Design/methodology/approach This paper is based on qualitative interview-based research with eleven large European companies, with an estimated ICT workforce of around 400,000 (about 14% of ICT professionals in Europe), covering hiring, retention, and upskilling of ICT staff, and expectations concerning graduates from European universities. This data is combined with IDC analyst reports on the demand for different categories of ICT products and services, and data from the authors? consulting work. Findings Larger organizations expect hiring to be a challenge, with strong competition for talent, whether from existing users or from the many rapidly digitalizing companies ? digitalizing their organizations, their products and services, and their relationships with customer, suppliers and business partners. Upskilling and retraining workforces is seen by large organizations as a better approach than hiring, allowing them to create the right skills balance and retain their workers better. However, softer skills, such as communication and problem solving, are seen as just as important. ICT workers will benefit from a lifelong approach to learning, acquiring new skills and adapting existing skills. Many ICT companies have created academies for developing employee skills and certifications related to their own technologies, while the education sector has been working on creating curricula (alone or sometimes in partnerships with vendors) to improve graduate employability. Research limitations/implications The research is based on a small sample of large companies. The situation may be different in other companies and smaller organisations, Practical implications Organizations can cope with the skills shortage by anticipating and working with the market forces rather than trying to oppose them. Social implications ICT employees will show the way for employees in other sectors where skills are scarce, by demonstrating how to reinvent themselves as the skills needed change. Originality/value This paper demonstrates that employers have changed their expectations of universities. They expect less that graduates will be ICT-employment ready, and more that they will have the skills to make and keep themselves employment ready. This has significant implications for university course design.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > School of Business
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Depositing User: Leah Maughan
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2021 10:52
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2021 10:52

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