Senior staff need retraining to succeed in changing IT environment, says Forrester

Experienced IT professionals who are transferred to an outsourcing provider will need technical retraining, according to a report published by analyst firm Forrester last week.

Experienced IT professionals who are transferred to an outsourcing provider will need technical retraining, according to a report published by analyst firm Forrester last week.

Working in outsourcing will place demands on IT professionals to master new methodologies, operational tools, languages and integration technologies, Forrester said.

But the report, based on a survey of 48 companies and 12 universities in large European economies, warned that universities are failing to offer courses to meet these needs.

Operations technicians will need to master methodologies such as ITIL and Cobit when they join an outsourcing provider, Forrester said. Developers will need to learn languages such as C++ and PHP and integration technologies and methodologies such as agile programming, UML and CMM.

The growth of outsourcing will also place new demands on IT professionals that remain in the IT department, with skills in business analysis, IT management and architecture rising in importance.

According to Forrester, IT departments need many more information systems analysts, enterprise architects, technical architects, sourcing managers and IT strategists.

"A strong IT background is not sufficient: people need additional skills, such as systems analysis, training with modelling tools, legal knowledge, financial engineering, negotiation skills, and an understanding of outsourced contract management," the report said.

IT professionals will need to attend comprehensive courses if they are to keep up to speed, but current training offerings are insufficient, Forrester said.

Most training offered to experienced IT professionals consists of courses of a few days' duration. University courses are largely filled by younger students with little industry experience, rather than the experienced staff that businesses need.

IT professionals face barriers to taking part in longer, university-based courses, including costs, taking time off of work, lack of awareness about course content, lack of support from employers and companies' inflexibility regarding adult education, the report said.

"IT worker reskilling requires long-term, consistent educational training. Short, opportunistic training sessions are insufficient to meet the new demands placed on IT," the report said. "The education system in Europe does not currently meet the IT industry's demands."

 

Forrester report at a glance

Outsourcing is driving a need for new training plans to fill senior IT roles

Staff need business analysis, IT management and architecture skills to supplement technical knowledge

Some key people need "profile transformation", for which short training sessions are inadequate

Businesses need to educate government on new IT training needs

Companies need to put pressure on universities to create adult education courses that are fully dedicated to business needs.

 

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