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IT skills and training seen as top drivers of business success

One of the biggest concerns when hiring IT professionals is getting the right mix of skills

IT skills and training are seen as important drivers for the success of businesses in the GCC, says a new report.

With more than 16.77m internet users and 82.3m mobile phone users in the GCC, 75 per cent of business executives based in the GCC see IT training and competence as a key driver for the success of their business, reveals a report from CompTIA,   the IT industry association and leader in vendor-neutral skills certifications for the global IT workforce.

With more than 74 per cent of businesses in the Middle East and 84 per cent in the UAE having formal policies covering the IT certification required within the company, one of the biggest concerns when hiring IT professionals is getting the right mix of skills, with 79 per cent of employers in the Middle East and 65 per cent of employers in the UAE being concerned about this, says the report.

When it comes to key areas of concerns regarding IT in the workplace, seven in ten Middle East executives believe that the cyber threat is increasing and additionally 27 per cent believe that human error is a growing factor in security incidents, with the failure of individuals to follow the correct processes and procedures and the lack of understanding about new threats being the key reasons behind this.

Based on the findings, Graham Hunter, Vice President, Skills Certifications EME, at CompTIA says: “Professional certifications – credentials that signify an individual’s validated competency in particular aspects of technology – have long been a cornerstone of the IT workforce, in fact, the unique role of certification in the IT field is changing. Hiring managers and HR professionals believe having IT job candidates with industry certifications saves time and resources in evaluating applicants, ensures a candidate’s credibility and demonstrates that they have a baseline set of knowledge.”

“The executives we’ve surveyed in the region say certified IT professionals get up to speed more quickly, are more likely to stay with the company long term, have a higher likelihood of being promoted, and generally perform better than non-certified IT staff,” adds Hunter.

The survey also revealed very positive news for those in the IT sector, with more than 81 per cent of companies in the Middle East planning to hire IT workers in 2015.  Well trained and certified IT professionals are seen to have a positive impact on businesses with the highest value being placed on training in Project Management, Cyber Security and IT Support and Help Desk.