Nurturing IT Talent and Driving Efficiency through Automation.

Author:Lowe, Nick

If there's one thing everyone working in the IT industry is familiar with, it's the skills gap. The issue has been prevalent over the last few years, with businesses struggling to find and retain talent with the required level of technological expertise.

For example, 94% of employers believe the tech industry is facing a skills gap, while 43% of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) vacancies are proving to be hard to fill--primarily due to a shortage of applicants with the required skills and experience--according to the UK Commission for Employment & Skills.

In terms of specific areas, cybersecurity is particularly affected. The 2017 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Survey predicts that the industry is on pace to reach a workforce gap of 1.8 million by 2022, with a shortage of 350,000 cybersecurity personnel across Europe.

Simply put, the number of people entering the workforce with the required technical proficiency has failed to keep up with the increasing demand of technological development.

Clearly, the skills gap is still a major issue for organisations of all sizes, but it's not the only expertise-related challenge that businesses and IT departments are having to deal with. As IT operators and security architects have become overworked, the issue of talent and time wastage has also become more and more prevalent.

What is talent wastage?

With security-skilled personnel proving to be in short supply, it's essential that businesses ensure employees are working as efficiently as possible. However, too many organizations are guilty of wasting the valuable technology skills at their disposal.

The reality for the majority of businesses today is that their overstretched IT teams are swamped with avoidable IT issues, unscheduled activities and time-intensive administrative tasks that end up consuming a significant proportion of their time.

For example, research suggests that IT professionals spend an average of 29% of every working day reacting to unplanned incidents or emergencies, which equates to more than 14 weeks a year.

The other issue is that as networks become more complex, routine tasks take up more time than they should. Activities such as analysing and planning network changes, as well as fixing problems that arise due to policy misconfiguration, are extremely inefficient, resulting in IT and security teams becoming further stretched.

This is especially true for large enterprises, where corporate networks...

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