The paradox of technology as a way to bridge the gap in the lack of IT talent | NTT DATA

Wed, 24 May 2023

The paradox of technology as a way to bridge the gap in the lack of IT talent

Digital transformation and continuous development based on innovation have become indispensable keys for the survival and competitiveness of every company across all economic sectors. This does not only affect a department or area within an organization but means that the entire entity has the continuous challenge of constantly increasing the value provided to the customer and market at the lowest possible cost, which is where technology plays a leading role.

To feed this exacerbated need for technology we need huge amounts of IT (Information Technology) talent, which does not exist and cannot be generated with current education systems. The needs of digitalized society nowadays move forward at such a fast pace that centers of education and institutions cannot manage, meaning that they cannot keep pace with this exponential advance. All the different players in the sector, including these educational organizations, focus on professorships, professional training, agreements, masters, dual training, etc., but these are undoubtably insufficient.

As such, one of the main challenges in IT sector is the lack of talent with eminently technological profiles. Despite having an unemployment rate close to zero in our country, offering competitive salaries and future careers, we are still facing an enormous lack of talent. And this, of course, can be a burden on building a competitive, innovation-based economy.

How can we be a digitalized society without enough IT professionals? The data are demoralizing. The association of technology companies DigitalES highlights that the deficit in ICT specialists has rapidly worsened over the last two years and Spain currently has more than 120,000 unfilled vacancies in the technology sector.

If we analyze the lack of IT talent in detail, we must structure the different profiles and prioritize them by value contribution and identified demand. Software and application development and their maintenance is one of the largest subsectors in the IT sector and therefore where we should place the greatest focus.

Beyond the initiatives that can be implemented in the educational system to develop talent with these skills, which will be costly in both time and money, another lever can be identified which, although it seems paradoxical, can be provided by technology itself.

On the one hand, thanks to Low-Code, it is possible to continue moving forward in technological solutions, as these tools allow the manual development of code to be reduced to a minimum, so a person with basic developer knowledge can develop software and increase productivity, or rather, if we take it to the extreme, No-Code allows a person without a background in technology to do so. That is to say, a businessperson, with little or no background in technology but with knowledge of the needs of the business, is able to carry out a large part of the software creation process.

For this reason, we are reinforcing and improving tools that furnish skills for tasks which until now could only be undertaken by engineers. In this way, we can overcome the stumbling block of a lack of ICT talent for digital transformation, and even allow a much smoother and more natural transition of people with low employability profiles into digital talent capable of participating in the productive process of the sector.

On the other hand, we find that thanks to these tools and other solutions such as automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can allow professionals - with or without a background in technology- to increase their productivity, as well as their motivation, as they no longer have to carry out repetitive or low value tasks. This is known as the Augmented Employee, a recently coined concept to boost the skills and productivity of our talent with all kinds of innovative tools.

But under no circumstances should we think that the “purer” technological profiles, those with a broad technological background, are not necessary. In fact, they are just as vital as before, if not more so. We do not have the capacity - nor would it be intelligent or operationally feasible - to hand over all our technological developments to people without a clear technological profile. We need their knowledge and experience to guarantee the success of the projects that allow us to advance in a competitive, innovative and digital society.

It is possible that now -and over the coming years- Low-Code and No-Code will become the only solution for an IT sector that faces fierce demand and slow advance in the generation of new profiles. The above-mentioned solution will help us to continue advancing with “augmented employees” who are more motivated and focused where they can truly add value and make a difference. It is now the only path. And, paradoxically, to tackle the lack of people trained in technology, technology itself may be the only viable option.


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