Upskilling non-IT staff

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The technology skills shortage is said to be at an all-time high, with 67%† of organisations struggling to find the right talent.

But there’s been talk of an IT skills crisis for years so should we be more worried now? 

The figures may look alarming but if you read the survey† you see a new model of ‘Digital Leaders’† emerging, and for them, the concept of a traditional IT department is an anathema. They’re said to be three times more likely to invest time upskilling non-IT people in IT skills because they see their ‘technology team’ as broader than the people they directly manage.

And that’s no bad thing. Let’s take app development and the great strides made in that. It is now commonly accepted that you don’t need to write code to build applications, and some 41%* of organisations are now said to be using low or no-code platforms.

This uptake is hardly surprising given that it can take up to five months1and cost up to $55,0001 to develop a custom application. Why not stay ahead of application demands by using tools that will enable you to streamline that process? 

SOTI claims nearly two thirds (64%) of businesses have a backlog of large app development, with 37% of them admitting a shortage of mobile app developers. A lack of development resources should not stand in the way of implementing the apps you need to streamline and simplify your workflows.

Business mobility is critical to the success of many companies today as workers rely increasingly on mobile devices and apps to do their jobs. No-code platforms like SOTI Snap enable firms to prototype and deploy apps in hours not months. 

This new band of ‘citizen developers’ drag and drop widgets onto device-shaped canvasses to build functional, even complex, applications. This whole no-code app development automates previously manual processes, saves time, reduces the need for specialist resources but critically, keeps costs low.

Which is why I find it interesting that while 64%† of organisations allow business-managed technology spend, only 11% actively encourage it. Having more citizen developers shouldn’t be seen as threatening more traditional IT professionals, it should surely be seen as lightening their load and saving money? After all, they’re still in control as it is they who will govern and support the app to ensure it doesn’t compromise the overall IT architecture. 

This change in perspective with digital leaders going the ‘DIY’ route is a postivive thing. Maybe unresponsive or overburdenedIT departments forced their hand but either way, they’re not prepared to wait for an IT yay or nay to their requests, they are producing fully functioning applications themselves. 

And frankly, I can only see initiatives like no-code platforms as a good thing to upskill more of the workforce and take some of the load of the main IT resources.


† A changing perspective, Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2019

* State of Application Development Report 2019/2020

1 Implementing business critical mobility solutions, VDC Research and SOTI

Richard Gilliard

Renovotec is the UK’s largest independent rugged hardware and maintenance, software and services company. Managing Director Richard Gilliard has helped lead the organisation for over 25 years, supporting customers across many sectors including warehousing and distribution, transport and logistics, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, seaports and field mobility. Richard's drive is to enable firms through…

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