Zombie IT training and development programs have become the norm

by Michael Mata13 Oct 2016
According to a new survey by TEKsystems (a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise, and IT services), “zombie” IT training and development programs are the norm for most organisations.

The survey was conducted by TEKsystems’ Training and Education Services practice, and focused on assessing the value and business impact of technology training and development within organisations. More than 300 information technology leaders and 900 information technology professionals were polled.

IT training and development programs lack leadership.
When respondents were asked if their organisations had a chief learning officer or other executive responsible for developing IT and business training and development curriculum, only 23% said yes. More than half (59%) said their organisations’ IT training and development programs lacked leadership and a minority (18%) said they weren’t sure.

Moreover, when asked if their organisations were able to correlate IT training and development investments to positive business outcomes, less than half (47%) of respondents said yes. Thirty-seven percent neither agreed nor disagreed, and 16% said they disagreed.

IT training and development programs aren’t addressing the skills gap.
When it came to addressing the IT skills gap in their organisations, neither IT leaders nor professionals expressed overwhelming confidence in these efforts.

When IT leaders were asked how confident they were in their organisations’ ability to train and upskill internal personnel to fill future IT skills gaps, 44% said they were confident and 18% said they were somewhat confident.

When IT professionals were asked how confident they were in their organisations’ ability to train and upskill internal personnel to fill future IT skills gaps, only 28% said they were confident. Nine percent said they were somewhat confident. Rather worryingly, 35% said they weren’t sure and 14% weren’t confident at all.

“[Forty] percent of IT leaders and 55 percent of professionals did not indicate their organizations have filled knowledge gaps through training and development efforts. This data is consistent with the overall finding that most programs are lacking in strategic alignment to desired business outcomes and are therefore realizing only partial benefits.”

Zombie programs have become an epidemic.
Jason Hayman, research manager at TEKsystems, said that zombie IT training and development programs were rampant in many organisations. “As a result, many training and development programs exist in a nonstrategic vacuum, and have limited impact on the organization. That’s unfortunate, since it appears organizations acknowledge they offer training and development in order to create higher levels of employee loyalty and retention,” he said.

To optimise investments, it’s imperative that organisations reevaluate their programs, define a training and development strategy and structure, and implement their efforts to ensure real business benefits.
 

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