Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 55 | Page 34


Closing the channel skills gap

Maya Zakhour , Director Channel Sales – Eastern Europe , META , Iberia and Latin America , NetApp
Filling critical skill gaps is a top priority for HR and IT business leaders in the enterprise and channel sector , but the build-andbuy tactics used so far have been insufficient . Industry experts share insights on how channel leaders can close the widening skills gap in the IT labour market . By Manda Banda

The tech talent shortage has solution providers and resellers in the channel scrambling to ensure that workforce brush up on the latest skills and technologies that facilitate business agility . Among the domains in the highest demand : cloud computing , Machine Learning , data science , software engineering and cybersecurity .

Research firm Gartner says the critical IT skills shortage being felt across the globe is expected to abate by the end of 2023 when the corporate drive to complete digital transformations slows down and there has been time for upskilling and reskilling of existing staff . However , Gartner stated that in the near term , CIOs will be forced to take action to balance increased IT demand and dwindling IT staffing levels .
According to Gartner , the IT labour market continues to tighten , making it difficult to attract and retain talent . The Gartner Global Labour Market Survey of nearly 18,000 employees in the first quarter of 2022 showed compensation is the number one driver for IT talent attraction and retention . Technology service providers are increasing prices on IT to allow for competitive salaries . This is driving an increase in spending in software and services through 2022 and 2023 . As a result , worldwide software spending is expected to grow 9.6 % to US $ 806.8 billion in 2022 and global spending on IT services is forecast to reach US $ 1.3 trillion .
Maya Zakhour , Director Channel Sales – Eastern Europe , META , Iberia and Latin America , NetApp , said : “ Resellers at NetApp are actively building the next generation of channel leaders by building their capabilities and skills and continuously enabling their teams , which is essentially creating a pool of resources possessing different skillsets ready to join . “ We have some resellers who work with us on advanced solutions selling various partner training schemes which is an enablement programme that includes different levels of selling – not limited to specific technology , but also includes specific specialisations . Gaining specialisations helps the individual grow their skills to be ready for moving or upgrading their career move – either internally , or from reseller to distributor and eventually , vendor ,” she said .
Prashant Menon , Channel Manager – UAE , Check Point Software Technologies ,
Middle East , said : “ Businesses that implement an effective , efficient and business-focused strategy significantly outperform their peers . This is something very symbolic to strategic resellers . They are keen on bringing a future-focused workforce perspective , flexibly and rapidly developing workforce skills and capabilities to match emerging opportunities . This also must be backed by vendors in the true sense as part
Instead of scrambling to get trained and certified across the board , resellers must aim to become specialists .
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