IT: The professionals

By Steve Philp, The Open Group

The European Commission (EC) recently warned of a potential 350,000-plus shortfall in IT practitioners in the region by 2015 and criticised the UK for failing to adequately promote professionalism in the industry.  According to EC principal administrator André Richier, although Europe has approximately four million IT practitioners, 50 per cent are not IT degree-qualified.certification

While the EC raises some interesting points about the education of those entering the field of IT, it’s important not to lose sight of what’s really important – ensuring IT executives are continually improving and developing their skills and capabilities.

Developments in technology are moving faster than ever and bringing about major changes to the lives of IT professionals.  Today, for instance, it’s crucial IT professionals are not just technical experts but able to speak the language of business and ensure the work of the IT function is closely aligned to business objectives.  This is particularly so when it comes to cloud computing where pressure is mounting for IT teams to clearly articulate the benefits the technology can offer the business.

Business decision makers aren’t interested in the details of cloud computing implementation but do want to know that IT teams understand their situation and are well placed to solve the challenges they face.  In short, they want to know important IT decisions being made in their business are in the hands of true professionals.

ITSCCertification can act as an important mark of professional standards and inspire confidence by verifying the qualities and skills IT executives have with regards to the effective deployment, implementation and operation of IT solutions. It’s these factors that led to the launch of the Open Group’s IT Specialist Certification (ITSC) Programme.  The programme is peer reviewed, vendor-neutral and global, ensuring IT executives can use it to distinguish their skills regardless of the organisation they work for.  As such, it guarantees a professional standard, assuring business leaders that the IT professionals they have in place can help address the challenges they face.  Given the current pressures to do more with less and the rising importance of IT to business, expect to see certification rise in importance in the months ahead.

Steve PhilpSteve Philp is the Marketing Director for the IT Architect and IT Specialist certification programs at The Open Group. Over the past 20 years, Steve has worked predominantly in sales, marketing and general management roles within the IT training industry. Based in Reading, UK, he joined the Open Group in 2008 to promote and develop the organization’s skills and experience-based IT certifications.

1 Comment

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One response to “IT: The professionals

  1. Thanks for your article. I think the shift might be slightly different, with cloud now transforming the architecture space the challenge now becomes less about the technology and commodity of IT and more about the differentiators and the ability of architects to create the right mix to solve business problems.
    I read an interesting book called “A Whole New Mind” around the shift away from the information age to the conceptual age ie. away from commodity to people that can innovate and create the best mix. I therefore think that the shift in skills would probably move away from IT since the cloud is “absorbing” that requirement as it moves up the stack, and more towards EA’s being business and strategic enablers.

    Training therefore needs to equip the traditional architects with new tools in their toolbox that are not technology centric but more people centric, change management, strategic planning etc. A tough pill to swallow for most architects who emerge from the technology sphere….