The knowledge gap in IT services is a perpetual issue for businesses. The complexity of platforms coupled with the increasing demand for leaner operations can make it difficult for IT professionals to do their jobs. The day-to-day running of businesses is tricky enough, but learning all about the latest technologies is a full-time job in itself.
Take for example all the platform skills that IT professionals need just to manage security. Does your team know everything about the latest developments surrounding forefront unified access gateways, proxy SGs and endpoint encryption? Are they fluent in platforms such as Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, VMware and Symantec?
Do they know enough to reap the benefits of new advancements?
The answer to these questions is probably no – and that shouldn't come as a surprise. Training costs time and money and these are two of the biggest challenges facing businesses. IT professionals have to figure things out for themselves – which can be impossible since a lot of the latest management systems are incredibly complex to support and need specialised training to effectively upgrade and incorporate into businesses.
This knowledge gap explains the rise of IT boot camps – but I think they're a fast-food approach to learning key IT skills.
Meant to offer useful and practical training, these camps are popular in places such as America, giving people training on important technology services such as virtualisation and cloud storage. Before long, the UK will catch this learning bug too.
These boot camp programmes are short and concise and try to address the knowledge gap quickly so IT pros can apply what they've learned immediately, on the job. But how many of these programmes provide value for money? Can a few days at a workshop prepare anybody for the complexities of storage infrastructure or networking?
Gauging the effectiveness of these programmes can be tough. They can also be a waste of time, as a lot of so-called training camps might just be marketing campaigns for a company that offers skills only for their product, which may not be very useful over the course of an IT employee's career.
Finding the right IT boot camp also costs time and money; who is going to research the right programmes for employees?
Darren Briscoe is technical director at Comms-care
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