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With the surging popularity of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, it’s no surprise that IT leaders are eager to add mobility to their staff’s skill sets. When you combine that increasing demand with the already burgeoning IT skills gap, you end up with a perfect storm that IT managers need to address with an efficient, cost-effective strategy.

“One in four CIOs is seeking mobile solutions talent,” according to a poll of 2,000+ CIOs by recruitment and employment firm Harvey Nash Group. But, as the InformationWeek2012 State of IT Staffing Survey” makes clear, those same CIOs are skeptical they’ll be able to find staff with mobility skills, or will be able to offer them an attractive salary when they do find them.

Half of the respondents who prioritize BYOD management and mobility skills anticipate those skill sets will be hard to find in the next year. Almost 20 percent of respondents worry they will not be able to afford people who can fulfill their organization’s mobility and end-user management needs.

Not surprisingly, then, the vast majority of respondents plan to tackle their mobility skills gap with retraining rather than new hires. More than half (57 percent) said they would only retrain or retrain with a few hires and contract workers. Another 26 percent will do a mix of retraining and hiring/contracting.

A recent piece in Computer World elaborated on why training is a better option for organizations wishing to fill skill gaps.

  • High-demand skills can mean 15–20% higher salaries for new employees
  • Retraining saves the recruiter fees, which can cost 25–100% the employee’s salary
  • Retraining a current employee means a better chance of culture fit

Yet a 2012 CompTIA study found that organizations are often failing to effectively address skills gaps with training:

  • 43% report lack of resources for IT skills development
  • 39% report poor translation of IT education and training to workforce performance
  • 56% don’t have a process in place to identify skill gaps among employees.

“Clearly efforts are concentrated elsewhere when employers should try to focus more on their employees; their most valuable asset after all,” the CompTIA report states. “Those in IT management roles are especially feeling the neglect.”

VMware offers all the educational opportunities necessary to bring you and your staff up to speed on the mobility and BYOD front. For mobility-focused training, check out our full list of end user courses for VMware Horizon View, Horizon Mirage, and Horizon Workspace. Then encourage your staff to earn VMware Certified Professional – Desktop certification, which verifies their ability to install and configure the VMware View environment.

David