More organizations than ever will need to invest in IT training as advances in artificial intelligence (AI) transform roles and responsibilities in the coming year.
A survey of 2,740 IT decision-makers conducted by Skillsoft, a provider of an online training platform, finds two-thirds (66%) were already dealing with skills gaps in 2023. As AI becomes more pervasively applied to the management of IT, that skills gap is only going to widen given the limited pool of IT professionals that have any experience using AI to manage IT.
Skillsoft CIO Orla Daly said it’s already apparent AI creates an imperative for training because there are simply not enough IT people with the requisite skills required. In fact, the survey finds nearly half of IT decision-makers (45%) plan to close skills gaps by training their existing teams. That training is crucial because the primary reason IT staff change jobs is a lack of growth and development opportunities, noted Daly.
While there is naturally a lot of consternation over the potential elimination of IT jobs, in the final analysis, AI will add more different types of jobs than it eliminates, adds Daly. Each of those jobs will require new skills that will need to be acquired and honed, she notes. “Training is the price of innovation,” said Daly.
In the meantime, there is much interest in finding ways to automate existing IT processes to create more time for IT teams to experiment with AI technologies, said Daly.
The report also finds well over half of IT decision-makers (56%) expect their IT budgets to increase to help pay for new platforms and tools, compared with only 12% expecting a decrease.
It’s not clear to what degree AI will transform the management of AI, but it’s already apparent that many manual tasks involving, for example, generating reports are about to be automated. The instant summarization capabilities that generative AI enables also promise to dramatically reduce the time required to onboard new members to an incident response team. Rather than having to allocate someone on the team to bring new members up to speed, each new member of the team will use queries framed in natural language to determine for themselves the extent of the crisis at hand.
In addition, many tasks that today require expensive specialists to perform might become more accessible to a wider range of organizations as, for example, more DevOps processes are automated. That doesn’t necessarily mean that DevOps as an IT discipline disappears as much as it leads to the democratization of best DevOps practices.
Each IT organization in the year ahead will need to determine to what degree to rely on AI to manage IT processes. It may take a while before IT teams have enough confidence in AI to rely on it to manage mission-critical applications but many of the tasks that today conspire to make the management of IT tedious will undoubtedly fade away. The challenge and the opportunity now is identify those tasks today with an eye toward revamping how IT might be managed in the age of AI tomorrow.